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2. Introduction

2.1 Project background and objectives

The Nordic Health Tech sector has experienced significant attention in recent times and has become one of the most important industries for the Nordic Venture Ecosystem, in terms of venture capital investments and in terms of strategic importance for each Nordic country. As an intersection of technological advancement and healthcare needs, in an era of aging populations and increasing chronicle diseases, it offers a plethora of opportunities for innovation, growth, and investment that many different types of investors can benefit from.
In spite of this, the general perception for many founders and stakeholders in the Nordic Health Tech industry is that there is an overall lack of available capital for health tech and med tech companies and that there is a lack of enough specialised investors investing in Nordic Health Tech. The aim of this report is to address and analyse some of these assumptions by understanding investors perspectives of the Nordic Health Tech sector and of the investment opportunities emerging from it. This report tries to understand who are the main investors investing in Nordic Health Tech, what are their main investment patterns and what are the main investment risks they perceive from investing in the sector. Furthermore, the report tries to identify what are the main strengths and challenges of the Nordic Health Tech Sector, what are the main barriers preventing more investments into Nordic Health Tech companies and what can be done to attract more investments in the space.
This report offers valuable insights to government officials, investors, and health tech founders to take action and to contribute in the development of a stronger Nordic Health Tech ecosystem. This report also aims to attract new stakeholders into the space, such as new investors and entrepreneurs, to inspire the Nordic ecosystem to develop and provide better support schemes to investors and startups operating in the field, and to reinforce the public and corporate engagement and contribution to Nordic health tech. This report also hopes that more research and explorations can be done to better understand some of the findings of this report and how to better support the development of a common Nordic venture capital market and the closing of the funding gap for all companies in the region.
Venture Challenge wants to sincerely thank all investors that accepted to be part of the survey and the interviews, as well as the main project partners that enabled all Nordic investors ecosystems to be equally represented in this report: Startup Norway (Norway), Klak (Iceland), Canute (Denmark), Nordic Node (Sweden), Helsinki Partners (Finland). Finally, we want to thank Nordic innovation for their role in developing a more integrated and unified Nordic Venture ecosystem, for their active work in promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and investments in Nordic Digital Health, Med Tech, Bio Tech and Life Science, and for their continuous efforts to improve healthcare and access to health, not only for the Nordic population, but potentially for the larger global population as a whole. 

2.2 Scope of the Report

This report dives into a comprehensive analysis of the Nordic Health Tech sector from the perspective of one of its main stakeholders: the investors. While a project trying to understand the perception of investors has the potential to explode in terms of scope and depth, there are specific research topics that we aim to answer in this report. These topics can be broken into three themes: Investments, Funding, and Ecosystem, each containing their own areas of interest.
On investments
  1. How does the current levels of investments look like for Nordic Health Tech companies?
  2. Who is investing in Nordic Health Tech and how do they typically do it?
  3. What are the main barriers preventing investors from investing in Nordic Health Tech?
  4. What can be done to overcome these barriers and attract more capital into Nordic Health Tech?
On funding
  1. Is the level of funding for health tech startups sufficient in the Nordics?
  2. Which sectors and stages get more funding?
  3. Which Nordic countries get more funding or are leading in Health Tech?
On Ecosystem and Region
  1. How is the Nordic Health Tech ecosystem perceived?

2.3 Methodology

Survey method

In order to evaluate the perception of investors about the attractiveness of investing in Health Tech in the Nordics a survey carried out. This survey was designed in a dynamic way so that different respondents with different profiles were asked questions that were appropriate to them. Overall, four profiles were created based on two traits; location (Nordic vs. Non-Nordic) and investment in Nordic health tech (currently invests in health tech vs. doesn't have any investment in Nordic health tech yet).  Overall, 120 investors filled out the survey. Of these investors:
Type of investor
% respondents
Investors could choose more than one
Angel Investor
Venture Capital
Family Office
Private Equity
Incubator / Accelerator
State Investor
  • Most of them identified themselves as Angel Investors, Venture Capitalist or Family Offices.
  • 70% were early-stage investors that invest in pre-seed and seed.
  • 70% were generalist investors and 30% were health tech focused investors
  • 80% were investors based in the Nordics, and 20% based outside the Nordics.
  • Within the Nordics, all 5 Nordic countries were evenly represented with Norway being the most represented and Finland being the least.

Interview method

To complement the data gathered through the survey, a total of 25 interviews were conducted.  For each Nordic country, 5 public and private investors with prior investments or focus in Health Tech were selected to be interviewed. The purpose of these interviews was to define the scope of the report, get more detailed qualitative data, and understand and analyze the results of the survey. Furthermore, several startups as well as Health Tech ecosystem players, such as incubators and clusters, were invited to participate in the project and provide input on the focus of the report and the interpretation of some of the findings.

Data gathering and reviewing

Additionally, the survey and interviews were combined with desk research on sample data from Nordic9 and PitchBook, as well as Medicon Valley Alliance Reports on Nordic Health.  This project has also used previous Nordic Innovation reports on Nordic Health Tech.

Report scope and limitations

This report aims to understand better how investors perceive the Nordic Health Tech sector. Just like any study, we must acknowledge certain constraints that limit the broadness of our analysis, subsequently impacting the applicability of our findings. To provide clarity on the scope of this report, we've outlined some limitations that should be taken into consideration when utilizing its insights for decision-making:
  • Diverse Ecosystem: The Nordic Health Tech landscape is teeming with diverse stakeholders. This report specifically centers on the perspective of investors. However, it's crucial to recognize that other stakeholders may influence our findings, even though they aren't addressed within this study.
  • Representation Disparity: Our research uncovered disparities in the representation of different investor groups. This bias in data may either favor overrepresented groups or yield insufficient data for underrepresented ones, making it challenging to derive robust conclusions.
    • Overrepresented: Early Stage Investors, Nordic Investors, Generalist investors
    • Underrepresented: International Investors, Specialist Health Tech investors, and Investors who do not typically invest in healthcare.
  • Definition Variability: Health Tech and its sub sectors lack a standardized definition. This means that different respondents may provide varying answers, even if they essentially refer to the same concept.