The state of the Nordic SaaS market in 2023

The State of the Nordic SaaS Market 2023

The financial markets are unstable, inflation is high, and valuations are down by over 50% compared to two years ago. Still, our companies report strong growth, and the commercial markets are strong. How does the market situation impact the valuations of software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies, and what is the outlook for the Nordic SaaS market? That is what we will look further into in this article. 

The new normal is here, and software companies should seize the opportunities ahead.

The global market impacts valuations

Market sentiment affects the value of both public and private companies. We value B2B SaaS companies based on multiples by combining market sentiment and company-specific KPIs. The global market sentiment gives us our starting point in the form of an EV/ARR multiple (ARR = Annual Recurring Revenue). We compare a selection of the most important KPIs of the relevant company to benchmarks and attribute either a markup or a discount based on performance, giving us a final EV/ARR multiple.

While inflation remains a pressing concern, the labor market has remained resilient, prompting central banks to raise interest rates. The result of high inflation and high interest rates means future cash flows are worth less than they once were. As companies are valued based on their future cash flows, the above points mean valuations have taken a dip.

Development in multiples 

In the Viking Venture Nordic SaaS Index, we compare listed Nordic SaaS companies to the Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) Cloud Index. The BVP Index includes the world’s best cloud companies. We consider this to be the best indication of the business-to-business (B2B) SaaS market. We can see the development in the Median EV/Sales multiples for the VV Nordic SaaS index, BVP index, and the individual Nordic countries below.

Nordic SaaS Index Week 24

Right now, the medians are 2.9x for the VV Nordic SaaS Index and and 6.5x for the BVP cloud Index – down from 10.0x and 15.8x two years ago. A pretty significant fall in valuations. It is also interesting to see the variance in the different Nordic countries, where Norway is currently lower than its peers. 

Why the Nordic SaaS market is still attractive

There is no doubt we have experienced a turbulent market in the last 24 months or so, in B2B SaaS especially. Regardless, there is a strong demand for software and a good time to invest in B2B software.

So why is B2B SaaS still such an attractive market? B2B SaaS companies will help solve the global productivity gap. Population growth rates are declining, so fewer people must do more. That means they will be reliant on software that supports work processes. If we look at our portfolio today, we have companies helping solve issues with labor shortages, productivity and collaboration, the creator’s economy, work automation, and supply chain. 

B2B SaaS companies supporting work processes are absolutely necessary for the future to keep global productivity up. 

Increase in transactions in the Nordic SaaS market

Private equity (P/E) is buying public companies while the stock market has avoided tech. The story is the same in the Nordics. In fact, over the past years, four of our listed portfolio companies have been delisted by international P/E funds and industrial players.

Unlike the stock markets, where prices immediately reflect changes in the market, there is often a 6-12 month lag in private markets. When significant changes disrupt the market, it usually takes time for buyers and sellers to find common ground and reach an agreement on price. However, as some time has passed since the decline in valuations, we are now seeing an increase in transactions and a growing convergence of interests between sellers and buyers. 

When should founders fundraise? 

Determining the optimal timing for fundraising as a founder can be challenging. In the current market environment, where valuations have experienced a decline, you might consider that the best option is to wait for valuations to increase again. However, there are better ways to think than waiting for another bubble to emerge, as the likelihood of witnessing a similar surge to what we have experienced in recent years is low. The new normal is here; instead, the best strategy is to raise funds when you have the advantage of not desperately needing them and when money is available.


The Nordic SaaS market in 2023 has been influenced by global market sentiment, leading to changes in valuations for B2B SaaS companies. High inflation, low unemployment, and increased interest rates have decreased the value of future cash flows. However, despite the turbulence, the commercial market is strong, and software companies are still growing. The SaaS market remains attractive due to the need for software to support work processes amid declining population growth rates.

ChatGPT launched at the end of 2022, changing the world and, indeed, the world of SaaS applications in a significant way. We live in a multiverse where the AI wave is coming fast. In our next article on the topic, we will look further into how you can use artificial intelligence (AI) to your advantage.

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