After Nysnø State Investment Fund entered Amina in a part of the country where strong shipping fund companies such as Easee and Zaptec already exist, it sparked some interest. The new challenger thought shipping boxes had become too complicated, and would instead specialize in making them simpler and cheaper.
Founder Jonas Helmikstøl responded in Easee by saying that Nysnø could not understand what they invested in, that “smart technology” in cargo boxes is the future, and that Amina’s approach will lead to a “race to the bottom”.
Others think, however, that it may have been a smart move by Nisnow. Former StartupLab and now independent investor Kjetil Holmefjord believes there may be room for a number of dropshippers, which means Amina could be a good investment.
He says pricing can always be called into question, but in the case of Amina’s investment there have been a number of other well-known investors, who may also have been involved in negotiating valuations.
– Whether the price is too high or low, time will tell, but it’s natural to think that Easee’s impressive growth has made investors willing to accept a relatively high starting point, says Holmfjord who follows Norwegian tech investments closely.
The last to trust Nisnu’s judgment is former Investinor CEO Haakon Jensen. He was previously skeptical about whether a separate climate fund would be needed alongside Investinor. Now the head of venture capital for the Bertel O. Steen Automotive Dynasty, he has changed his mind.
Shipping technology is an important part of the green transition, and it is only natural that Nysnø is investing in this market. However, I don’t have any prerequisites for evaluating different shipping technologies, but as I know Nysnø, they are qualified to conduct analyzes for this type of company, says Jensen.
– In my opinion, there is an assumption against it that Nisnow and other investors have overlooked important elements in their assessment of this investment, adds Jensen.
need the state
He believes Nisnu is still needed, even though private capital is now focusing heavily on climate investments.
Overall, Nysnø and similar government initiatives play a role as a stable force during economic cycles, to ensure that capital and expertise in relevant sectors are not lost through downturns and corrections in the markets. Although there is a lot of capital targeting climate investments now, history has shown that private capital, especially in the early stages, quickly becomes less available through major corrections in capital markets, Jensen notes.
He believes Nisnu will not be superfluous when “everyone else” is now focused on sustainability.
– Significant funds will be invested in the green transformation, and naturally the country should also have a dedicated investment program for this purpose, have stable framework terms by cycling the market in the form of competent capital available and a reasonable mandate that supports the role that NISNO should play as a partner in private capital.
– Why should companies raise capital from the state fund if they can get the same capital from private capital?
The state and private capital complement each other in this universe. Many Norwegian and international private investors feel positively that the Norwegian state is involved and takes risks with them in cases where technological or commercial risks remain. Fresh snow is also seen as efficient and long lasting. For many investors, especially international investors, it is often necessary for a government investor such as Nysnø to be involved in order for them to participate in the transaction, Jensen claims.
New Snow + Investor?
Many argued that Nysnø and Investinor should be merged, and Jensen was one of those.
As CEO of Investinor, I was asked about this in 2017, when Nysnø was in the pipeline. At the time, my obvious answer was yes. The funds come into contact with each other in a number of areas, and Nysnø’s focus would have worked well with Investinor, preferably as a separate mandate operated and managed by Stavanger, but with common functions and common infrastructure in the form of a financial function, compliance, and regulatory etc.
Today, Haakon Jansen is under more suspicion.
Widar Salbuvik and Siri Kalvig have done a very good job of building a competent organization that is an important cornerstone of the Norwegian ecosystem against climate investments. Given that Nysnø and Investinor are today two well-functioning institutions that are on their feet, the rationale for the merger is less clear.
He would also like to mention that both Nysnø and Investinor are strong forces in the regional financial environment in Stavanger and Trondheim.
It is positive for the investment environment in these cities that companies are allowed to develop and continue to be local driving forces.
Kjetil Holmefjord understands that questions can arise about state joining startups when there is already other private capital in circulation, but stresses that there will be a huge need for solutions within the climate zone in the coming years.
Not only locally, but globally as well, there are great opportunities now as the world moves away from oil to renewable energy. According to the United Nations Climate Committee, the transition is very slow. Holmfjord says the climate problem is so big and urgent that it’s better with a lot of capital than many companies.
Holmfjord points out that many companies in this field will also go bankrupt, but the situation is different now than it was 15 years ago when renewable technology was once a sensation.
– So maybe Nessno should have been bigger?
I am not alone in believing that more money should be spent on changing society to renewable energy – it is necessary and comes with great economic opportunity. Whether more money should go to Nisno or elsewhere, politicians should be allowed to know.
Also read Jonas Helmikstøl in Easee’s article on why he thinks shipping boxes should be as “smart” as possible.
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