Our Investments in 2019

Ida Åsle
Ida Åsle
Dec 17, 2019 · 8 min read

The past year has been fun and intense for the byFounders team. We've made a total of 14 investments, of which 11 are brand new entries to our portfolio. Ranging from AI-trained robots to computer vision prototyping, sustainability-as-a-service, a global social safety net, automated contract handling and more, it’s safe to say that we’re staying true to our agnostic investment focus.

While more than doubling our portfolio, we've also made follow-on investments into three of our existing portfolio companies to support their strong growth. We've yet to disclose six of our investments from this year, but excited to share the first five with you below 🚀

Contractbook (DK)

Contractbook is a digital contract management platform where modern businesses are able to draft contracts using updated templates, sign them with an e-signature and store them safely in the cloud. The platform also allows users to review, negotiate and collaborate on documents, as well as organise and analyse their signed contracts in order to increase their overview and track their performance. In this way, users can maximise the value of their contracts through their entire lifecycle.

Contractbook's technologically advanced offering makes the team poised to disrupt multiple industries that are still characterized by archaic document handling processes. Seeing ourselves as an active bridge builder between the Nordics and the US, we've been happy to facilitate the connection between this globally ambitious founding team and Google's AI focused venture fund Gradient, making their first investment in a Danish company.

We're happy to draw on relevant expertise from our Collective as well, having Sitecore founder Lars Fløe join Contractbook's Board.

Greenely (SE)

Today, an average household typically relies on one single electricity supplier, although technically they could buy from several companies at the same time. A lack of transparency and access to all possible suppliers result in serious efficiency losses. This is aggravated by the fact that most consumers don’t have the means to conveniently track and monitor their electricity data and prices in real-time. Additionally, consumers don’t always have the option to choose renewable energy.

Greenely empowers people to take smarter actions for a healthier planet by reducing residential energy waste. Its product is an energy management tool and mobile app where households can get an overview of their energy consumption, purchase renewable electricity and get insights on their energy efficiency. Today, Greenely measures the energy consumption of 100,000 Swedish households and have obtained status as an electricity provider. With this investment, they’re looking to expand internationally, extend their product offering and grow their team.

Additional investors include Swedish VC Luminar and angels.

Normative (SE)

With sustainability fast becoming a top priority for any company that wants to stay competitive, there is no denying that reporting on sustainability and governance matters. Indeed, companies worldwide are increasingly required by laws and regulations to carry out and publish these reports.

However, ESG monitoring and reporting is often slow, costly and inefficient. Normative solves this issue by offering a comprehensive tool that is cost-efficient and easy to use, visualizing all relevant data in a verifiable and standardized way.

Normative provides software-as-a-service that plugs into various data — both a company’s internal systems and external databases on the environmental impact of goods and services. It then automatically calculates carbon usage and emissions for reporting purposes. Normative already serves notable clients including Summa Equity, Bonava and Ikano, and we believe we’re uniquely situated to help them land additional clients as well as to spark synergies between Normative and other companies by making use of our byFounders Collective and our portfolio companies.

Other investors in the round include Luminar Ventures and Wave Ventures.

Rune (DK/US)

The gaming industry is growing exponentially, however, this growth is accompanied by increasing amounts of trolls and widespread toxic behaviour. To combat these destructive tendencies, Rune uses artificial intelligence to enable players to find their tribe online. Having both AI experts such as Danny Lange and gaming unicorn founders like David Helgason on board our byFounders Collective, investing in the two MIT-dropouts Sanjay and Bjarke was a no-brainer for us.

byFounders have been a fantastic partner to us as a gaming startup. They were early believers in Rune. They have strong connections in the Nordic region which is home to a vibrant ecosystem of gaming companies and game developers. And they give us access to real founders of multiple gaming giants like Unity and GameAnalytics.

Sanjay Guruprasad, co-founder of Rune.ai

Other investors in the round include Makers Fund, E14 Fund, VentureSouq and the creator of Gmail Paul Buchheit.

Utopos (FI/US)

Early last year we were joined by Transfluent founder and long-time gaming veteran Jani Penttinen as Entrepreneur in Residence. Having enjoyed working with him for some months, we were excited to see him convene an all-star team of other game creators to to bring the casual “old-school” style of games into new, commercially viable platforms.

With their company Utopos, the team plans to release Raivo, an AI-based robot battle game next year. In Raivo, the player collects and trains a team of robots into fighters that will enter an online match against robots trained by other players around the world. These robots are intelligent, learning creatures that are based on the latest AI technology that will battle in the way the player trains them.

While working as an Entrepreneur in Residence at byFounders I had this great idea of gathering some of my old friends and colleagues to jump back to founding a new gaming company. Luckily they agreed, and here we are, making the dream come true!

Jani Penttinen, co-founder of Utopos.

Additional investors in the round include Sisu Game Ventures and angel investors.

Follow-on rounds

SafetyWing’s seed-round (NO/US)

Like co-founder and CTO Sara Sandnes’ so brilliantly conveys in the video from Web Summit below, geographically independent workers is a group that will only increase:

SafetyWing CTO Sara Sandnes at Web Summit 2019

“Social safety nets like health insurance are national and only available in one’s home country and millions are currently left to figure this out on their own — with the majority going uninsured. To solve this problem, SafetyWing is building the first global social safety net: a welfare state on the internet,” co-founder and CEO Sondre Rasch said in TechCrunch this summer.

We’re so impressed by this company’s vision and look forward to seeing their growth going forward.

We like to have a foot in both the Nordics and in Silicon Valley, and in that sense byFounders is perfect for us. We think their project — a collective of the best Nordic founders investing in the next generation of founders with global ambitions — is inspiring. The network provides a big value for us we couldn’t get elsewhere.

Sondre Rasch, co-Founder & CEO of SafetyWing

Other investors in the round include our LP Digital Garage, CreditEase and Sten Tamkivi from the byFounders Collective, having previously served as advisor to SafetyWing. Previous rounds included investments from Y Combinator and Nordic Web Ventures.

Uizard’s seed round (DK)

Uizard accelerates the ideation phase of website- and app design by leveraging machine learning and computer vision to automatically turn simple sketches into wireframes. Hand-sketched wireframes can simply be photographed, uploaded to Uizard and within seconds be transformed into functional prototypes.

Uizard’s unique technology and the accuracy of their toolset is now so strong that they’re in a good position to capture a large market share. Couple that with a strong founding team, and you have the reasons we’ve chosen to double down on our investment in this company.

We decided to extend our collaboration with byFounders because we believe that the way to succeed is to learn from people who did. And ByFounders has a unique ability to connect their portfolio founders to the most successful tech entrepreneurs in the nordics.

Tony Beltramelli, CEO & Co-Founder of Uizard

Previous investors in Uizard include LDV Capital and Nordic Web Ventures.

Simple Feast’s B-round (DK)

We’re excited to continue investing in Simple Feast, a company on a mission to improve the planet and our lives one bite at a time. Consumers are sending a clear message; saving the environment and eating healthy is becoming a fundamental demand and Simple Feast’s fast paced growth attests to this.

We believe that the simple convenience of delivery and preparation combined with the gourmet quality of every Feast meal makes Simple Feast uniquely positioned for success in a fast changing food market.

The round was led by 14W with participation from previous investor Balderton alongside byFounders.

Check out our ten first investments right here:

byFounders

For founders byFounders VC fund investing in the next generation of Nordic and Baltic entrepreneurs with global ambitions.

Ida Åsle

Written by

Ida Åsle

byFounders

For founders byFounders VC fund investing in the next generation of Nordic and Baltic entrepreneurs with global ambitions.

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