Two notes on the funding report (from the Memo)

This post is from the Northstack Memo, our newsletter and commentary on recent happenings in the Icelandic startup ecosystem, written by @kiddiarni.

Last week we published our quarterly funding report (read it here) where we looked at investments and exits in Q3 2017. This Memo will be short and sweet.

Another top tier VC invests in Iceland

Index Ventures, arguably the top European VC firm, invested for the first time in Iceland this quarter. This adds Index to a (small but) growing list of top tier VC firms that have participated in Icelandic companies. Other’s are most notably Sequoia that invested in QuizUp and WuXi NextCODE (gray area whether it should be counted as an Icelandic investment, I didn’t in the report, but it’s one we should remember anyways), and New Enterprise Associates, that invested in CCP in 2015. This is also second time that Thor Fridriksson (co-founder Teatime Games) brings a top tier VC firm to Iceland (last time was Sequioa).

The significance is in my mind, obvious. Being in Iceland is not a barrier to international investors. Yes, teams need luck and connections, but getting international money is possible.

Also, now that there are two (kindof) investments from Sequoia in Iceland, we’re most definitely the most often Sequoia funded country in the world (per capita).

The QuizUp effect is showing

Two out of three investments this quarter were into companies founded by ex-QuizUp people. Viska Learning was founded by Vala Halldórsdóttir (ex-CRO & Editor in Chief), Stefanía B. Ólafsdóttir (ex Head of Data) and Árni Hermann Reynisson (ex VP Engineering). Note: Their first employees are also ex-QuizUp.

Teatime Games was founded by Thor Fridriksson (ex-CEO), Ýmir Örn Finnbogason (ex-CFO), Gunnar Hólmsteinn Guðmundsson (ex-COO) and Jóhann Þ. Bergþórsson (ex-CTO).

In addition to that, another ex-QuizUp founded company – Takumi – raised a Series A round earlier this year. That brings the QuizUp related rounds to 3 (out of 8 tracked) this year.

(Note: Yes, I’m obviously biased because I worked at QuizUp and they’re all my friends. However, I still find it an interesting datapoint of an effect I discussed in an earlier post).