Pharmaceutical company Florealis just announced it had closes a $3.9m funding round, led by NSA Ventures. Former investors, Einvala, and other private investors also took part in the funding round.
“Exciting times ahead for us, following the addition to our investor group,” said Kolbrún Hrafnkelsdóttir, CEO of Florealis, in a statement. “Our first products have been received very well in Iceland, and we’re ramping up marketing and sales efforts in the Nordics.”
The company, which produces herbal medicines, recently closed a deal with leading pharmaceutical chains in Sweden, that will carry Florealis’ products. The funding will be used to support marketing and sales efforts, as well as developing more products later in the year.
Huld Magnúsdóttir, CEO of NSA Ventures, said in a statement: “Florealis falls well in line with the fund’s investment strategy and are excited to lead a group of investors to this deal.”
The second quarter of the year brings the first funding report we do in 2017. The reason: we only recorded one investment in Q1, so there’s no need for a special report on that. This report also is the first one since we started our big Icelandic startups scene data project which means that the data we’re using now is augmented with data from Crunchbase.
This quarter was much more active than the one before (which only had one investment – Goodlifeme / SidekickHealth), and has the same amount of investments as the year before (Q2/2016).
The main difference between the years is the amount invested; the amount invested increased by over 240%, mainly due to two rather big rounds; Meniga and Takumi.
This leads to a (rather obvious) next chart: the majority of capital invested came from outside the country; around 70%.
The bigger picture
In 2015 we had a big influx of capital; three funds that started and were very active in the first quarters. Those rounds were in general fairly small (never above 500m ISK or between $4-5m) and early stage. As we’ve talked about for some time now, two of those funds have stopped investing in new companies, which leaves only one active Icelandic fund at the moment.
Naturally, the rate of investment will slow down. Hopefully for the ecosystem, the sizes of rounds will increase (because the companies that raised before are raising follow-on rounds). In fact, three of the four companies that raised money in Q2 2017 had at least 2 funding rounds before the one they announced this quarter.
There are also some interesting takeaways in regards of the capital coming in. It’s mostly foreign – when our startup companies need growth money they venture abroad to get it. Which makes complete sense; the Icelandic funds aren’t big enough to be able to go as big as the bigger foreign funds.
Fintech company Meniga just announced a €7.5m funding round led by Nordic investment fund Industrifonden. Previous investors – Velocity Capital, Frumtak Ventures and Kjölfesta – also participated in the round.
“Today’s banks are under pressure to innovate and improve their customer experiences online and yet they are beholden to legacy processes and legacy systems and are usually ill equipped to provide their customers with world class user experience in digital banking,” Meniga co-founder and CEO Georg Ludviksson tells me.
“Meniga has built a reputation as a strong innovation partner to banks and its software solutions help some of the world’s largest banks utilise their data to make their online and mobile banking more personalised and inspiring”.
Ludviksson’s coining of Meniga as an “innovation partner” to banks isn’t simply startup speak, nor is it bluster (the Meniga founder talks in soft, considered Icelandic tones). The company holds five-day onsite design sprints with its banking clients, and last year it conducted more than 80 user testing sessions in four countries — again, many of them in partnership with the banks.
Mint Solutions, along with partners in Belgium and the UK, has received a €2.4m grant from the EU’s Horizon 2020 Fast Track to Innovation. Total cost of the project, including contribution from partners, is €3m.
Frumtak Ventures just announced a $1.5m investment into Goodlifeme AB, maker of Sidekick Health. Other participants in the round include Tennin ehf. and other investors.
“This investment gives our team of physicians, psychologists, public health professionals and game developers the opportunity to deepen SidekickHealth’s global reach, particularly in the United States,” said TryggviThorgeirsson, co-founder and CEO of Goodlifeme said in a statement.
Sidekick Health is a lifestyle companion app, utilizing insights from behavioral economics, artificial intelligence, and evidence based guidelines from the US CDC, to enhance the effectiveness of lifestyle education and coaching.
According to the statement, the app has shown great benefit to its users:
To date, companies and health organizations that have augmented in-person Diabetes Prevention Programs (DPPs) and employee fitness initiatives with SidekickHealth have seen an 82% retention rate among participants over a 4-month period, 76% increase in participant weight loss, and a 65% reduction in soda consumption.
Eggert Claessen, managing partner of Frumtak Ventures: “SidekickHealth’s solution … presents a significant opportunity to positively impact the wellbeing of employees and patients, while also reducing health-related overhead costs for enterprise companies and organizations globally.”
Picture is of Sidekick Health co-founders Tryggvi Þorgeirsson and Sæmundur Oddsson.
Mint Solutions, developer of the medication safety system MedEye, just announced a €5m Series B round led by Brabant Development Partners and LSP (Life Sciences Partners), and Seventure Partners. Other shareholders, including Icelandic NSA Ventures, and smaller private shareholders, also participated in the round.
“This investment comes at a crucial time for our MedEye product,” Gauti Reynisson, CEO of Mint Solutions said in a written statement. “We are experiencing strong demand from Dutch hospitals and we see ample growth opportunity in other care segments, including long-term care, as well as international markets.”
Mint Solutions is an Dutch-Icelandic company that was established to improve medication safety. It’s main product, MedEye, uses computer vision to ensure that patients get the right medication, in the right dosage, at the right time.
Greenqloud, the maker of cloud management software Qstack, just announced a $4m investment from investor Kelly Ireland. Kelly will join the board of directors of the company. This was announced by Viðskiptablaðið today, and Kelly on Twitter a week ago.
In a conversation with Viðskiptablaðið, Jónsi Stefánsson CEO of Greenqloud said this was a very important partnership. “We are moving into the American market, and partnering with a seasoned expert in the technology industry is very good for us,” Jónsi said (translated from Icelandic).