The theme of the third panel discussion at BioStock Life Science Summit 2019 was (Re)fueling the unique Nordic ecosystem – corporate finance & capital raise insights. Benjamin Nordin from ABG Sundal Collier, Jonas Ljungström from Naventus, Kristofer Krolak from Vator Securities, and Stefan Lundberg from Erik Penser Bank all gave their expert financial advisor insights on capital raising and corporate finance.
Again, the Nordic life science landscape was lauded in this panel discussion. The panelists pointed out an increase in retail investors, especially in Sweden, over the last 7-8 years and institutional investors coming around to investing in smaller companies just in the last 2-3 years.
Despite the recent rise in companies going public and the high number of investors willing to put their money into Nordic life science, there are plenty of challenges for companies looking to raise capital. Interestingly, while the number of companies has gone up substantially, the number of financial analysts has come down, thus creating a knowledge gap for investors.
A further observation made during the discussion was that the Swedish market has quite a few early stage companies going public. While that’s a good indication of the optimism within bio- and medtech, the panelists, in general, felt the need to raise caution that going public too early is very risky. In fact, Nordin pointed out that too many companies come for financial advice without a good business plan on hand – a bad starting point for those wanting to raise capital.
The conversation ended with the financial advisors giving advice for early stage companies wanting to IPO. According to Stefan Lundberg, a good time to IPO is when companies are able to attract institutional capital, so around phase II. Meanwhile, Krolak talked about the importance of having a solid news flow before going public, adding that market drivers are also good to keep track of and act upon. Good PR and IR strategies also came up as being important assets for raising large sums of capital.
See the panel discussion below.