Viking Venture invests NOK 10 million in SignicatTechnology company Signicat has attracted NOK 10 million in new capital to continue its international expansion. The capital injection gives Signicat the opportunity to position itself as Europe's leading security portal.
Nordic leader within identity services
Signicat was founded in 2006 as a spin-off from the Norwegian IT company Kantega. Since its start, Signicat has achieved annual turnover growth of over 100%, and has quickly built up an impressive customer portfolio. A number of the leading Nordic companies within banking, insurance and e-commerce use its online service to make their web portals more secure, prevent identity theft and rationalise their business processes by use of electronic signature on agreements and contracts.
Twelve million eID users
There are around 12 million people in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland with access to a national digital certificate or other form of secure eID. Signicat has a unique product – the only one which can support digital certificates in the Nordic region. Businesses using Signicat gain market access to 70% of the adult population in these countries.
"Signicat's identity services are extremely cost-effective and simple to integrate with portals and other software. When the rest of the European countries introduce their own national eID solutions, Signicat will have a product already well-suited to the needs of large corporations with activities in many different countries," says Gunnar Nordseth, Significat's CEO.
International expansion and new products
The new funds will be used to build an international marketing structure and to develop several new value-enhancing services with new applications for eID.
"Signicat's long-term strategy is to become a global presence within web-based identity services. The investment from Viking Venture will enhance the company's position in Europe, which is a major step towards our goal," explains Nordseth.
"We will now focus even more strongly on the opportunities which exist on the major European markets. Signicat has an excellent track record within the financial world, with major Nordic insurance companies and banks on the customer list. London will be a natural place for us to start, as this is one of the world's leading finance centres.
First investment by Viking Venture III
Viking Venture is highly selective with its investments, only investing in a fraction of the companies it considers. This has given its backers a good return on their investment compared to other European venture capital funds.
"We have followed Signicat's progress for some time, and have been impressed by the way the company has built up its position as the leading Nordic security portal. Viking Venture has invested in Signicat because we are convinced that digital identity will play an even more important role in the future of e-commerce, making it safer and more user-friendly, and because Signicat has the best and most cost-effective solution for safe log-on to Internet Banking and web shops," says Joar Welde, a Partner at Viking Venture.
Viking Venture established its third investment fund in 2008 and Signicat became its first investment. Over the next three years the fund will invest in a total of 10 -15 companies.
"We are proud that Viking Venture chose to invest in Signicat despite the global finance crisis at this time, when capital is in short supply. The investment of NOK 10 million shows strong belief in Signicat's products, organisation and future growth potential," concludes Signicat's Chairman, Jon Øyvind Eriksen.
Ownership structure after the investment
After the investment, Viking Venture owns 22% of the company's shares. The rest are owned by the employees (17%) and investment company Secure Identity Holding (61%).
For more details, contact:
Jon Øyvind Eriksen, Chairman, Signicat AS: +47 930 60 330
Gunnar Nordseth, CEO, Signicat AS: +47 930 60 408
Joar Welde, Partner Viking Venture: +47 982 06 930
Signicat is a Norwegian IT company specialising in digital identity. Its main product is the leading European identity service Id.signicat, which makes it simple for customers to offer secure identification and electronic signature. Several of the leading Nordic companies have chosen Signicat as provider of strong authentification and binding agreement confirmation on the internet. The customer list includes If, TrygVesta, SEB Kort, KLP, Gassco, Komplett and the Norwegian Postal Service. More details are available at www.signicat.com
About Viking Venture
Viking Venture was founded in 2001 and is one of the leading Nordic venture funds measured in terms of return on investment. Viking Venture invests in growing companies with international potential, and is a very active owner. The company currently manages three investment funds with a total managed capital of over NOK 1 billion. The newest fund - Viking Venture III – was set up to focus on hi-tech start-ups and companies in growth within electronics and software, oil and gas, plus materials and clean technology. Investors in the fund consist of major players such as Sparebanken Midt-Norge, Formuesforvaltning, Argentum, Gjensidige Forsikring, Jebsen Asset Management and DnB NOR, plus a large number of private investors. The company is based in Trondheim, Norway.
For more details, go to www.vikingventure.no
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