Archive for March, 2012

Some folks may have seen that Lifeline Ventures, i.e. Timo, Ilkka (our EIR and games expert) and I, raised a new seed fund of EUR 20 million. ArcticStartup wrote a nice article on the fund.

For Timo and I this means that we have transformed from entrepreneurs who invest in startups to “entrepreneurial investors”. Semantically this is a small change, but in practice this means that we are now all in with investing, and this is what we do for the next years.

For us the alternative to being investors has always been founding a startup. Roughly a year ago, however, Timo and I realized that we were tremendously enjoying investing in startups and working with founders and their teams. We were also quite happy with our model, getting positive feedback from the founders, our investors and even many established VCs. In addition, Finland had become an attractive startup hub: we had serial entrepreneurs, founding or working for a startup had finally become a viable alternative for top talent, and society at large began to understand the importance of growth entrepreneurship. In the end, the decision to move to the next level, starting to put together a VC fund, felt both easy* and obvious.

*) Raising the fund was a big effort, but luckily we managed to attract very experienced and supportive LPs.

Regarding our model, we continue being first and foremost early stage guys, investing in categories that we know well. We love to invest in angel (i.e. pre-seed) rounds, although we now have the capability to do follow on investments in existing portfolio companies, in addition to making new investments in seed and sometimes A rounds. Furthermore, our experience is that syndication pays off big time, so expect us to continue co-investing with kick-ass individuals and VCs. We have learned a lot from our co-investors, and exposing capable founders to these super-smart folks tends to produce awesome results.

These sure are exciting times.