On March 25 SHIFT Investor Network together with Finnish Business Angels Network, Finnish Venture Capital Association, Finance Finland; and company partners Innovestor and Eurofacts; organised a discussion event on the Future of Growth Funding Regulation in Finland at KPMG Helsinki.
The event gathered fifty leaders from the finance sector to hear expert keynotes, followed by a panel discussion with members of parliament.
Attendees and speakers shared a concern that although Finnish companies have managed to raise record breaking amounts of funding, the money does not originate from Finnish actors: “The investments of Finnish venture capital companies have not grown in the same pace as the overall funding. We need more Finnish investors,” says Pia Santavirta, the CEO of Finnish Venture Capital Association.
According to Piia-Noora Kauppi, the CEO of Finance Finland, Finland desperately needs more VCs to complement the funding offered by banks: “Banks are not the go-to actor when it comes to early stage companies. When a bank loans money, it expects the money to be paid back.”
When talking about how to get more Finnish VCs into the market, one concrete regulatory issue rose to the forefront: “If a Finnish trust invests in a Finland based fund it needs to pay taxes, but investing in a foreign fund is tax free. We are blocking our companies from receiving home grown money,” explains Santavirta.
“The growth of foreign investments is a positive signal of the state of our growth companies, but we must also develop our finance ecosystem at home. Finnish Business Angels Network have been particularly active on this front, being the most active Angel Network in Europe,” states Elia Elenius, the CDO of SHIFT.