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Nordic Innovators secures financing from idea to exit: “Our goal is to minimize dilution”


For more than 10 years, Nordic Innovators have been experts in raising soft-funding for startups. Now they have established a corporate finance arm to help startups, scaleups and established companies with every step of their growth journey.

For more than 10 years, Nordic Innovators have been experts in raising soft-funding for startups. Now they have established a corporate finance arm to help startups, scaleups and established companies with every step of their growth journey.

This post is also available in: Danish

Every growth journey is different. Some startups bootstrap their way to success, while others have investors behind them from day one.

That is why Nordic Innovators, which guides startups and scaleups through the many soft-funding opportunities in Denmark and abroad, has recently established Nordic Innovators Corporate Finance (NICF).

The consulting and innovation house has over the past 10 years established itself as one of Europe’s leaders, raising over EUR 1 billion in soft capital. With NICF, they now serve even more stages of a company’s lifecycle.

“The new corporate finance leg represents new opportunities because it gives us a 360-degree overview of the financing of a given company. This gives us the best basis for working with the client to create a strategic funding plan that can combine both hard and soft capital and at the same time dilute the founders as little as possible,” says Jan Rezek, Managing Director of Nordic Innovators Corporate Finance.

At NICF, startups will in future be able to get corporate finance advice and services related to equity and debt financing, M&A and corporate venturing. In practice, this means that startups can now get guidance for every step of the funding journey.

“It’s rare to get full funding through soft-funding. In many cases, you have to cover the costs yourself or match investments, and this will often require external funding. It’s very difficult to scale a business based solely on soft capital, most people need the combination on the journey. And we can now support that journey all the way,” says Kristoffer Riis, Partner and CCO at Nordic Innovators.

Consider all options

When founders start thinking about raising capital, most immediately think about giving up equity stakes on the basis of a valuation of the company. But just as many roads lead to Rome, there are many ways to fund a startup’s growth journey, Jan Rezek explains.

“I often meet startups that haven’t heard of EIFO or all the other opportunities to get capital without giving up equity that are out there.”

When a startup wants to raise capital, NICF starts with a thorough analysis of the company. Everything from funding history, debt to R&D processes and financial statements are turned over and over again.

Norwegian vertical farming startup Avisimo has experienced this thoroughness first-hand.

“NICF is focused on understanding our service and business before trying to find solutions. They have an ability to take on fairly complex problems and work them out in simple and elegant ways. This has been a problem for us in the past, as our solution is quite complex, and we’ve often found ourselves explaining our solution and goals to partners, only for them to come back with something that didn’t fit our journey at all. With Nordic Innovators, we have had the opposite experience, which has been extremely valuable for us and our business,” says Martin Molenaar, CEO and founder of Avisimo.

Timing is everything

In the startup world, when to do what is important. Opportunities for capital can arrive too late or too early, and the landscape of competitors and new technologies can change in a split second.

That is why it is important to know whether to go for soft money or go all out to get an investor on board. In the end, thorough planning comes down to one thing: Securing the best possible capital structure for the founders, Jan Rezek explains.

“First, we need to strategise the project. We do due diligence on the finances, the team and the technology behind it. Then we create a roadmap and map out which financing options make sense for both the company and the specific project. Our goal is to try to minimise dilution as much as possible.”

Nordic Innovators

  • NICF has a strong expertise within startup and scaleup company valuation, which comes useful prior to equity financing.
  • NICF also works as a transaction advisor in preparation for an exit, improving company value overtime and ensuring maximum shareholder value.

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