The Nordics are leading the impact revolution!


Published by Oslo Business Region, 16 September 2022

To support the importance of impact investing, Oslo Business Region hosted a Nordic Impact Investment event together with Invest Stockholm and NewCo Helsinki at Stockholm Impact Growth Day, on 12 September 2022.

Nordic impact startups reached a record-breaking 5.5 billion dollars in funding in 2021, of which 2.8 billion dollars is accounted for by Northvolt. Impact investing is a core part of VC investments in the Nordics, making up for about 25% of all VC investments in 2021 and the first half of 2022. That is why we are present in Stockholm to give an impulse to the Nordic impact investing ecosystem. “We believe the Nordics have a stronger brand together rather than working individually when it comes to attracting investments from the rest of the world, says Tonje Ørnholt, Investment Lead at Oslo Business Region”.

This is echoed by Maria de Perlinghi, Partner and Head of Impact at leading Nordic impact investment platform Norselab who points out: “If you want to be credible in impact investing today, you need to invest in sustainability competence, and do more than just asking companies about how many SDGs they align with. You must gain an understanding of both positive and negative impacts of a company throughout their value chain, based on science. At Norselab we invest in companies that increase their positive impact with every new user or customer.

Abelia, Norway’s organization for technology and knowledge-based companies, is also in Stockholm together with Oslo Business Region. Tarje Bjørgum, Head of Sustainability and Future Health, is working closely with problem solvers within the Norwegian impact space. “Growth will occur in impact-oriented sectors where scale-ups are a driving force. We all share the common goal of making the Nordics the global testbed for impact innovation”, says Tarje Bjørgum from Abelia.

Sweden and Norway have the most impact-focused ecosystems, with Sweden leading in terms of the amount of impact investments raised. Norway, on the other hand, shows substantial growth in funding, increasing from 4% to 20% between 2021 and the first half of 2022. This results in a lot of value creation, as the valuation of impact companies in the Nordic Region is four times higher today compared to 2020.

Norway is at the top of the leader board when it comes to diverse founding teams of impact startups as no less than 15% are led by women, with Sweden in second place with 11%, on average 12% of all Nordic impact founding teams are women. This should be seen in comparison to non-impact startups where only 9% of founding team members are women.

In addition to being at the top of the leaderboard for female impact startups, Norway has 171 impact scale-ups in Oslo alone, employing over 4400 people. The companies are valued at an impressive 1.8 billion euro, making Oslo an important hub for impact investing!

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