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Tor Ole Rognaldsen, Head of Venture, BTO
Tor Ole Rognaldsen, Head of Venture, BTO. Photo: Camilla Waage, C Foto

BTO to invest five million NOK in pre-seed

Innovation Norway has renewed its confidence in BTO and we are again picked out to invest pre-seed-capital. This time we will be able to invest 5 million NOK in exciting start-ups.

Innovation Norway has picked 16 investment environments across the country to invest 50 million NOK. It is the fourth time BTO has been chosen by Innovation Norway to invest pre-seed-capital. BTO will be able to invest 5 million NOK into exciting start-ups.

BTO have had great experience with the scheme and was in 2017 the first investor to sell of stocks from money that had been invested through the pre-seed scheme.

– The funds will be invested following the annual Demo Day in mid February 2019. There, innovative companies from the west coast of Norway will be able to pitch their ideas to an exclusive group of investors who have a proven record in early stage investing. Some of these companies are teams with ideas, spinning out from research institutions, and some are entrepreneurs residing in BTOs incubators or with our partners, says Tor Ole Rognaldsen, Head of Venture, BTO.

-This year Tripod Capital Collective will attend the Demo Day with their own dealflow and investment group as a special partner to BTO, after also receiving 3.000.000 NOK pre-seed funding from the same scheme, states Rognaldsen.

Pre-seed makes a difference

The task of the pre-seed-scheme is to give start-ups easier access to capital and competence, preferably from business-angels-investors. The pre-seed-capital goes through intermediaries like BTO, who borrows the money from Innovation Norway to invest in start-ups. The premise is that the companies collects at least as much money from other investors.

– Pre-seed capital from Innovation Norway needs to be invested at the same terms, minimum 1:1 ratio with private investors, and minimum 500.000 NOK, maximum 3.000.000 per company, says Rognaldsen.

For years, Norwegian start-up companies that needed capital to grow experienced close to a capital drought. It was difficult to mobilize private investors to take risks in new knowledge-intensive industries. The governmental pre-seed-capital scheme has made a great difference. Since it’s start in 2016, 126 million NOK in pre-seed money have been invested in start-up companies through the scheme, and these have triggered 460 million NOK in private investments.

The Government decided in 2015, after pressure from the Liberal Party (Venstre) and Terje Breivik, to create a pre-seed capital scheme to encourage private investors to invest in new and innovative industries.

You can read Innovation Norways press release here.