Leading Danish Startup Investor Bets on Sweden

Northcap expands the investment team with two key people to focus on Swedish technology startups and opens offices in Stockholm and Malmö. The mobile imaging business Scalado stands out among their previous investments in Sweden and was acquired by Nokia in 2012.

Copenhagen, 13 April 2016

Jessica Stark from SUP46 and Kenneth Dambo from Northcap
Jessica Stark (SUP46) and Kenneth Dambo (Northcap)

Northcap Eyes Opportunities in Stockholm and Malmö
The celebrated success of the Stockholm startup ecosystem and promising development in Malmö led Northcap to expand the investment team with two new profiles, Michael Mandahl and Kenneth Dambo, and partner with SUP46 in Stockholm and Dendera in Malmö.

“We are very excited about the level of ambition and talent we have seen so far and hope to announce our next investment in Sweden before the summer.” says Michael Mandahl, who joined Northcap from Nexit Ventures, a mobile venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley and Helsinki.

The number of investments in Swedish startups surged by 150% from 2014 to 2015, which is a strong indicator of a thriving ecosystem and attests to the high quality of innovation and entrepreneurship in Sweden. Out of the 143 investments in 2015, 75% were at the Seed stage or earlier, which creates both a strong pipeline but also a funding gap that Northcap intends to fill.

“Swedish startups have demonstrated an ability to reconcile beautiful design with rock solid engineering that solves real problems. That makes for truly great products.” Kenneth Dambo comments, who joined Northcap from Tofte & Company, a boutique investment bank advising technology startups on venture capital funding and exit transactions.

Northcap invests in technology startups at the Seed, Series A and Series B stages and specializes in business-to-business revenue models within SaaS, Digital Media, eCommerce, Mobile and FinTech.

“The potential in Sweden is immense as Stockholm has established itself as a major hub in Europe. Malmö/Lund also shows great potential with successful entrepreneurs paying it forward and strong talent pools from technical universities and employers.” Michael adds.

Established Investment Team and Offices in Sweden

With the ambition to intensify the investment activity in Sweden, Northcap brought Michael Mandahl on board as General Partner in December 2015. Michael has 25 years of experience building and investing in technology ventures. He served as Partner at Brainheart Capital and Nexit Ventures from 2002 to 2015. Before that, Michael co-founded several successful businesses such as Unusual Systems (acquired by Framfab), IQ-Media (acquired by BMG) and Mobeon (acquired by Ericsson).

The second part of the Swedish team is Kenneth Dambo who joined Northcap as an Associate in November 2015. Kenneth spent two years advising technology start-ups and market leaders on 15+ VC funding and M&A transactions at Tofte & Company and DealHaus. He is an entrepreneur at heart having co-founded three start-ups and developed 50+ web applications to date.

Northcap has entered into a partnership with SUP46 in Stockholm and Dendera in Malmö in April 2016 where Michael and Kenneth are available and eager to meet passionate entrepreneurs.

The Mobile Imaging Success from Lund

The former Northcap portfolio company Scalado developed an imaging technology that dramatically enhanced the image viewing and editing experience on mobile devices solving the, at the time, severe processing and bandwidth constraints. The company licensed this technology to tier-1 mobile phone manufacturers such as Sony-Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung.

“We aspire to grow revenue by a factor of 10 in our investments and take a hands-on approach by assisting the development of go-to-market strategy including sales processes and recruitment. Over the past ten years, we have refined a methodology for growing technology businesses and Scalado is a prime example of this implementation.” Kenneth concludes.

After working with Scalado for ten years, Nokia acquired the company in June 2012 to combine the Scalado imaging expertise and technology with the Nokia leadership in camera devices.