Nyfikna Investerare (‘Curious Investors’) was founded in 2021, and since then our team has gone through over 100+ startup pitch decks in our screening process. In the first year of launching, seven out of ten early-stage startups received investment via the angel business network, including femtech startup Leia, healthtech startup Powermind and sportstech startup Troopr.
Our portfolio consists mostly of startups having a sustainable impact, and our current focus is on medtech, femtech, fintech and recreational and health startups. In addition to the allocation of capital, Nyfikna Investerare is helping portfolio companies to establish new board representation and assisting founders with networking, competence- and educational support to make sure the startups reach their full potential.
How has COVID-19 changed the way you operate?
The Nyfikna Investerare angel network was launched in the middle of the covid-19 pandemic, so we have worked remotely from the get-go. The pandemic didn’t hinder us from running an international startup with a team split between Gothenburg, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Zürich and London.
Our fully remote team handles deal flow, screening, assessment, and investment meetings online. In-person meetings with the executive team take place when necessary and when it adds value. However, we carefully plan and invest a lot in hosting physical in-depth meetings and social networking events for our community and entrepreneurs. We complement these in-person get-togethers with digital day-to-day check-ins and follow-up meetings.
Can you tell our readers where and how it all began and talk about where you are today?
I have been a self-employed consultant in various setups since 2008. My father was also self-employed which lowered the threshold to take the step from employee to self-employed, and to finally becoming a business owner. Before the age of 30, I had different managerial positions such as CEO of Sweden’s Young Shareholder Association and various board assignments. Entering my thirties, as a self-employed consultant in media production and leadership development, I realised it was finally the moment to invest my time in fulfilling my own dreams and not others. This was a turning point and the start of my journey to build Nyfikna Investerare – it began with my passion for investing in precious metals and my investment blog in 2019. Two years later, I left my consulting work – turned down well-paid consulting- and board assignments to focus all my energy and time on building Nyfikna Investerare.
Today, we are a team of 20+ skilled professionals including co-founders, shareholders, partners, advisors, and consultants, and the team is growing fast.
Together, we run the community, the business angel network, and the newly-launched ‘Nyfikna Index’ which offers the opportunity for syndication and allows members to diversify risk and expand their portfolios with unlisted holdings. We also recently introduced a Real Estate investment course and Board Academy – giving participants the vital knowledge, network, and toolbox needed in order to support fast-growing startups strategically.
We love to share our knowledge, experience and success stories. Besides our newsletter, we host a podcast – where we are talking about not only angel investments, but also real estate investments, crypto, NFTs, and precious metals – we tend to focus less on traditional asset classes than large-cap stocks and funds. In 2022, we also published two books, “Bli bostadsmiljonär – råd och tips för din bostadskarriär” a book about making real estate investments (publisher Ekerlids förlag) and “A diary of a Daytrader” written by Massimiliano S. Franzé (publisher Nyfikna Investerare).
Our business angel network opened its membership network to angel investors in the UK and across Europe in November 2022, and my goal is to make Nyfikna Investerare the world’s leading community for investors, entrepreneurs and Swedes abroad. It is very rewarding but also challenging to scale the business as fast as we have done, and with the ambitious vision we have set out.
Which industries are you working in?
Nyfikna Investerare focuses on scalable business models in a digital world, including healthtech, femtech, fintech, leisuretech, foodtech, proptech, energytech, and sportstech startups.
What do you look for in a founder?
Rather than just focusing on the founder, I believe it is as important to look at the entire team – what drives them, what values they have, and their business idea. No matter how good a business idea is, without an awesome team – it won’t fly. On the contrary, a great team could tweak an idea and make it fly.
We invest in startups at an early stage that already have some level of traction, generate revenue, or grow the number of users in addition to the ability to scale. From an investor perspective, if we don’t click with the founders and the team, we often decide not to back the entrepreneurs even if the business idea and plan are sound. For us, it is vital that the team has the right passion and grit as well as a humble and curious mindset – this will help us to provide the right support for the team. At the end of the day, it is the team and the founder we invest in, and enjoying spending time together is one of the crucial success factors.
What does the future look like?
The unprecedented use of quantitative easing and money printing has helped many assets do extremely well through the pandemic, which resulted in new ATHs and potentially inflated some asset bubbles. The coming years will be challenging – competition is fierce about capital, the free money era has come to an end and capital now costs money.
Having said that, there is still a lot of capital out there. For startups, it is important to monitor runway and profitability stronger than before and partner with the right advisors and investors who can back them with not only capital but also other support they might need along the way.
I am optimistic and trust that there is a bright future as an investor. We live in a very exciting time with many opportunities. For investors, the challenge is to buy ‘cheap’ and sell ‘expensive’; in time of crisis future winners are often born.
Crises often lead to change. I believe we will now see a lot happening in the development of new technologies and solutions to create more impact whether it is economic, environmental, or social impact. We are seeing initiatives being taken on a high level, for example, the EU corporate sustainability due diligence law (CSDD) which increases corporate accountability to identify, prevent and mitigate negative human rights and environmental impacts in the company’s own operations and those of its subsidiaries and value chains. This will change the landscape, not only for the boards and entrepreneurs – but also for investors.
What makes Nyfikna Investerare (‘Curious Investors’) different?
Nyfikna Investerare was born “for investors by investors” and “by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs” giving us a great understanding of the different aspects of the startup journey as well as capital investment. I believe this is a key strength when building a successful community of curious and purpose-driven entrepreneurs and investors.
We are rewriting old structures and scaling fast. We want to create an inclusive community and facilitate access to Sweden’s thriving startup scene for business angels in the UK and the rest of Europe. Besides the angel business network, we are also offering a newly-launched Board Academy and Real Estate investment course. These offerings create a non-stop hub and a shared knowledge platform to support and encourage curiosity around startup strategy and investments.
We are very passionate portfolio builders and continue to grow and build an inclusive and curious community. Our ambition is to build the world’s leading community and a world-class impact portfolio. Our big ambitions make even Burj Khalifa seem modest!
What one piece of advice would you give founders?
Never give up – if you can dream it you can do it, don’t listen to the ones who don’t see what you see! All between you and your vision is hard work. You need the right team and mindset to travel that distance, choose good energy, be kind, and make as much positive impact for as many as possible – every day. Be grateful for what you have; you can always reach higher, which will not make you happier if you are not happy with what you have accomplished. Be hungry, curious and have fun!
Joanna Törngren Redebrant is the founder and Community Curator at Nyfikna Investerare.