35bn SEK to Swedish life science in the past 5 years – with Therapeutics most visible in stock markets and Healthtech drawing VCs



The period 2015-2019 has been a busy, and expansive one for Swedish life science companies, according to data analysed by Industrifonden. Swedish life science companies raised an impressive 35 billion SEK over the period.

Industrifonden’s just-released Life Science Report, based on fresh data and analysis examines the flows of capital to Therapeutics, Healthtech, Diagnostics, and Medtech companies from 2015 to 2019. Of the 35bn SEK total, the stock market represented the main source of financing, contributing 75%, or 26bn SEK of the total. Venture Capital firms, including Industrifonden, contributed 7bn SEK, or 22 % of the total.

New stock market listings (IPOs) peaked in 2017: 15 life science companies went public, raising just shy of 3.5 bn SEK of the 8.4 bn SEK raised through IPOs over the past 5 years. The number of companies listed through an IPO has since declined, with 10 IPOs (worth just under 2bn SEK) in 2018 and 5 IPOs (just under 1bn SEK) in 2019.

Follow-on public offerings (FPOs) reached new highs in 2019, raising 7.2bn SEK, primarily on the Nasdaq main market and First North. Therapeutics was the main area of both IPO and FPO investment in the past 5 years.

Jonas Jendi, Investment Manager at Industrifonden, and co-author of the report, commented on the numbers: “We have a unique range of publicly traded life science companies on the Stockholm markets, from very early companies raising modest amounts to substantial ventures, already internationally recognized. We see a recent slow-down in the addition of new companies, but this from a high level. The public markets, including the smaller platforms, play a key role in the Swedish eco-system of funding early stage life science investments. Almost all of these companies will need to raise more capital as they expand, so it is not surprising to see how the amounts of the follow-on offerings keep growing.”

Venture Capital life science funding in the Nordics was most active in Sweden (49%) and Denmark (32%), with companies raising 7bn SEK and just shy of 5bn SEK respectively. Industrifonden, Healthcap, Novo Seeds, Lundbeckfonden and Sunstone were the top five specialized life science investors in Sweden between 2018-2019.

The large investments in consumer-facing digital health companies such as KRY contributed to Healthtech ruling the roost in attracting Swedish capital, attracting 41% of the total, followed by Therapeutics (39%). Medtech and other companies, including Diagnostics/IVD and R&D Tools, together attracted 20% of the total. Jonas Jendi explained: “the numbers are driven by substantial investments in HealthTech from VC funds with more of a tech profile, as the sector boundaries blur with rapid innovation”.

The 2020 Industrifonden Life Science Funding report analyses funding trends in life science across the period 2015-2019. It covers funding across the life cycle, from grants, to incubator and angel funding, on to venture capital and the stock markets; the amounts increase for each step.

For inquiries, please contact Jonas Jendi, Investment Manager at Industrifonden, and co-author of the report.