Posted on September 20, 2012
In addition to the obvious challenges, the structural changes of ICT industry in the Oulu region have also resulted in new opportunities. Especially from the startup companies’ point of view the times are good.” said Juha Ala-Mursula, director of Business Oulu “The structural changes have significantly improved the startups’ abilities to recruit talent. These changes have also forced us to find new solutions. Oulu has been the forerunner in creating structures that accelerate startup companies’ business growth, and Northern Startup Fund is central in these new structures. The growth and success of the Fund’s portfolio companies will have a significant impact on the employment and economy of Oulu.”, he added.
During the past few weeks, Butterfly Ventures has already prepared the deal flow and gone through over 100 companies, out of which roughly 20% have met the criteria for closer examination. The goal has been to analyze about 100 companies a year, but at the moment it seems that the quantity will be significantly larger, even well over 200 companies a year. In addition to companies originating from Oulu, there are also such that plan to have operations in the Oulu region.
“There are plenty of early stage startups and growth companies in Oulu region, but proportionally little venture capital activity, resulting in reasonable valuations, for the most part.” said Matti Kanninen, CEO of Butterfly Ventures “In addition, as founding of a startup company is less expensive these days, and there is plenty of talent available, a well-diversified portfolio of smaller investments can result in more simultaneous successes faster.”, he added.
A few investment proposals are already underway and the first investments are planned to be carried out already during October. The goal is to make ten investments in a year. This means that Northern Startup Fund will invest in 50 companies in the Oulu region during its first time investment period of five years.
Enquiries and additional information
Matti Kanninen, managing partner
Phone: +358 (40) 5455877
Butterfly Ventures is an early stage focused startup development and venture fund management company located in Oulu, Finland. Behind the company are Matti Kanninen, Antti Kosunen and Juho Risku as well as Board members Jukka Mäkinen and Jari Pasanen. Butterfly Ventures has offices in Oulu and Helsinki.
Northern Startup Fund
Northern Startup Fund is a venture capital fund managed by Butterfly Ventures that invest into early stage startups. It is the first asymmetric fund in Finland. In the case of Northern Startup Fund the asymmetry means that the public investor, which benefits also in a form of tax income, lowers the risk of a private investor by offering a possibility for returning the invested capital and profit share before the public investor. From the private investors’ point of view this improves the risk – return expectation ratio significantly. The investment capital of Northern Startup Fund will be 10 million €, half of which comes from the City of Oulu and the other half from private investors.