Nov 2, 2015 Jessica Blechingberg
Northzone, established in 1996, is a leading technology investor. Today Northzone has raised over $700 million and invested in over 100 companies. Their current portfolio includes companies such as Spotify, iZettle, Trustpilot, Avito, Tobii, and Spaceape.
Marta Sjögren‘s focus at Northzone is in early stage companies in consumer internet, edtech, recruitment, fintech, security, and gaming. Before joining Northzone, Marta was with DN Capital, where she worked with several of investments in both fintech and music verticals.
We have been exceptionally active since the fund was closed, some 2 years ago. We have invested in over 35 companies, from seed to growth stages. We continue to focus on building relationships with the best of entrepreneurs in the fintech, media, entertainment, deep social, ecommerce, and edtech/recruitment SaaS. Some of our notable investments in this fund include Seriously (Finland/US), Klarna (Sweden), Jukely (US), Kahoot (Norway), Sqore (Sweden), and MarketInvoice (UK).
Game changers are companies that are fundamentally disrupting markets, or building entirely new ones. These companies usually have a fundamentally new way of looking at a problem, and build new, creative solutions.
Game winners, on the other hand, are usually companies that focus on optimizing execution, in competitive markets, where more efficient operations and business intelligence can reap major rewards.
I’ve always enjoyed understanding consumer behavior, characterized through the relationship between lifetime value and CAC, be it in B2C or B2B companies. I fundamentally like product-driven companies, where there is a significant enough vision to disrupt or invent a market. At Northzone, our focus areas develop and change as the market matures, but we try to be consistent with investments in businesses we understand and can add value to through our experience of building companies over the past two decades.
We were blown away by the founders’ passion and ambition levels. The music industry was also at the brink of collapse, so timing (a crucial ingredient!) was also right. It was by no means an easy decision, but looking back, we’re happy we took the leap of faith.
Yes – it’s part of the job!
The most important aspect of a startup for me is the team: how ambitious and passionate is the team? Why have they set out to build this particular product/company? What pointers can I spot that suggest a strong track record, even if not directly related? Do they have complementary skills? Are they aiming high enough? Are the foundations solid?
Three main reasons: strong engineering and design culture; solid investment environment, where success breeds success; “born global” – small home markets that merely serve as a good testing ground.
Keep it simple and concise; be data-driven in your communication. If you’re aiming to meet investors, prepare: understand what areas of focus an investor might have, and target them only if mutually relevant.
I was amazed by the energy that was flowing throughout the event on all stages, and during all events – day and night! Every year it only gets better. I am super excited about this year!
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Fumiko Kato, CEO of WAmazing, is one of the speakers of Slush Tokyo 2018. WAmazing provides a free network service for the tourists coming to Japan. Since she founded WAmazing in 2016, the highly qualified system has been evaluated and the application has more than 80,000 downloads. Now, the service is opened only to tourists […]
Obvious Ventures was founded three years ago on a simple belief that the most valuable companies of our time will be the ones solving humanity’s biggest problems. Today, Obvious Ventures has invested in more than 40 world positive companies. I got a chance to hit up with their Founding Partner Vishal Vasishth who co-founded Obvious […]
Funding Circle has one mission: to become the world’s leading small business lending platform. Since 2010, they have channeled more than $5 billion to more than 37,000 small businesses around the world. This has created roughly 100,000 new jobs and produced an investor network of 72,000 individuals, companies and institutions. Behind this is CEO Samir […]
Leila Janah is the founder and CEO of Samasource, a self-funding nonprofit, which reduces global poverty by outsourcing digital labor to impoverished places around the world, and LXMI, the organic skincare brand. Both companies were recently highlighted on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list. Leila is one of the Slush 2017 speakers and I had […]
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Slush Music is organized on Nov 30–Dec 1 at the Cable Factory and Expo & Convention Centre in Helsinki, Finland. There is only a week left to Slush Music. Get your tickets now! Slush gathered total of 1,700 startups in 2015. This year won’t be any different – except the number went up to 2,200 and […]
Slush Music is organized on Nov 30–Dec 1 at the Cable Factory and Expo & Convention Centre in Helsinki, Finland. There is only a week left to Slush Music. Get your tickets now! Marko Ahtisaari, CEO and Co-Founder of Sync Project will be speaking at both Slush and Slush Music. We had a chat with him […]
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