Atomico's VC Teddie Wardi is right for you!
Remember our warning that raising a funding round can kill your startup? Fund raising can indeed easily turn into a full-time job, consisting of longs hours of email exchange, lengthy calls and nerve-racking meetings. But no sweat because we have good news for you. This year Arctic15 will make your life a little easier by bringing all the right investors under one roof. Amongst one of them is Atomico's VC Teddie Wardi who might be the right for you. To find out about your compatibility, we interviewed Teddie about his background, investment interests and thoughts on the future of Nordics.
You are now a Partner at Atomico. Can you briefly describe your journey to where you are right now? How did Atomico "convince" you to join?
“I started out on the other side of the table: being the founder and CTO of Nervogrid, a SaaS startup out of Finland. We ended up getting acquired by a large Swiss company called ALSO, after which I was keen to to do another startup. However, I couldn’t come up with anything that great so ended up on the venture investing side of things - first at Nokia Growth Partners then at Dawn Capital. So you could say I’m a mediocre founder, aspiring to be a great VC.
What appealed to me in Atomico is the true "founder DNA" which is reflected in every aspect of the firm. The service platform, which we call the Value Creation Team, is also very unique in Europe. We have top executives who have joined us as Partners from some of the world's biggest tech companies like Uber, Spotify, Facebook, Google, Skype and Virgin all. This value creation team works to help accelerating the scaling process for our portfolio companies as they are experts in a range of areas including talent, user acquisition, international expansion, brand building and product.”
When it comes to investing, what industries are you the most interested in at the moment? Why?
“I’m a SaaS/Enterprise guy at heart, so that takes up a lot of my time. In many parts of the enterprise, the core trends of cloud and mobile still have a long way to go. You would be surprised how much legacy, on-premise software there is still out there. I love finding companies that are creating best-in-class solutions for slightly unsexy corners of the enterprise but that are really solving a major pain point for the customer. Also I have specific interest in things used by developers, whether it be developer tools directly or API services to consume.”
How do you perceive the future of Nordic startups?
“The future for the Nordics is bright. There are a handful of really well known Nordic startups that have put the region on the map globally, but there is such a large array of early stage stuff coming up in every vertical that I don’t think we’ve seen anything yet. We are looking to invest at Series A and beyond and I’m confident there will be more $1bn and even $10bn companies built out of the Nordics over the next decade.”
Last but not least, what are your expectations for Arctic15 this year? What are you hoping to see and achieve?
“I am looking forward to catching up with many old friends but also to meet new ones. I’m a bit ashamed to admit this is my first time at Arctic15, even though I’m originally from Helsinki myself! In any case, I’m very much looking forward to great discussions with founders and investors.”