In the past 18 months, Nordic Angel Program has accelerated the number of investments made in the New Nordic area. As a result, 411 angel investors, including 75 cross-border angels, have invested approximately 3,12 million euros into 18 startups. These results have created true impact in the ecosystems, as more money from new and international angels is circulated into great companies.
Nordic Angel Program (NAP) is an international cross-border training and investing program for business angels, which facilitates cross-border angel syndicates and shares angel investments’ best practices. Led by experienced local angels, NAP offers a unique opportunity to invest as a group in promising growth companies linked by leading startup events in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, and Norway, such as Slush, TechBBQ, Seed Forum and Latitude59. The program is run by EstBAN, FiBAN, DanBAN, BAN Norway and supported by Civitta Eesti and NordicBAN.
Angel investing has been called out for its slow processes: collecting the syndicate, tickets and finalising contracts often takes months, which is a big strain for both the lead investor and the entrepreneur. NAP makes the life cycle of one investment round as quick, transparent and effective as possible. This eases recruiting both new angel investors as well as international investors to join syndicates which has been one of the main goals of the program. Also, having experienced lead angels to guide the syndicate has been in the core of NAP’s success.
“During the initial phase, the lead investor’s role was about identifying the best startups.Later in the process, my role was coordinating a proper and fast due diligence process of the top 3, ultimately resulting in an investment offer to the best company. The best startups out there will get other offers, which is why it is key to make decisions efficiently to avoid losing good deals. Despite the syndicate consisting of 23 individuals, the startup should feel that they are only negotiating with one angel. I believe the main task of the lead angel is to make sure nothing stalls the decision making process, and that decisions are based on a proper level of due diligence”, comments Sune Alstrup, a lead angel of NAP by DanBAN.
The results are clear in providing an example as a functional model. Since January 2018, 1445 startups have applied for the NAP syndicates’ investment out of which 18 startups raised approximately 3,12 million euros. Four additional startup deals were made into the top-runners of each round, accumulating the final investment sum to over 3,1 million euros within 18 months. However, it’s not just the money that startups get, as the CEO of Screenful Sami Linnanvuo, winner of the first NAP by FiBAN, explains: “I’ve learned many things from several of them. Most importantly, we now have access to their knowledge and can ask advice whenever we run into a situation that we can’t figure out ourselves. It’s a safety net of a kind.”
The invested capital came from 411 angel investors who participated in the program. In addition to the opportunity to invest, investors get valuable training in all aspects of angel investment cycle. Structured angel investor education is not common in any part of the world, making the New Nordic area the trailblazer. NAP can therefore be considered a role model or a blueprint for other business angel networks to create their own educational tools. The toolbox on how to create NAP in one’s own angel network is available for professional business angel networks.
The final batch of NAP syndicates are running now. To get more information, visit www.nordicangelprogram.com.
The Nordic Angel Program has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 780747 .