Many see a huge potential in the Öresund region when it comes to startups and entrepreneurship. Interesting things here happen because of the interesting people.
Jacob Lönroth, whose name is associated with successful companies like TopVisible and Snabboteket as well as with the recent award of ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’, is sure one of those driven and inspiring entrepreneurs that make things happen here. In a chat with Øresund Startups he shared his story and vision of entrepreneurship as well as developments related to his newest venture – Revolt Invest.
JACOB’S ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY
A parallel entrepreneur running businesses for 9 years, Jacob specializes in online space. He started his first company while at the university and has come a long way ever since.
“I’ve been bootstrapping a lot and I had a low salary for a long time. I think you have to experience that to really understand how to optimize costs and what other entrepreneurs are going through when they start.”
In entrepreneurship learning new industries is what drives Jacob. That’s exactly why he is involved with pharmaceutical company – Snabboteket.
“It is essential to know the industry you operate in. Learning from people with background in those industries is the best. This comes from my experience with Snabboteket. I was the one who came up with the idea, but the main reason why the company is where it is today is because I connected with Johan Bergenholtz who is currently the company’s CEO. Because of his knowledge and experience from the pharmaceutical business we understood the market.
One of the approaches that worked for Jacob when building companies is acting fast.
“I think some people are struggling with overanalyzing stuff. Of course, it is needed, but once you have that energy pumping in your body, then you should really go for it. If you wait too long you risk losing the passion and drive.”
And we guess this is exactly why Jacob is currently involved in another new venture. Together with his friend and colleague Jimmy Lundström (see interview here), they have stated a new investing firm – Revolt Invest – where they focus on helping out companies in early stages to get on the right path to growth in the shortest time possible.
“Both Jimmy and I were investing in the companies and at some point we thought, hey, why don’t we do it together? If we do so, we can invest more money and contribute to companies with different expertise. I have a very specific online background and Jimmy has done a lot with software but also a lot with offline sales through partners and expansion to different countries. So we have a very good combination of skills that pretty much every e-commerce and software company needs.”
Revolt Invest focuses on companies in really early stages, basically seed or even pre-seed investment phase where they are also contributing through participation in advisory boards or board of directors. The bottom line is that they are there for strategic support and advice.
“Instead of companies finding out what doesn’t work on their own, we are pointing them in the right direction right away. Our main goal is to get them faster from point A to point B than they could do themselves.”
COMPANIES IN THE PORTFOLIO
Revolt Invest has been operating for 6 months now and has been getting a lot of interest since founders’ network is pretty big within the entrepreneurial community. They currently have invested in and are working with 5 companies.
“All of the companies in the portfolio are interesting in different ways. One of the companies is the dating site Mazily. The team members are awesome product builders and we are helping them how to think and work more effectively with marketing. So it’s a very good combination of expertise. We don’t do campaigns for them, cause then they wouldn’t learn anything, but rather help them how to think and what they should focus on to grow their business.”
Current companies in the portfolio are from Sweden, but if there will be an interesting case from Copenhagen, for example, there won’t be obstacles to invest.
FINANCIALS AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVES
It is still too early to talk about financials. But one cool thing that has happened in this short 6 months is that with the help of Revolt Invest one of the companies managed to triple their sales. In other case, with money invested in one of the companies, the founders managed to buy another company that now has a turnover of 200 thousand SEK (22,500 euro) a month. All are very interesting developments to follow. The plan is to have some stats online so that everyone would be able to track the progress in the future.
Among other future steps is to expand the portfolio and start another company under the revolt brand – Revolt Startups which basically is going to be a copy of German Rocket Internet.
“In terms of partnering up with more firms, we’ve had a lot of interest from other investors who want to be a part of our deals. So we have been discussing if we should set up a fund that we would manage.”
Current work with Revolt Invest is in line with Jacob’s vision of his future. In 5 years from now he sees himself more on investor side, but also working closely with companies in the initial stages and focusing on strategic tasks. This is also the plan with TopVisible’s SEO-software RankTrail that he is working on now. Eventually, he will shift his attention from daily operations to strategic processes.
Without a doubt, Jacob’s energy and cool dynamic approach to making things happen are among important things that drive the development of Öresund region. Thank you, Jacob, for sharing with us and good luck with your projects!
Photo by Christoffer Lomfors
This article is in collaboration with Øresund Startups, originally by Iryna Velykokhatko. Øresund Startups is a news site focusing on startups in Copenhagen and the other cities around the Øresund strait; Malmö, Helsingborg and Lund. It was initiated by Karsten Deppert and covers news about startups and events from the startup scene. You can follow them at @Oresundstartups.