First North is Nasdaq's European, unregulated, growth market for smaller and growing companies. It is a market that is similar to LSE AIM and ISE ESM markets, and is diversified where companies represent a variety of industries, operating both in the Nordic countries and across the globe.
The First North market is more flexible than the main market with requirements especially suited for growth companies. It allows companies to make business and development their focal points while still taking advantage of all the positive aspects of being a listed company. It is also a market that is a source of equity and bond finance for growth companies.
The First North market runs parallel to the main market, where the shares are traded in a single trading system. It is often seen as the first step into the financial market; many companies move to the main market as they grow and have the ability to adhere to its requirements.
An Irish-based Software as a Service ( SaaS) Company Zutec, which specialises in developing and marketing cloud-based software solutions, primarily directed to companies within the building and construction industry, went public on 15 March 2018 on the Nasdaq First North market in Stockholm and was the first Irish company to do so. Since going public on the Nasdaq First North market, Zutec has raised €5m of new capital, mainly from Swedish institutional investors.
Some other points of interest, arising from Zutec’s experience about this Initial Public Offering (IPO) are the following:
- Zutec is an early-stage company with revenues of €2.4m and profit €633k in 2017
- The Offering to subscribe for shares in Zutec was oversubscribed.
- The IPO process was executed in five and a half months.
- There is a strong demand by investors (who are mainly Swedish) for high-growth companies in all sectors.
- There are currently 320 companies listed on Nasdaq First North and in 2017, 68 companies raised a total of €707m of capital.
- All companies who are listed on Nasdaq First North, are quoted on the same Nasdaq platform as Intel, Microsoft, Cisco etc.
- There is a well-developed investment eco-system in Stockholm in terms of raising capital from Nordic-based Funds, Family Offices and high net-worth investors.
- The Nasdaq brand has a credible perception by partners and customers.
Gerry Jones is a technology entrepreneur, investor, company chairman and independent Non-Executive Director. He is currently an independent non-executive Director on the Zutec Board. You can contact Gerry at 086 242 99 93 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in the posts and comments of this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of the Institute of Directors in Ireland. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author. The content of this blog is for information purposes only and the Institute of Directors in Ireland is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied.