A word from the CEO

A word from the CEO

The role of Saminvest as an anchor investor in privately managed venture capital funds is still important, which was also evident in the past year when Saminvest was an early investor in five new funds. The world economy in 2023 faced significant challenges, with war in our near area, high inflation and a high interest rate situation, which has made it difficult to access risk capital, negatively affected risk appetite and caused the transaction market to be slowed down significantly.

Since its inception seven years ago, Saminvest has committed almost 4,800 million kronor in 24 funds and 12 angel investment companies, with a geographical spread from Luleå in the north to Malmö and Lund in the south. Together with private investors, Saminvest has contributed to more than 540 innovative companies receiving venture capital, which has enabled approximately 4,400 Swedish jobs. In addition, there have been successful divestments of the previously directly owned holdings, whose capital can now be used for fund investment activities. All in all, a solid foundation has been laid during these years. As the newly appointed CEO, I look forward to continuing to develop the business together with my employees.

During the past year, Saminvest committed approximately 760 million kronor to five funds focused on investments in life science and tech, as well as a new area in impact with so-called outcome-based contracts. There is an increasing element of specialization in the funds’ investment orientations, which is an interesting development of the ecosystem. At the end of the previous year, approximately half of Saminvest’s committed capital was to funds with a technology focus, just under a third to life science funds and the remainder to funds with a climate and impact focus.

The difficult state of the world economy has caused significant challenges to raise capital for funds during the year, which has resulted in funds taking longer time to raise capital for their first close. This is also confirmed by Saminvest’s investment indicator, which is one of several tools to facilitate our assessment of where the capital is most useful. The outcome from the investment indicator shows that it is challenging to raise capital in most phases and most sectors, which is why Saminvest’s role as an anchor investor remains significant.

Saminvest’s mission includes contributing to developing the risk capital market and its ecosystem throughout the country. As a part of this work, Saminvest has been an anchor investor and started a new business angel program and a new business angel company, Kick Capital I, in south-eastern Sweden together with Blekinge Business Incubator where also the incubators Företagsfabriken in Växjö and Kalmar Science Park are incorporated. Furthermore, Saminvest together with Uppsala Innovation Center has launched the second generation angel investment company Linnéa Capital II. At the end of the year, a milestone was also achieved when the first divestments were carried out in two portfolio companies with selected business angels.

Saminvest works for increased gender balance within both funds and business angel programs. The proportion of women in the investment teams increased slightly during the year from 33% to 34%. The number of female CEOs in the funds’ portfolio companies increased from 17% to 19%. The number of female business angels during the year amounted to 111, or 28% of the total number of business angels, which is the same figure as in 2022. More female business angels and CEOs in the portfolio companies will over time have a positive impact on the proportion of women in the investment teams.

Developments in sustainability are moving at a rapid pace, which is also reflected in dialogues with the fund teams, and the ambitions are gradually being turned up. Saminvest encourages the funds to quantify the impact of their investments on the sustainable development goals according to the UN’s Agenda 2030, and the percentage of funds that do so has increased during the year.

A further four direct investments have been divested during the past year, and of the original portfolio of 67 holdings, only one holding remained at the end of the year.

During the year, Saminvest’s strategic goals for sustainable value creation have been adjusted so that they extend to the year 2033 and a new target level has been set for committed capital. This is completely in line with Saminvest’s mission to strengthen the Swedish ecosystem for risk capital and enable innovative early-stage companies to have long-term access to venture capital. Saminvest is well equipped to act as an anchor investor in the coming years as well.

March 2024, Magnus Skåninger, CEO