Swedish e-commerce attracts capital
New technology solutions, smartphones and changing consumer behavior has given the Swedish retail industry a facelift. Now, the industry is a hot niche for investors as more and more venture capitalists, from Scandinavia as well as other European countries, are investing heavily in Swedish online retailers and other ecommerce companies.
Around the millennium change ecommerce was a new and hot industry. It was around that time Amazon took a plunge in the stock market and the Swedish-British internet company Boo.com spent 100 million euros of venture capital in just 18 months. But then came the crash, as SvD Näringsliv looks back. What followed were some quiet but steady years for new ecommerce players, but now we’re again in an era where the bubble seems to getting bigger. Ecommerce is hot again and investors are very aware of that!
Swedish investment company Kinnevik
A Swedish company that has chosen to invest heavily in ecommerce is Investment AB Kinnevik. The investment in German fashion website Zalando became one of the group’s core holdings. But they also invested in Nordic ecommerce company CDON Group. Russian online classified site Avito and several Rocket Internet companies.
Investment company Atomico
And then there’s the Swedish IT entrepreneur Niklas Zennström who has a lot of ecommerce companies in his portfolio through his investment company Atomico. Zennström, known for co-founding companies like Skype and Kazaa, invested in more than 50 companies, including online payments service Klarna, online beauty shop Chemist Direct, ticketing reseller company and social gifting service Wrapp.
Verdane, a veteran in the industry according to SvD, has invested in ecommerce companies since the mid-2000s. The Stockholm-based venture capital firm invested in online fashion store Boozt, Swedish online grocery retailer Mathem and price comparison site Compricer. The company recently raised a new fund, called Verdane Capital VIII, which will invest an additional 218 million euros in Nordic growth, with ecommerce as an important investment destination.
Finnish Industry Investment is among one of the backers in Verdane VIII. “International investors have shown a great deal of interest in the Nordic market in recent years and have contributed over two thirds of the capital raised for the region in the past three years. Verdane funds hold a unique position in the Nordic market because they invest in unlisted portfolios – which the response to the latest fund clearly demonstrates. We are happy about the confidence these new and old investors have shown”, adds Lars B. Thoresen, managing partner at Verdane Capital Advisors.