Category: Articles (Page 2 of 2)

Brunnur – one year later: $3.2 million in two investments

Last week we dug into Frumtak 2’s investment and funds and this time around we’re looking at Brunnur. Brunnur is a 4 bn ISK (~$31 million) fund, focused mainly on various technology sectors as well as food production. We covered the fund in more detail last year.

Investments

To this date, Brunnur has invested in two companies – ARK Technology and ATMO Select. Both investments were in the fourth quarter of last year. The investments total 425m ISK.

Company Year / Quarter Amount ISK / ~$
ARK Technology 2015 / Q4 225m ISK / $1.7m
ATMO Select 2015 / Q4 200m ISK / $1.5m
Total: 6 425m ISK / $3.2m

According to Sigurður Arnljótsson, GP at Brunnur, the fund foresees at least three investments in the first two quarters of 2016.

Available Funds

Based on public information and comments from Sigurður Arnljótsson, GP at Brunnur, we mapped out the available funds for Brunnur.

image

Note: We estimated the fees based on general practice in the VC industry, where funds take 2% of the total size per year in management fees. Frumtak has a operating lifetime of 10 years.

Dry Powder is the cash reserves the funds’ GP’s have allocated to followup rounds to their portfolio, which is at the minimum 30%, according to Sigurður. The fund could decide to hold up to 50% for followup cash, but Norðurskautið uses the lower number in our calculations.

Based on this, we can calculate how much of their capital Brunnur has invested. This number ends at around 21%, leaving a little under 80% ready for deployment.

image (2)

Having allocated 21% of its capital on two investments rhymes closely with their stated goal of investing in 10-15 companies over their investment period of 3-5 years.

Comparing Brunnur’s activity to Frumtak 2 over the last year shows that Frumtak 2 has been more active, both in terms of number of investments and deployed capital. Frumtak’s investments have been on a wider scale in terms of size and verticals – ranging from consumer tech to hardware to automobiles – while Brunnur’s investments have been B2B tech products – ARK focused on optimizing energy consumption of marine vehicles, and ATMO Select developing a music management software solution for retail spaces.

Norðurskautið covers the Icelandic Startup and Tech scene. Follow us on Twitter or sign up for our mailing list to keep up to date. You can also join our Slack community – http://bit.ly/slack-is

Frumtak 2 – one year later: $10.85 million in six investments

Roughly one year ago, GP’s at Frumtak announced the closing of their second fund, Frumtak 2. The fund is a 5 billion ISK ($38.5 million) fund focused on investing in companies that are past their seed stage and show promise of growth and expansion. For more info about the fund, you can read Nordurskautid’s detailed report on the fund last spring (Icelandic).

Investments

So far, Frumtak 2 has made six investments, of which four are fresh investments for the fund and two are followups. The investments total 1410 million ISK (around $10.85 M).

The fund was announced in Q1 2015, but understandably didn’t make its first investment until Q4 2015. We don’t have enough data yet to see a quarterly trend.

Company Year / Quarter Amount ISK / ~$
Arctic Trucks 2015 / Q4 400m ISK / $3.1m
Controlant* 2015 / Q4 260m ISK / $2m
Activity Stream 2015 / Q4 116m ISK / $900k
Apollo X (Watchbox) 2015 / Q4 50m ISK / $380k
Unannounced 2016 / Q1 284m ISK / $2.2m
Unannounced 2016 / Q1 300m ISK / $2.3m
 * followup investment Total: 6 1410m ISK / $10.85m

The average investment over the time period is 235 million ISK ($1.8m) and the median is 272 million ($2.1 million ISK). These numbers are right in the middle of their estimated investment span, which is between 100-500 million.

Smaller investments

Frumtak’s GP’s proposed to the fund’s board of directors to invest, lower amounts than the general rule, in several companies. According to Eggert Claessen, GP at Frumtak 2, the fund sees this as an experiment and will invest in two companies in that experiment. Eggert noted that even though the investment amounts are lower than in general, the companies fulfill all the requirements set by Frumtaks investment policy.

According to Eggert, this is based on their experience from Frumtak (their former fund), where they had instances of entrepreneurs they wanted to fund, but weren’t ready for the bigger investments the fund set out to make.

Frumtak’s Available Funds

Based on public information, we mapped out the capital available to Frumtak 2.

image (2)

Note: We estimated the fees based on general practice in the VC industry, where funds take 2% of the total size per year in management fees. Frumtak has a operating lifetime of 7-10 years, so we took the median, 8.5 years and multiplied by its yearly, estimated management fee which totals at 850 million.

As a percentage, we can see that Frumtak has deployed just under 34% of its total capital.

image (3)

The fund’s investment period is four years. Based on the fact that the fund has allocated ~34% of its capital in about a year, the fund is well on its way to finish its investments for the fund – given that the fund keeps investing at the same pace until now.

It should be noted, however, that the funds operating period is 7-10 years, where the fund is able to follow up on previous investments. That means, the fund doesn’t need to deplete itself in the four year investment period.

That would also be in line with the current activity in the Icelandic Startup scene, which has been growing fast.

Updated on March 3, 16:30 to better represent the funds available funds.

Norðurskautið covers the Icelandic Startup and Tech scene. Follow us on Twitter or sign up for our mailing list to keep up to date. You can also join our Slack community – http://bit.ly/slack-is

New, bigger grants introduced at the Technology Development Fund

Earlier this month, the Icelandic Centre for Research (Rannís) unveiled its strategy for the Technology Development Fund going forward. According to a statement, the purpose of the changes is to make the fund more open and effective for applications from a wider range of individuals and organizations. The first new grant, Applied Research Project Grant, has an application deadline of February 15th, and Seed (ísl: Fræ), a new grant aimed at entrepreneurs in the starting stages, will open to applications in late February.

Sigurður Björnsson | Photo Arnaldur Halldórsson

Sigurður Björnsson | Photo Arnaldur Halldórsson

“Work on this strategy started in May 2014 after the Science and Technology Policy Council’s published its Action Plan for the period 2014 to 2016. One of the actions was to propose a considerable increase in funding of the big competitive funds,” Sigurður Björnsson, Head of Science and Innovation at the Icelandic Centre for Research told Norðurskautið. “With increased funding, it was decided to work on the new strategy and reorganise the funding mechanism to make sure it can be of best use for innovation in Iceland.”

These changes address many of the things criticised in an opinion piece on the matter previously posted on Norðurskautið.

Four new types of grants introduced

The biggest changes for entrepreneurs and startups, is that two types of grants are turned into four types.

Previously Project grants (ísl: Verkefnisstyrkir) were the biggest grants and the grant that many startups applied to. Companies of all sizes and ages could apply to this fund which has led to criticism when big, old, profit bearing companies have received such grants. As of autumn 2016, the project grants will be changed.

In addition to the project grants, TDF has had Pioneer grants (ísl: Frumherjastyrkir) meant for early stage companies and entrepreneurs that have projects in the initial stages.

TechDevFund_Logo_ENThese two grant types, Project grant and Pioneer grant, will be changed in autumn 2016. “We’re discontinuing these two and introducing four new grants this year. We’ll open applications for the first of these four, Project Grant – Seed (ísl: Fyrirtækjastyrkur – Fræ) this April.”

These new types of grants bring many changes.

First of all, the fund now offers a wider range of amounts, from ~$11.5K (Seed / Fræ) to $540K (Sprint / Sprettur). The maximum allotted time has been shortened to two years (was 3 years), and company size and age limits have been added.

The smaller grants are only available to companies under the age of 5, and the bigger ones are for “small and medium sized companies” (according to their website).

According to Sigurður, small and medium sized companies are defined as the following:

  • Small:
    • Under 50 employees, or
    • Under €10 million in turnover, or
    • Balance sheet total of under €10 million
  • Medium: 
    • 51-250 employees, and / or
    • Under €50 million in turnover, and / or
    • Balance sheet total of under €43 million

This means that to be ineligable for these grants, companies need to have more than 250 employees, or more than €50 million in turnover, or a balance sheet total of more than €43 million.

Seed / Fræ Seedling / Sproti Growth / Vöxtur Sprint / Sprettur
Amount $11.500 (1.5m ISK) $80K / year (10m ISK / year) $190K / year (25m ISK / year) ($270K / year (35m ISK / year)
Length of project max 5 months max 2 years max 2 years max 2 years
Eligable applicants Individuals, companies under 5 years of age Individuals, companies under 5 years of age Small and medium sized companies Small and medium sized companies

Overview of the new project grants. See list of new grant types.

“We need to encourage entrepreneurs to go out there and explore their ideas. That’s the purpose of the Seed grant, to start the journey and test the idea,” Sigurður says.

Companies applying to the largest grant, Sprettur, will be expected to show additional capital, for example in the form of venture investment, to accompany the grant. “We have not decided if a new matching capital, for example from investors, will be a requirement, but the company has to demonstrate strong financial capability,” Sigurður says.

The other grants will be open for applications this autumn.

Special grants for research projects

Accompanying the changes to project grants, the TDF will introduce a Applied Research Project Grant, aimed at research institutions. “We’ll open for applications for the Applied Research Project Grant for deadline in February – to encourage technical transfer into the industry,” Sigurður told us.

“Iceland is strong in academic research, but in commercialization of the research findings we are behind our neighbors,” Sigurður says, and notes that the grant will require applicants to supply clear objectives on commercialization for their products.

This added grant resolves some of the criticism previously raised, where Universities and public research institutions received grants from the same fund as startups.

Norðurskautið covers the Icelandic Startup and Tech scene. Follow us on Twitter or sign up for our mailing list to keep up to date. You can also join our Slack community – http://bit.ly/slack-is

Iceland Q4 2015 Funding Analysis

We start the year 2016 off with a roundup and analysis of the Q4 funding numbers for Iceland. Norðurskautið has been documenting and publicizing investments since it started, and these analysis will be recurring content on the site. To kick things off, we’d like to establish our methodology, as to explain any possible discrepancies appearing between our analysis and those of other news agencies

Our Method

  • The funding analysis focuses on investments from investors, such as angels or institutions. Grants are not a part of these analyses.
  • We strive to include all funding events based on when they’re signed. That means, that if we have knowledge of investments that haven’t been published, we will still include them in our aggregate numbers.
  • We try our best to keep a balance of privacy and transparency. We respect the privacy of companies who wish to keep their investment private, but try to use those numbers in aggregate, if possible. This is to maximize the validity and coverage of our analyses, whilst recognizing companies’ wishes for privacy.

Totals

In Q4, we had a total of 9 investments totalling just under 6 billion ISK (~$45.6 m). The lion’s share of that cash went to CCP in a $30 million (~3.9bn ISK) investment led by NEA in November. The average investment (not calculating the CCP outlier in the average) was around $1.9 million (~253m ISK) and the median investment was $2.1 million (270m ISK).

funding-numbers

Top 5 investments

The following graph shows the top 5 investments by size in Q4 2015. This clearly shows the massive difference between CCP and the other investments in the quarter.

Funding rounds

We categorise the investments by venture capital financing round based on several factors. For some of the investments, an official statement is released declaring the venture round of the investment.. For investments not classified as a specific round we use the following indicators:

  • Size of round: For example, rounds up to $1.5 million are generally classified as seed rounds.
  • Previous rounds: If the round is a second or later funding round, we generally consider it a Series A (or later).
  • Age and status of company: Whether the company has a product, how old it is, what the money will be used for, etc.

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 23.36.22

Who’s investing?

Although this quarter was the most active by Icelandic VC’s we’ve seen in a while, the vast majority of cash came from outside Iceland, mostly due to NEA’s investment.This image is skewed though, because of NEA’s investment. But we can see that all the Icelandic funds (Brunnur, Frumtak 2, Eyrir Sprotar and NSA Ventures) have been active in the quarter.Using the quarter’s information we can estimate the status of the funds in terms of deployed and non-deployed capital. We only have information on the funds Brunnur and Frumtak 2.

Last year’s appearance of new VC funds is starting to heat up the Icelandic startup space, and it will be exciting to follow their investments in the coming quarters.

Norðurskautið covers the Icelandic Startup and Tech scene. Follow us on Twitter or sign up for our mailing list to keep up to date. You can also join our Slack community – http://bit.ly/slack-is

Various tax-reform measures for the startup community likely passed in 2016

Last Friday at the Federation of Icelandic Industry’s Technology Summit, Bjarni Benediktsson, Iceland’s Minister of Finance, spoke of changes to the tax system to help the startup community.

Bjarni announced plans to change the taxation of both stock-options and convertible bonds, making both a more viable instrument than they are now. He also discussed changed taxation on foreign specialist, and much anticipated plans for tax relief for individuals investing in startup companies.

When will this happen?

These changes will all be proposed to the parliament in 2016.

Teitur Björn Einarsson

Teitur Björn Einarsson

“We aim to propose the bill that would change the taxation timing of stock-options and convertible bonds, as well as the tax relief measures for individual investors, in 2016. We’re hoping they’ll be passed before the end of the year,” Teitur Björn says.

“However, because they are of relief to the taxpayer, they might be applied retroactively. That would mean gains and investments in 2016 would fall under these new rules.”

Teitur told Nordurskautid that they hadn’t experienced much political opposition to these measures, which is good news to the community.

Stock-options and convertible bonds

Under the current tax law, stock-options are taxed at the date of exercise. This means that if an employee of a startup exercises her options under other circumstances than a liquidity event (i.e. if she buys stocks, without selling them right away, like often happens in acquisitions for example), she must pay taxes on the unrealised gains on her shares.

These gains are based on the last valuation of the company – usually a private financing round.

Let’s say Sandra has 1000 vested stock-options in the startup she works at, Super-Startup, with the strike-price of $1. The last VC round valued the stock at $5 per share. She’s leaving the company to start her own, but wants to exercise her rights. She would have to pay $1,000 to the company to buy the shares (1,000 * $1 strike price), and an additional ~40% income tax on the $4 of unrealised gains (i.e. $1.6 per share), even though she doesn’t sell the shares.

A similar rule applies to convertible bonds.

Convertible bonds are financial instruments investors can use to lower their risk when investing in startup companies. Rather than buying shares outright, they purchase a corporate bond, with the option of converting the bond into shares.

For example, a $1,000 bond could have the option of being converted into $1,200 of equity. If and when an investor decides to exercise this right, she will be taxed for the gains, in this case, $200.

The problem here is, that individuals – often early employees or individual investors – are being taxed for unrealised gains. Financial gains that only exist on paper. There is still the real possibility of the company failing, and their shares losing all value. In those cases, people will have paid taxes on nothing.

Eggert Claessen. Picture: Frumtak.is

Eggert Claessen. Picture: Frumtak.is

“This would be great progress,” Eggert Claessen, Managing Director of venture fund Frumtak 2, told Nordurskautid. “It would make the involvement of smaller investors much easier and turn stock-options into a better tool for retaining employees.”

Tax relief for individuals investing in startups

Bjarni Benediktsson also mentioned making investments by individuals in innovative, growing companies deductible. He mentioned that he was putting emphasis on creating a bill on these matters. He didn’t mention which specific criteria the companies would need to fulfil to qualify, but there would be some.

“A bill focusing on tax relief for individuals investing in startup companies has been discussed for some time, but until now, delayed by technicalities,” Teitur Björn Einarsson, political adviser to the finance minister, told Nordurskautid.

Concrete details on these deductibles haven’t been announced, but the hope of the community is that they will help increase both the number of angel investors and available early-stage capital. Similar measures, focusing on tax-relief for individual investors, have been successful in other ecosystem, notably London.

Norðurskautið covers the Icelandic Startup and Tech scene. Follow us on Twitter or sign up for our mailing list to keep up to date. You can also join our Slack community – http://bit.ly/slack-is

NSA Ventures: A profile of Iceland’s biggest VC fund

NSA Ventures is a permanent, semi-official early stage venture fund in Iceland. It was founded in 1997 by a one-time endowment from the Icelandic government of 3 billion ISK ($~25MM) but operates without additional official funds. Its current size is around 5.5 billion ISK ($~44MM). This makes it Iceland’s biggest VC fund, a bit bigger than Frumtak 2, which is 5 billion ISK.  Its mission is to “contribute to the growth of the Icelandic economy by participating in venture investments.” The current size of the fund is roughly 5 billion ISK ($~38MM), invested in 34 companies. It is also a Limited Partner in three funds; Brú 2, Frumtak and Auður 1. The fund’s staff are employees of the fund, unlike other the other VC funds we’ve covered, that have a LP / GP structure, and it doesn’t operate on a “two and twenty” basis, i.e. with management fee and carry-bonuses.

According to Helga Valfells, CEO of NSA Ventures, they invest early in companies and want to be able to follow their investment in later stages. They’re currently the only big fund to focus on the early stage in Iceland, as the other three funds are looking mainly at later stages, although they sometimes do earlier investments.

helgavalfells

Helga Valfells, CEO NSA Ventures

A typical first investment is around 50 million ISK (~$370,000), with the possibility to follow up on the investment with an additional 150 million ISK (~$1,1 million). According to the fund’s investmen plan, it can invest anywhere between 20 and 400 million ISK. “However, the fund rarely invests so much in a single company,” Helga says. “We don’t want to have upwards of 10% of the fund in a single company.”

To emphasize their focus on early companies, Helga points out that the fund expects its holdings in companies to be diluted. “We go in early at a fair price, and expect to be diluted, when more investment comes in.” NSA is usually the first institutional investor, and most often takes a seat on the board of the companies they invest in.

The fund’s mission of contributing to the growth of Icelandic industry, differentiates them from other Icelandic VC funds, who have the main purpose of making money for their investors. Returns on NSA Ventures’ investments are to be invested again.

Some notable exits are Betware – now Novomatic Lottery Solutions, Clara – sold to Jive in 2014, Marorka – energy management for fishing boats, and Kerecis – developing pharmaceutical products from fish ingredients.

Norðurskautið covers the Icelandic Startup and Tech scene. Follow us on Twitter or sign up for our mailing list to keep up to date, with Norðurskautið and it’s Slack Community – http://bit.ly/slack-is

Mesher is a new way to shop for clothes online

Mesher is a smartphone app that helps you buy clothes that fit. It uses the camera on the device to scan your body and estimate your measurements, and in turn recommend clothes for you based on fit and style preference using a Netflix-style recommendation algorithm.

The Mesher team participated in Startup Reykjavik in 2014 and have spent the last year developing the computer vision algorithms behind the body measurements. Emil Harðarson is Mesher’s CEO and co-founder. “We’ve also been researching the market and building and testing prototypes. We’ve been studying the fashion industry and started working with brands and websites trying to understand the mindset from their side.”

In addition to calculating your measurements, the app allows you to share your profile with others. “This makes giving clothes as gifts a viable option for the first time ever,” says Emil.

Emil says the team got the idea because they love buying stuff online, but like many people, have had trouble buying clothes online. “We believe that the biggest source of trouble for people trying to buy clothes online is the lack of personalized information about size and fit of the clothes. What size should you take? Are your arms too long? Will it hide your beer belly?” Mesher is here to solve this.

The first version of the iOS app is being beta tested at the moment, and the team anticipates launching the app on iOS before Christmas. “The next months will focus on building, learning and iterating on the product,” says Emil. “Also, we’re looking for good people to join the team, especially software developers.” You can send them an email at jobs@mesherapp.com for more info.

Emil Harðarson and Eiríkur Þór Ágústsson

Emil Harðarson and Eiríkur Þór Ágústsson

Mesher received a $16,000 (~2 million ISK) pre-seed investment from Arion as part of the Startup Reykavik program in 2014, a grant from the Technology Development Fund for ~$78,000 (10 million ISK), as well as other grants.

Norðurskautið covers the Icelandic Startup and Tech scene. Follow us on Twitter or sign up for our mailing list to keep up to date, with Norðurskautið and it’s Slack Community – http://bit.ly/slack-is

Milljarðar króna í nýsköpun: Hvernig virka nýju sjóðirnir?

Í vor tilkynntu þrír rekstraraðilar um að hafa lokið fjármögnun á jafn mörgum sjóðum sem ætlaðir eru til fjárfestinga í nýsköpunar- og sprotafyrirtækjum. Samanlögð fjárhæð sem mun fara í fjárfestingar er 11,5 milljarðar króna og munu sjóðirnir fjárfesta í fyrirtækjum á mismunandi vaxtarstigum. Til að setja íslensku sjóðina í samhengi við fjárfestingarumhverfi í Kísildal, sem margir kannast eflaust við, gerði Norðurskautið úttekt á nýju sjóðunum.

Frumtak 2 Eyrir Sprotar Brunnur
Stærð sjóðs 5 milljarðar 2,5 milljarðar 4 milljarðar
Fjárfestingastig Venture (Series A og seinna, post revenue) Seed & Venture Seed & Venture
Stærð fjárfestinga 100-500 milljónir* <50-625** 100-500*
Sérhæfing Ekki tekið fram Ekki tekið fram hugbúnaður, internet, afþreyingariðnaður, hátækni, líftækni, orkuiðnaður, sjávarútvegstækni og matvælaframleiðsla***
Rekstrarþóknun Hlutfall af stærð sjóðs + árangurstengd þóknun Hlutfall af stærð sjóðs + árangurstengd þóknun Hlutfall af stærð sjóðs + árangurstengd þóknun

* skv. heimasíðu
** skv upplýsingum frá Eyri Sprotum eru fjárfestingar sem þau hafa farið í frá innan við 50 milljónum og sú stærsta er komin í 625. Þessar upphæðir eru því ekki útgefin stefna heldur byggt á fjárfestingum
*** sérstaklega er tekið fram að Brunnur muni ekki fjárfesta í ferðaiðnaði

Frumtak 2

Eggert Claessen. Mynd: Frumtak.is

Frumtak 2 er rekinn af félaginu Frumtak 2 GP ehf. en fjárfestingastjórar eru Eggert Claessen og Svana Gunnarsdóttir. Þau voru einnig fjárfestingastjórar Frumtaks, fjárfestingasjóðs sem lauk fjárfestingatímabili sínu þann 31. desember 2012. Sjóðurinn er 5 milljarðar að stærð og fjármagnaður af tíu lífeyrissjóðum, Landsbankanum og Frumtaki 2 GP ehf. Stakar fjárfestingar sjóðsins munu vera á bilinu 100-500 milljónir  og fjárfestingartíminn er 3-5 ár. Ölll upphæðin (fimm milljarðar) á að vera komin í sprotafyrirtæki á fimm árum. Það þýðir að lágmarki fjárfesting í 10 fyrirtækjum og að meðaltali 1 milljarður í fjárfestingu á ári. Gengið er út frá því að sjóðurinn selji fjárfestingar sínar 3-5 árum eftir fjárfestingu. Sjóðurinn sérhæfir sig ekki í neinni ákveðinni tegund fyrirtækja.

Í samtali við Norðurskautið segir Eggert að upplýsingar um þóknun til rekstraraðila séu trúnaðarmál en segir þó að almennt taki sjóðurinn mið af því hvernig þóknunum sé háttað erlendis. Það gefur til kynna að sjóðurinn sé rekinn eftir svokölluðu „Two and Twenty“ kerfi, eða útgáfu af því. Þar fá rekstraraðilar tvö prósent af heildarstærð sjóðs í þóknun á ári (þ.e. „Two“) og tuttugu prósent (þ.e. „Twenty“) í árangursþóknun, oft kallað „carry“. Árangurstengda þóknunin er þó oft háð kröfum um lágmarksárangur, þ.e. rekstraraðilinn fær 20% hluta af ágóða umfram lágmarkskröfu um ávöxtun.

Eggert segir að sjóðurinn muni fjárfesta í fyrirtækjum sem séu komin af klakstigi og búi yfir miklum vaxtarmöguleikum. Fjárfestingastefna sjóðsins er því svipuð og fyrri sjóðs, Frumtaks. Samkvæmt Eggerti þarf að vera komin “vara (þjónusta), velta og viðskiptavinir” til að sjóðurinn fjárfesti. Sjóðurinn er því post-seed sjóður, og mætti líkja honum helst við VC fyrirtæki sem fjárfesta í fyrstu stóru umferðinni – þ.e. Series A. Fjárhæðirnar eru örlítið lægri en Series A í Kísildal, en árið 2014 var miðgildi Series A umferða þar um 6 milljónir dala og í Evrópu var meðaltalið svipað, sem gera um 800 milljónir ISK. Eggert segir að á Íslandi vanti fjárfesta í sprotafjárfestingar (þ.e. „seed“) í fyrirtækjum sem hafa engar eða litlar tekjur.

Sjóðir sem fjárfesta af þessari stærðargráðu taka mjög oft sæti í stjórn félagsins sem fjárfest er í, og Eggert segir að í fyrri fjárfestingum (þ.e. fjárfestingum Frumtaks) hafi hann eða Svana tekið sæti í stjórn. Það muni að öllum líkindum haldast óbreytt.

Samkvæmt Eggerti eru þau í mjög reglulegum samskiptum og viðræðum við nýsköpunarfyrirtæki og gera ráð fyrir að klára fjórar fjárfestingar fyrir lok árs þar sem heildarupphæð fjárfestinga verður um 1 milljarður.

Eyrir Sprotar

Örn Valdimarsson. Mynd: EyrirSprotar.is

Eyrir Sprotar er sjóður í rekstri Eyris Invest og er 2,5 milljarðar að stærð. Sjóðurinn lauk fyrstu fjármögnun í vor og stefnir á að loka seinni umferð bráðlega. Hluthafar í Eyri Sprotum eru Eyrir Invest, Arion Banki, lífeyrissjóðir og fagfjárfestar. Sjóðurinn leggur áherslu á að vera aðalfjárfestir í þeim félögum sem sjóðurinn fjárfestir í, og í samtali við Norðurskautið segir Örn Valdimarsson, framkvæmdastjóri, að sjóðurinn fjárfesti ekki fyrir ákveðnar upphæðir, heldur komi frekar snemma inn, fylgi fyrirtækjunum og taki jafnvel þátt í seinni umferðum. Eyrir Sprotar segjast vera opin fyrir öllum sprotafyrirtækjum, en hafa þó aðallega fjárfest í orku, líf- og heilbrigðistækni eða menntatækni. Örn segir að þóknun Eyris Sprota sé í öllum meginatriðum hin sama og algengt sé, þ.e. föst umsýsluþóknun og árangurstengd þóknum þar ofaná.

Eins og fyrr segir leggja Eyrir Sprotar áherslu á að gegna hlutverki aðalfjárfestis (lead investor) í þeim umferðum sem sjóðurinn tekur þátt í, en aðalfjárfestir er sá sem vinnur mesta vinnu við fjárfestinguna og / eða leggur fram stærstan hluta þess fjármagns sem fer í fyrirtækið. Oft eru það þekktari eða stærri sjóðirnir í fjármögnunarumferðum sem taka það hlutverk. Sem dæmi má nefna að aðalfjárfestir í stærstu umferð QuizUp til þessa var Sequoia Capital.

Eyrir Sprotar fjárfesta ekki fyrir ákveðnar upphæðir, en upphæðirnar til þessa hafa verið frá innan við 50 milljónum króna upp í 625 milljónir. Samkvæmt Erni fjárfesta Eyrir í áföngum, þ.e. byrja hugsanlega með lægri upphæðir en fylgja fyrirtækjunum svo eftir. Upphæðirnar sem hefur þegar verið fjárfest fyrir gefa til kynna að fjórðungi fjármagns sjóðsins hafi þegar verið ráðstafað í eitt fyrirtæki af þeim sjö sem Eyrir hefur fjárfest í. Því má ætla að ekki sé mikið mikið svigrúm til fjárfestinga eftir, en það mun vonandi batna þegar félagið lokar seinni fjármögnunarumferð sjóðsins. Þessar upphæðir setja sjóðinn í flokk með bæði sprotafjárfestum (þ.e. „seed“) sem og fjárfestum sem fjárfesta seinna í ferlinu (Venture Capital).

Örn segir að stefna Eyris Sprota sé að vera virkur fjárfestir. Fulltrúi frá félaginu tekur sæti í stjórn félagsins, og iðulega er gerð krafa um stjórnarformennsku. Þessi fulltrúi getur verið úr röðum starfsmanna Eyris, úr fjárfestingaráði þess eða utanaðkomandi aðilar, allt eftir því hvaða þörf er til staðar hjá fyrirtækinu sem fjárfest er í. Eyrir vilja taka virkan þátt í mótun stefnu fyrirtækja og aðstoða stjórnendum við að koma þeirri stefnu í framkvæmd þegar eftir þörfum. Örn segir að það sem fyrst og fremst vanti í sprotaumhverfið á Íslandi sé þekking og reynsla í sölu á alþjóðlegum mörkuðum.

Brunnur Vaxtarsjóður

Sigurður Arnljótsson. Mynd: Linkedin.com

Brunnur Vaxtarsjóður er fjögurra milljarða króna fjárestingasjóður sem er rekinn af SA Framtak GP ehf. og Landsbréfum hf. Hluthafar í sjóðnum eru lífeyrissjóðir, Landsbréf, SA Framtak og nokkrir fjársterkir einstaklingar. Fjárfestingastjórar sjóðsins eru Sigurður Arnljótsson og Árni Blöndal frá SA Framtak og Helgi Júlíusson frá Landsbréfum. Líkt og hinir sjóðirnir er sjóðurinn rekinn á umsýsluþóknunum og árangurstengdum hvata.

Í samtali við Norðurskautið segir Sigurður Arnljótsson að sjóðurinn skilgreini sig sem venture capital sjóð, en geti einnig fjárfest á seed-stigi. Samkvæmt upplýsingum á heimasíðu sjóðsins mun hann fjárfesta í 10-15 fyrirtækjum á 3-5 ára tímabili, þar sem meðalfjárfesting verður á bilinu 100-500 milljónir.

Sigurður segir að Brunnur taki að sér hlutverk leiðandi fjárfestis ef svo ber undir, en sjóðurinn geri ekki kröfu um það. Einnig gera þeir ráð fyrir því að taka sæti í stjórn, og segir Sigurður að alla jafna muni annar þeirra taka sæti ásamt utanaðkomandi aðila. “Við viljum manna stjórnir félaganna eins vel og hægt er. Svo getur þetta auðvitað breyst með tímanum,” segir Sigurður.

Samkvæmt Sigurði búast þeir við að fjárfesta í tveimur til þremur fyrirtækjum á árinu, og segir hann að þeir geti óhikað sagt að á Íslandi séu “um þessar mundir nokkrir tugir spennandi fjárfestingakosta á þessu sviði.”

Sigurður segir það helst skorta konur í teymin sem standa að baki fyrirtækjunum sem sækjast eftir fjárfestingu til þeirra. Teymin séu langflest einungis skipuð körlum. Einnig mæla þeir sterklega með að teymi sem koma að kynna fyrirtækin komi vel undirbúin, því fólk fái einungis eitt tækifæri að fyrstu kynnum. Þeir hvetja frumkvöðla til að vera í sambandi við þá ef áhugi er fyrir fjárfestingu, svo framarlega sem fyrirtækin uppfylli fjárfestingastefnu sjóðsins.

30 stöðugildi í tíu fyrirtækjum

Athugasemd: Norðurskautið hafði gert ítrekaðar tilraunir til að fá svör frá Designing Reality, tölvupóstur, sms og símtal en ekki fengið svör. Því var tekin ákvörðun um að úrskurða fyrirtækið sem ekki starfandi, samkvæmt upplýsingum frá Startup Reykjavík. Eftir að frétt Norðurskautsins birtist í morgun þá fengust þær upplýsingar frá fyrirtækinu að þar er einn starfsmaður í fullu starfi. Fréttinni hefur verið breytt til að endurspegla það.

Í ár er fjórða skiptið sem viðskiptahraðallinn Startup Reykjavík er starfræktur af Klak-Innovit og Arion Banka. Hraðallinn velur að vori 10 fyrirtæki eða viðskiptahugmyndir sem fá fjármagn, aðstöðu og aðstoð við að koma fyrirtækinu og vöru sinni af stað.

startupreykjavik-logo-portraitSamkvæmt gögnum Norðurskautsins tók saman um fyrstu tvo árganga verkefnisins eru fjórtán fyrirtæki af tuttugu enn starfandi, þar af fjögur með litla starfsemi. Við skilgreinum fyrirtæki með litla starfsemi þannig að þau séu með færri en einn starfsmann á launum í fullri vinnu. Þannig eru félög með tvo starfsmenn í 50% starfi skráð sem starfandi. Sjö fyrirtæki hafa hætt störfum.

Norðurskautið tók saman afdrif þeirra fyrirtækja sem fóru í gegnum Startup Reykjavík árin 2012 og 2013. Ákveðið var að skoða ekki árganginn í fyrra (2014) þar sem of stuttur tími er liðinn frá því að þau fyrirtæki fóru í gegnum hraðalinn.

Helmingur fengið styrk frá Tækniþróunarsjóði

Helmingur fyrirtækjanna hefur fengið styrk frá Tækniþróunarsjóði (TÞS). Meðaltalsupphæð styrkjanna er $138,800 (jafnvirði um 17,3 milljóna). Fyrirtækin hafa ýmist fengið frumherja- eða verkefnisstyrki. Þau eru öll enn þá starfandi. Af þeim tíu eru þrjú með litla starfsemi (færra en eitt stöðugildi).

Það er erfitt að fá uppgefið frá félögum hversu mikla fjárfestingu þau hafa fengið og því verður að taka þessum upplýsingum með fyrirvara. Samkvæmt upplýsingum okkar hafa fyrirtækin tuttugu fengið $2,288,000 (um 286 milljónir króna) í fjárfestingu og styrki.

Af þeirri upphæð eru um 61% frá TÞS, eða $1,388,000 (tæpar 173 milljónir), 21% frá Arion banka, eða $487,000 (um 61 milljón) og 17,5%, eða $400,000 (50 milljónir) frá öðrum fjárfestum. Öll fjárfesting, önnur en frá Arion Banka, sem fékkst uppgefin var fjárfesting Einvala í félaginu Herberia. Norðurskautið veit að fjárfest var í Activity Stream, en fékk ekki uppgefið hver fjárfesti eða hver upphæðin var.

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30 stöðugildi í tíu starfandi fyrirtækjum

Fyrirtækin sem enn eru starfandi eru alls með 30 stöðugildi, eða þrjú að meðaltali í hverju fyrirtæki. Þessar tölur segja einungis til um stöðugildi í dag og segja þar af leiðandi ekki alla söguna um störfin sem Startup Reykjavík fyrirtæki hafa skapað. Líklegt er að um fleiri stöðugildi sé að ræða ef einnig er talið starfsfólk þeirra fyrirtækja sem nú hafa hætt störfum eða eru í dvala.

Misræmi upplýsinga Norðurskautsins og uppgefinna upplýsinga á vefsíðu Startup Reykjavík

Athygli vekur að þónokkuð misræmi er milli upplýsinganna sem Norðurskautið hefur aflað og þeirra sem gefnar eru upp á vefsíðu Startup Reykjavík. Þar kemur fram að öll fyrirtækin nema eitt séu enn starfandi, og tölur um stöðugildi eru töluvert hærri en upplýsingar Norðurskautsins. En það útskýrist af því að upplýsingar Startup Reykjavík eru óuppfærðar.

„Við erum nýlega búin að kalla eftir uppfærðum upplýsingum frá fyrirtækjum sem hafa tekið þátt í Startup Reykjavík,“ segir Ragnar Örn Kormáksson, verkefnisstjóri hjá Startup Reykjavík. „Við erum því að vinna í að uppfæra upplýsingarnar á síðunni – þær ættu að koma inn á næstunni.“

Svipað hlutfall og í Techstars hraðlinum

Til samanburðar við þessar tölur þá fóru sjötíu fyrirtæki í gegnum Techstars, einn stærsta viðskiptahraðal í heimi, fyrstu fjögur starfsár Techstars (2007–2010). Árið 2014 höfðu 23 þeirra (33%) hætt starfsemi, 26 (37%) voru enn þá starfandi og 21 þeirra (30%) höfðu verið keypt. Það vekur einnig athygli hve stórt hlutfall þessara fyrirtækja hafa verið seld, ólíkt tölunum fyrir Ísland, og má áætla að fjármagnshöft og smæð íslenska markaðarins hafi einhver áhrif þar.

Hlutfall þeirra fyrirtækja sem hafa hætt starfsemi hjá Techstars er mjög svipað og hjá Startup Reykjavík þar sem 35% hafa lagt niður störf. Umfjöllunin um Techstars fyrirtækin byggir á stærra gagnasafni en umfjöllun Norðurskautsins og lengri tími er liðinn frá því að fyrirtækin fóru í gegnum hraðalinn. En þessar tölur sýna samt sem áður að hlutfall þeirra fyrirtækja sem hafa farið í gegnum Startup Reykjavík og hætt starfsemi er ekki óvenjulegt.

Wall Street Journal (WSJ) tók þessar upplýsingar saman í greininni Techstars Graduates’ Survival Rates: What the Numbers Show en Norðurskautinu fannst áhugavert að þar var einnig erfitt að fá upplýsingar um upphæð fjárfestinga í fyrirtækjum. David Brown, einn stofnenda Techstars, sagði í viðtali við WSJ að fjárfestingar og upphæðir flestra kaupsamninga væru trúnaðarmál.

Uppfært kl. 10.55: Startup Reykjavík uppfærði í morgun yfirlit sitt og er munurinn á upplýsingum sem koma fram þar og upplýsingum Norðurskautsins nú mun minni.

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