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Helsinki Aims to Become Hotspot for International VCs

by Pieter Werner

Helsinki is emerging as a prominent destination for venture capital (VC) investment and startups, especially as the global VC landscape looks for recovery from a notable downturn. Recognized for high-profit investments, strategic location, and strong support infrastructure, Helsinki is attracting international venture capitalists.

Throughout 2023, numerous global VCs established their operations in Helsinki, drawn by the city’s advantages. Tian Yu, Senior Advisor at Helsinki Partners, emphasizes Helsinki’s appeal, citing the city’s regulatory stability, business-friendly environment, innovation culture, and proficiency in English. Helsinki’s prowess in digitalization and green transition is particularly notable, offering a conducive environment for both early and late-stage ventures.

The Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA) also shares a positive outlook on Helsinki’s ecosystem. Jonne Kuittinen, Deputy Chief Executive at FVCA, points out that Finland has maintained robust early-stage funding and has developed a mature startup ecosystem over the past decade. Successful exits and global growth stories have cultivated a pool of experienced entrepreneurs who are actively investing and building new European tech companies.

One of the notable new entrants in Helsinki is Antler, a global investor with ambitious plans to establish 50 new companies in Finland through its residency program. Jussi Kallasvuo, a partner at Antler, highlights Helsinki’s entrepreneurial spirit, technological expertise, and forward-thinking mindset as key factors in creating a thriving environment for investment and startups. Antler’s residency program attracts significant international talent, with half of the applicants being expatriates.

Domestic funds in Finland have also shown impressive growth, with Finnish VC funds raising a historic €265 million in the first half of 2023. This period also saw the entrance of new international investors and the launch of various new funds. Notable names include Kvanted, focusing on industrial tech investment, Finnish-American Failup Ventures, and Greencode Ventures, a digital-first green transition investor. Established firms like Lifeline Ventures, Voima Ventures, IPR VC, and Nordic Ninja announced new funds as well. The past five years have seen the formation of 15 new VC teams in Finland.

The year 2024 looks promising for Helsinki in the venture capital and startup arena. The city has laid a solid foundation, attracting both established and emerging VC firms, and facilitating foreign VCs setting up in Finland. Helsinki Partners plays a pivotal role in supporting new businesses in the city. This support, combined with Helsinki’s quality of life, marked by its clean environment, high education standards, and robust healthcare system, makes it an attractive destination for professionals and their families.


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