2015 has truly been a memorable year for FinTech in Norway, with increasing investment activity and attention to fintech as an industry throughout the year. The first notable investment was Encap Security raising €4,8 million from undisclosed investors in February.
Leading fintech investors Northzone Ventures has maintained a steady level of fintech investments during 2015, starting out with a $10 million venture round in Swedish cryptocurrency-startup, Cryex. Following this investment, Northzone reinvested in MarketIncoice by leading a $10 million Series A round as well as participating in a series D round in iZettle led by Intel Capital. Northzone also acquired $80 million worth of stock in ecommerce-unicorn, Klarna.
The summer was a busy period for fintech-investments in Norway. HCE-payments company Meawallet raised $2,2 million in seed funding in July, Fronteer solutions raised approximately $1 million from Investinor and Startuplab’s Founders Fund in early august, Reach savings raised an undisclosed seed round and the Swedish payment corporation Bambora announced in September that they have acquired the Norwegian fintech startup, dSafe.
The banks has also been active in 2015. In the end of May, Norway’s largest bank launched its P2P-payment service Vipps, soon followed by the Norwegian expansion of MobilePay by Danske Bank in August.
Sparebank 1 announced in mid-October the acquisition of mCASH’s Norwegian operation, and will base its future digital services, including mobile payment services, on mCASH’s unique technology. The very same week, Zwipe announced raising $5 million in a series B round from Chinese investors Photon Future.
NFC-based payment company Valyou announced in that they will disband the company and discontinue the service within the end of November. Valyou was a joint venture between DNB, Telenor and SpareBank 1.
During the course of the year, fintech in the Nordic region has gotten a lot of attention from the rest of the world, and 2016 looks extremely promising for fintech in Norway.
Innovate Finance is looking to Norway and both Financial Services Club and Nextbank have established Norwegian chapters. With several additional initiatives and dedicated fintech incubators and accelerators like Fintech Mundi on the way, I cannot wait to see how the Norwegian fintech scene evolves from here.