Petri Laine is Managing Partner at Innovestor Ventures, a venture capital arm of Innovestor Group. He has been working with high-growth companies for 20 years and prior to joining Innovestor he built Finland’s largest venture portfolio covering all fields of technology, making 200+ investments over a period of 10 years.
What kind of companies are you and your colleagues focusing your investments on? And what stages?
“Innovestor invests in all fields of technologies. Life science, medtech and health are some of the areas we are active, and the current portfolio is approximately 25 companies. We have in our portfolio hardcore drug development as well as diagnostics and medical devices. Our initial investments have always been relatively early phase investments, but not seed.”
What are some of your basic criteria to invest capital in a company? What factors do you consider especially important?
“We want to see solid science and research behind the project that usually also entails that the teams – we always invest in teams instead of one wo(man) projects – have good networks in their professional field. Syndication is also important for us. Good syndicates increase the likelihood of success.”
Could you give an example of a common mistake among startups?
“Underestimating costs. You should always budget for unseen delays or extra costs. Stakeholder management is also important. It is much easier to go for additional funding if you have kept your stakeholders and investors informed transparently about where your company is. Especially about the bad news.”
Could you mention a current strength or trend among Finland’s life science companies?
“Universities have invested a lot in developing their business support systems. New novel treatments e.g., in oncology are interesting. A good example of that is Tenboron.”
What advice do you have for small and mid-sized life science companies looking to raise capital?
“Go out early. Go to events and meet people. Fund raising requires a lot of leg work and you ought to reserve enough time and resources for that.”