Our investment in Anyone

Elin Torstensson
Zenith Venture Capital
5 min readDec 19, 2022

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We’re excited to announce our investment in Anyone, supporting the company on their journey to revolutionize how we connect, get access to information and knowledge, and build our professional networks through a simple 5-minute call.

Question: In the last 30 days, how many people in your first-degree network have you called for input or advise? How about your second- or third-degree network?

Please discuss in small groups.

Personally, I sometimes leverage my first-degree network for work, but to a far lower degree than I could. I have a phonebook and LinkedIn full of knowledge from various industries and professions, that I sadly seldom talk to. And don’t get me started on tapping into my second- or third-degree network — ie. people that I barely know. I don’t believe I’ve ever called them.

Why? Because you simply don’t do that.

People are busy. You don’t want to bother them with your time and questions, even if just for a brief conversation. And when reflecting on how many people in my network (not to mention outside it) that’s reached out to me for advice in the past 30 days, that would equal close to zero most months. So, I assume I cannot be alone in experiencing this.

If I really need to get in touch with someone, what normally happens is that we book a lunch, a 30 min video call or meeting, or we email back and forth for a few days. Normally to discuss a question or get input on a topic that easily could have been handled in a much shorter call, even a 5 min conversation.

If only there was a product that would make it okey to pick up the phone and ask someone for quick advice, without feeling bad about it!

Turns out there is. The brilliant team behind Anyone has designed a context where it’s ok — in fact, they’ve even made it the norm — to call someone for 5 minutes in their app. Anyone allows their users, regardless of the quality of their existing network, to call ‘anyone’ for a 5-minute phone call, on a pre-set topic.

Really? You can call anyone, and they are answering? Yes, because it’s only a 5-minute call, on a topic they are happy to talk about as they’ve set the topics themselves. Furthermore, there’s no video, no scheduling, and no commitment. It’s simply a 5-minute call. Plus, turns out people love to give back.

I personally use Anyone a lot for work related purposes. So, for my pre-set topics, I’ve allowed people to call me to “Pitch me your Nordic Seed stage Software Startup” and for “Quick Pitch Feedback”, among others. Founders of startups can reach me for 5 min on my weekly phonebooth time or when I’m online, pitch their ideas, and get my quick feedback.

For pitches that are interesting and fits our investment mandate, we of course set up a second meeting or video call to be able to go into more details. Thus, Anyone is not trying to replace the 30 minutes meetings that of course will continue to take place. They are rather facilitating conversations that would never have occurred in the first place without Anyone, or that would have ended up taking 30 minutes or more instead of 5.

This way, we believe Anyone has the potential to become the obvious complementary tool to existing networking tools used today, reshaping how we build our professional networks.

But what makes Anyone and the future for the company so very interesting, is that professional networking and career advice is only two of many ways the product could and is being used today. Anyone can also be used to call someone about dating tips, for understanding what’s happening politically in a country you’re curious to know more about, or to learn what the hottest restaurant in Paris is right now. The opportunities are endless. Mainly because the product is so simple. I’m going to repeat: There’s no video, no scheduling, and no commitment. It’s simply a 5-minute call. A 5-minute 1:1 personalized call, I should highlight — 100% tailored for your question and need. That in itself is unique and highly value adding.

Internet and the world is overloaded with content today. Just think about the amount of content ChatGPT will produce in the coming days, even hours. Finding more information is not hard, but finding the right information is both hard and time consuming. Anyone helps people get the right, authentic, information at the right time, by simply offering 5 min phone calls to the right person.

We found Anyone through outbound search, and were immediately impressed by their stellar team, led by CEO and co-founder David Orlic with CMO and co-founder Alfred Malmros. The nine people team is based out of Stockholm, London and New York, offering a global product — built by a global team — from day one.

We’re entering Anyone at a time when the company is preparing to open up the invite only beta to the public and start growing the user base fast — leveraging their strong virality and engagement figures. Allowing more and more users each day to get access to people and knowledge they would never have had access to without Anyone.

We cannot wait to be a part on this journey! 

Want to speak to me about this investment, or something else? Please call me on anyo.ne/elin.

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