Butterfly Venture Fund III starts investing, two new American partners join in

Butterfly Ventures starts investing today from the new Butterfly Venture Fund III. The target size of the fund is 24 million euro. The fund focuses on hardware and deep tech companies whose business is built around unique, often protected and hard to reproduce technology. Butterfly Ventures is joining forces with US and Sweden based Capital A Partners (CAP A) for the new fund.

One of the focus areas of the fund is research based innovation and co-operation with universities that Butterfly Ventures has established relationships with. The fund is particularly interested in seed stage companies with high growth potential. While most of the target companies will be from Finland, the fund will also invest elsewhere in the Nordics and the Baltics.

The expansion of operations brings into the new fund two American partners from CAP A, Tanya Marvin-Horowitz, based in Stockholm, and David Mendez, based in the United States. One of portfolio companies in CAP A’s Fund I, Svenska Aerogel, listed in December 2016 to the Stockholm First North. CAP A is also a co-investor alongside Butterfly Ventures in portfolio company, Conexbird.

“We are so excited to be working with such a successful and experienced Butterfly team as we embark on our first Nordic-based fund. CAP A has made investments in the Nordics since 2013; however, our partnership with Butterfly establishes a more substantial presence here and provides more resources to help build our portfolio companies into successful global enterprises.” states Tanya Marvin-Horowitz, Managing Partner at CAP A.

With the new fund, the Butterfly Ventures team will have nearly 40 million euro under management. To date, Butterfly Ventures has invested in 40 portfolio companies and in the light of Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA) statistics it has had roughly 15% – 20% market share of all the early stage first time investment rounds invested by venture capital funds in Finland. In addition, CAP A has invested in 18 portfolio companies, 7 of which are Nordic based.

“Butterfly Ventures was the first VC we spoke with. The co-operation started a year and half before the seed investment round. When we needed the funding, everything worked out really fast. It was particularly important for us, that in addition to funding, we got on board a VC who we trusted and with whom the co-operation was working really well.”, noted Toni Linden, the CEO of KNL Networks.

“The help we’ve gotten, particularly immediately after the first investment round has been invaluable. The co-operation with Butterfly Ventures has always been fruitful, constructive and such that it supports the entrepreneur. Whenever I have asked, they have helped us. Therefore, it’s very easy to recommend Butterfly Ventures to my fellow entrepreneurs.”, says Aki Soudunsaari, the CEO of Naava.

A significant portion of Butterfly Ventures’ current portfolio companies deal with deep tech and hardware, such as KNL Networks, Optiwatti, Naava, Valossa, Sarokal Test Systems, Conexbird, Sapotech and Asmo Solutions.

”Of our existing portfolio, those companies who have had a hardware component have developed faster than others. This can be seen both in their revenues as well as valuation. Furthermore, many of our most interesting companies, for instance KNL Networks and Valossa, have research based roots. It’s natural that the focus of the new fund is steered towards this direction.”, states Juho Risku, Partner of Butterfly Ventures.

”The fact that Finland has very good hardware knowledge explains part of it. During the last few years, hardware development has become easier and more cost efficient. We also believe that one of our key success factors has been the very conscious, open and constructive co-operation with our portfolio companies. We have a good reputation and we get plenty of leads through the entrepreneurs of our existing portfolio companies.”, adds Ville Heikkinen, Partner of Butterfly Ventures.

Initial investors of Butterfly Venture Fund III include Tekes Venture Capital Ltd, Elo Mutual Pension Insurance Company, Fennia Mutual Insurance Company, Tradeka-invest Ltd, AI-Partners Ltd, LocalTapiola Pohjoinen Mutual Insurance Company and Gerako Ltd. The fund may accept additional investors until the final closing.

”We haven’t invested in such an early stage venture funds before, but the focus area of the new Butterfly Ventures’ fund along with the versatility of the team and the success of their earlier investments convinced us. We have researched several funds and this was suitable for Fennia’s investment portfolio.”, says Eero Eriksson, Deputy Managing Director of Fennia.

This first closing of the fund is nearly 13 million euro. The final closing of the fund will be done during 2017 and the size will be capped at 24 million euro.

”The rapid start with professional investors who have plenty of experience of investing into venture capital funds tells that we’re trusted. Naturally, the significant commitments of large institutional investors and Tekes Venture Capital are a good sign.”, explains the CEO of Butterfly Ventures, Matti Kanninen, “The success of our portfolio companies has helped also; for example, KNL Networks’ 9 million Series A round, which was one of the largest A rounds in 2016 in Scandinavia, and crowd funding of Asmo Solutions, which was closed just in two days, faster than any other over million crowd funding campaign in Finland. The fresh triple victory of Optiwatti at the nationwide Kasvu Open could also be mentioned.”

Enquiries and additional information

Matti Kanninen, managing partner
Phone: +358 (40) 5455877
Email: matti@butterfly.vc

Resources

Download PDF: EN, FI

Four new investments by Butterfly Ventures – Strong portfolio presence in Slush

Four of Butterfly’s portfolio companies have been selected to appear among the best companies at Slush. Connexbird, Fourdeg and NaturVention were selected into TOP100 early stage companies list and Kyynel into TOP50 growth companies list. Meanwhile, Butterfly has been active also on the investment front. The new investments are Ceruus, Augumenta, Alpakka Media and Asmo Charger.

”It was nice to notice that four of our portfolio companies were selected among the best of Slush. Selection is a real achievement as selections were made from a group of over thousand international startups and only 10% of them are among this elite group.” tells Juho Risku, who leads the startup development at Butterfly, ”Our portfolio seems to be performing a lot better than average also from this respect, as half of our portfolio companies who were available for selection were also picked.”

Butterfly has invested so far 2.7 million euro in investment rounds totaling up to 7.2 million euro. In less than two years Butterfly has found 21 companies into its portfolio and completed over 41 investment rounds into those companies. Companies have been selected from the analyzed 500 companies, out of which 25% have been looked at more closely as investment targets. During the first half of 2014 every seventh early stage venture capital investment in Finland were Butterfly’s.

”Our portfolio has been growing even a bit faster than expected. In a short period of time we have been able to achieve a significant position within the early stage venture capital in Finland.” says CEO of Butterfly Ventures, Matti Kanninen, ”I am most delighted that more and more often the founder team has consciously wanted us in particular as their investor and coaching partner. It is thus likely that by the end of the year the number of our portfolio companies will grow further by at least two or three companies.”

Enquiries and additional information:

Matti Kanninen, managing partner
Phone: +358 (40) 5455877
Email: matti@butterfly.vc

Butterfly Ventures

Butterfly Ventures is an early stage focused startup development and venture fund management company located in Oulu, Finland. Behind the company are Matti Kanninen, Ville Heikkinen and Juho Risku as well as Board members Antti Kosunen, Jukka Mäkinen and Jari Pasanen. Butterfly Ventures has offices in Oulu and Helsinki.

Web: http://butterfly.vc

Northern Startup Funds – Leverage from the EU

Northern Startup Fund is a venture capital fund managed by Butterfly Ventures that invests into early stage startups. It is the first asymmetric fund in Finland. In the case of Northern Startup Funds the asymmetry means that the public investor, which benefits also in a form of tax income, lowers the risk of a private investor by offering a possibility for returning the invested capital and profit share before the public investor. From the private investors’ point of view this improves the risk – return expectation ratio significantly. The public investors in the Northern Startup Funds are the City of Oulu and the European Regional Development Fund (the Northern Ostrobothnia Centre for Economic Development, the European Union). The investment capital of Northern Startup Fund is at the moment 10 million euro.

Resources

Download PDF: EN, FI

Case: Conexbird

Conexbird logo Conexbird logo[/caption]Containers do over 135 million overseas trips per year. During every fifth of those trips something goes wrong, for instance due to container condition, accumulating over 7 billion in damages annually. Conexbird has invented a method to inspect the changes in container condition and its contents within a few seconds while lifting the container simply by touching it. There is no heavy investment required for checking equipment and no interruption nor changes required to handling and logistic chain. Furthermore the cost per check is just a fraction compared to any other method currently available. This represents true quantum leap within container transportation business, not just cost of container maintenance point of view, but also what comes to costs related to smuggling and container security.

Prior to Butterfly’s investment Conexbird has filed the key patent and signed the first pilot customer agreement.

“Our container inspection methodology fits into logistics chain like glove, it will integrate there seamlessly. Furthermore, the investment and inspection costs are only fraction of other methods. Therefore we see Conexbird as an integral part of all container logistics, a market opportunity of several billion dollars. Butterfly will bring us international contact networks that we need and such a unique level of agile business development expertise that’s very hard to find elsewhere.” (Teuvo Heikkilä, Founder of Conexbird).

Butterfly invested into Conexbird because of their clear cost saving value proposition, advanced business model, customer traction and technologically unique solution with strong intellectual property that fits extremely well into existing container logistic processes. Furthermore there’s market opportunity worth of hundreds of millions as well as excellent team with great international contact network. Butterfly’s investment will be used to validate the technology, business model and value proposition with first pilot customers.