Finansforbundet is investing DKK 75 million in fintech funds
Finansforbundet is placing DKK 75 million in the dedicated venture fund Upfin aimed at emerging fintech companies. The goal is to support the most promising and leading companies of the future in European fintech.
The Danish fintech environment has such strong potential that a large group of investors has decided to make DKK 225 million available for fintech startups.
The investors behind the new fund Upfin include Finansforbundet, the pension company Velliv and the Danish Growth Fund (Vækstfonden). The goal is to support the most promising and leading companies of the future in European fintech.
It is the country’s first dedicated venture fund focused solely on investing in fintech. So far, the fund has raised DKK 225 million from a broad group of dedicated investors.
DKK 75 million of this is from Finansforbundet. That investment is a rarity for a union.
‘We are trying to redefine the role of a trade union. It’s not just about organising members, but also creating good framework conditions for them’, says Michael Budolfsen to Børsen.
He is Vice-President of Finansforbundet and is the coordinator for the investment. Finansforbundet organises both IT and financial employees and fintech is right in the middle and therefore a natural thing for Finansforbundet.
He sees the Danish Growth Fund as an obvious partner in Upfin and Velliv, who they also have a good dialogue with.
‘Our Board can easily see the sense of putting money in fintech to push the sector forward, and they also think it will be a good investment case’, says Michael Budolfsen.
The DKK 75 million is not just an investment. Michael Budolfsen points to a Nordic perspective and investments in fintechs that will have control over sustainability and respect for employee conventions.
Amongst the most digitised in the world
Upfin is headed by Johan Lorenzen, who is the leading partner, and the investment manager Oliver Sjöstedt.
Johan Lorenzen has extensive experience in building and investing in fintech companies, both as an investor, director and chair of several successful companies in the industry.
Oliver Sjöstedt has advised more than a few founders and investors within Nordic fintech and has experience as a board member, angel investor, founder and management consultant.
‘In the Nordic countries, we are known for being amongst the most digitised in the world, and this has also pushed the fintech sector to the forefront with lots of new companies achieving high growth. With increased investment, we can strengthen the development and position, and with a strong network, extensive experience and a deep insight into the industry, we can support and accelerate the next generation of startups’, says Johan Lorenzen in a press release about the venture fund.
It was crucial for the founders of Upfin to find the right investors.
‘It’s entirely unique that organisations such as Velliv, the Danish Growth Fund and Finansforbundet are behind it and that we can thus create a unique investment fund. We are the only ones in the Nordic region who will be able to offer the level of industry knowledge and capital we make available, and there are only a few like us in Europe. That’s why we have the best conditions for making sure that Nordic and European Fintech remain at the forefront and thus maintain growth, jobs and development in the sector’, says Johan Lorenzen.
Velliv has joined Upfin because the collaboration provides a good opportunity to gain access to fintech investments in the Nordic region, by virtue of their close cooperation with Copenhagen Fintech, and thus create good long-term returns for their customers.
‘Investments in fintech are a natural extension of Velliv’s values, where we constantly focus on developing our business for the benefit of our customers. At the same time, it is important for us as a customer-owned pension company to contribute with investments that create growth and jobs in Denmark’, says Christoph Junge, head of alternative investments at Velliv.
- Upfin is Denmark’s first dedicated venture fund with a clear focus on fintech companies in their early stages.
- The fund invests in Nordic and European fintech companies in the seed and pre-seed stages.
- Behind Upfin is a broad group of investors such as the Danish Growth Fund, Velliv and Finansforbundet.
- Upfin also has a strategic cooperation with Copenhagen Fintech, who helped start the fund.
- To date, Upfin has raised DKK 225 million and expects to make up to 20 investments over the next three years.
Michael Budolfsen agrees with Finansforbundet. He calls Upfin the next meaningful step towards the goal of supporting and accelerating sustainable growth and job creation in the financial sector.
‘In 2016, Finansforbundet committed to building a solid Danish fintech ecosystem, and it is thriving today. The next obvious phase is to mature the fintech environment. Upfin combines a healthy and responsible investment case with the opportunity to activate and kick-start sustainable fintechs and workplaces. For us as an organisation, it makes really good sense to create results through strong partnerships like the one we have formed with Upfin’