Viking Venture is establishing the first Norwegian SPAC

Joar Erik
Picture from left: Joar Welde and Erik Fjellvær Hagen, respectively Partner and Managing Partner at Viking Venture

Viking Venture is excited to announce the formation for of the first Norwegian SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company). The SPAC provides a unique opportunity to invest in larger Nordic business-to-business (B2B) software companies and help them grow. We have already identified over 500 target companies across the Nordic countries and in the Netherlands as possible targets for the SPAC.

Viking Venture is the leading B2B SaaS investor in the Nordics and has seen great results from investing in Nordic Scale-ups and helping them grow from a recurring revenue of typically NOK 30-40 million. The success of portfolio companies such as Mercell (Euronext Growth: MRCEL) and EcoOnline (Euronext Growth: ECO) has proven that we have a lot to offer as an investor to companies in the NOK 75-500 million annual recurring revenue (ARR) range and that is why we have decided to establish the first Norwegian SPAC.

– We see a lot of attractive software companies out there that we think are a great match for us but have gotten to a point where they are too big for our usual investment model. This is why we find SPACs interesting, says Erik Fjellvær Hagen, Managing Partner of Viking Venture and chairman of VIKING ACQ 1 ASA.

Raised NOK 600 million and aim to list at Euronext Growth

Viking Venture has raised NOK 600 million in external capital with the intention of listing Viking ACQ 1 AS at Euronext Growth in Oslo as soon as practically possible. NOK 300 million has been committed by co-sponsor Lugard Road Capital.

– The last nine months we have done four IPOs, and we have seen investor values go from NOK 450 million at the time of investment to NOK 2.5 billion today. Being listed is a great tool to drive value in a B2B SaaS company says Joar Welde, partner at Viking Venture and CEO of Viking ACQ 1.

– We congratulate Viking Venture with the first Norwegian SPAC! It has been a challenging and exciting process, and it was critical for the success to have a first class sponsor. Viking Venture was an obvious candidate with a unique track record in the Nordics and a big international fan base. Ideally, investors would like to see a listing of the SPAC, and we hope Euronext opens up for this in the near future, like they have done in Sweden, says Tarjei Mellin-Olsen, Partner at Pareto Securities.

SPAC – Special Purpose Acquisition Company

A SPAC is a shell company. The purpose is to raise capital, list it on a stock exchange and then acquire one or several companies through a business combination. This way we don’t need to spend time on a listing process post acquisition in order to fuel further growth. SPAC is a growing trend in the US, and we believe this is a great way to help Northern European software companies scale internationally.

Viking Venture will still invest in B2B software companies via SPVs

Viking Venture has invested more than NOK 2 billion in 20 platform investments through the current SPV model.

– We will continue with the SPV model where we invest NOK 100-150 million in B2B software companies with typically NOK 30-50 million in recurring revenue. We do however believe that having both SPVs and SPACs in our investment ‘toolbox’ gives us a wider range of possibilities going forward. With the SPAC we will target companies that have reached more than NOK 75 million in ARR and where we can investments more than NOK 500 million says Erik Fjellvær Hagen.

Pareto Securities acted as sole financial advisor in the process.

Advokatfirmaet Thommessen acted as legal advisor to the SPAC, while Advokatfirmaet CLP acted as legal advisor to Viking Venture.