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Spotify-backer Creandum’s latest venture fund among biggest in Nordics

7 May 2013

Scandinavia NordicNordic venture capital firm and Spotify-backer Creandum has closed one of the biggest venture funds in the Nordic region by gathering €135m for its third vehicle.

The new fund will be used to invest in between 25 and 30 early stage companies, with general partner Staffan Helgesson telling AltAssets the technology deals would have a “green dimension”.

He said, “We are opportunistic for the best deals in the Nordic region and beyond, but it is not this capital-intensive idea of cleantech that other investors look at.

“We started to look at cleantech seven to eight years ago but we quickly found that it was difficult to justify investing in those types of companies.

“But we also saw that there is a new generation of businesses in the software space that are focused on energy efficiency and that has been where we placed our bets.”

Creandum entered the space early through its 2006 investment in energy efficient flash server business Edgeware which took place before ‘cleantech’ had really been defined as a theme.

It went on to close its second fund a year later on €80m and has backed 13 businesses.

Helgesson said, “We don’t anticipate being in a place to start selling them for another three years.

“The way to tackle this area is really to have an ear to the track and be the first to see the train coming.

“As a venture capitalist we can’t create trends but we can invest in them early on.”

The latest fund was raised from existing and new investors in the Nordics, the rest of Europe and the US, with the number of limited partners doubling compared to the vehicle’s predecessor.

General partner Fredrik Cassel said, “We are proud and grateful for this firm support from existing and new investors.

“This larger fund allows us to increase our activity level further and can hopefully support building the entrepreneurial ecosystem even stronger.”

The larger fund size will allow it to look outside its traditional Nordic base, with one of the first five deals from the third fund in Berlin, Germany, with the firm also able to provide more capital in each deal.

Helgesson said Stockholm remained a hot-bed of technology innovation, despite it not benefiting from a large degree of government support, with Helsinki taking a leadership in the gaming space despite the demise of embattled mobile group Nokia.

Other previous investments made by Creandum include Wrapp, Appear TC and iZettle.

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