The Finnish Business Angels Network (FiBAN) has conducted a comprehensive member survey that reveals the mindset and trends among Finnish angel investors. Gathering over 250 responses, the survey delved into the demographics, investment activity, experience, and expertise of angel investors, as well as their interest in various sectors and trends. A notable 86% of respondents indicated they are actively seeking new investment opportunities, marking the first time such a member survey has been conducted.

Profile of a Finnish Angel Investor

The survey reveals that nearly 40% of respondents are newcomers to angel investing. However, over half describe themselves as experienced or very experienced, having invested over €200,000 in startups.

The majority of respondents were born between the 1950s and 1970s, though the number of younger business angels is on the rise. Still, those under thirty remain a rarity in the Finnish angel investing landscape.

Around 38% of respondents have made an 'exit' — selling their business or majority stakes — before becoming angel investors. "Our membership largely comprises entrepreneurs or those who have made successful exits, and who have accumulated wealth. Certain age groups are more prominent due to the level of experience they've achieved," says Laisi-Puheloinen of FiBAN.

FiBAN's youngest member, 22-year-old Eemeli Parantainen, initially intended to pitch a business idea to FiBAN but later decided to join as an angel investor. "I'm at the beginning of the learning curve, but my goal is to learn as much as possible about angel investing," he says.

Trends and Sectors of Interest

FiBAN's survey participants are especially interested in software solutions, sustainable development, and medical technologies. "Sustainability themes have gained significant importance. Startups in these fields should definitely consider applying to FiBAN," suggests Laisi-Puheloinen.

Most angels find their investment targets through personal networks or events, rather than through cold contacts. Startups are increasingly expected to have ongoing business operations, as investors seek evidence of scalability before making investment decisions.

Angel Investors in Board Roles

More than half of the members have served on the boards of at least three of their investee companies. "Angel investors want to be involved in the decision-making of their startups, bringing their expertise and networks to help. Studies have shown that the involvement of angels in board activities increases the likelihood of a startup's success," explains Laisi-Puheloinen.

International Interest in Finnish Startups

While most FiBAN members invest in Finland, there's growing interest in international investments. Finnish startups also attract global attention, with FiBAN's membership including individuals from over 20 different nationalities. Some investment opportunities are identified through international cooperation, like the EU-funded 4NGELS program, which attracted 150 startup applications and nearly 100 angel investors from Finland, Poland, Estonia, and Slovenia in its recent call.

Besides the member survey, FiBAN annually collects data on angel investments. In 2022, FiBAN members reported investing €37 million in 248 startups, demonstrating the vibrant activity in Finland's startup ecosystem.