image of ebba lilliehöök telia ventures

What’s the best way for a multinational corporate to access innovation? One way is to invest in promising fast-growing startups. If you haven’t met Telia Ventures yet – keep reading… you might just be their next big thing.

Telia Ventures invests in early stage tech companies

Corporate Venture Capitalists Telia Ventures have the global mandate to invest in early stage tech companies showing large growth potential. “As we meet entrepreneurs and founding teams frequently, Epicenter is a highly valuable spot for interaction across the Nordics,” explains Investment Manager Ebba Lilliehöök, part of the five-strong Telia Ventures team who spend a lot of their time in Epicenter’s co-working spaces.

So which companies catch their attention – and why?

Big ideas. Even bigger ambitions.

Being owned by Telia Company, perhaps it’s not surprising that opportunities centered around connectivity in homes, at work and in society feature high on the Telia Ventures mandate. With their impressive tech and strategic skillset, the close-knit team expertly led by Heikki Mäkijärvi are very experienced at spotting and supporting opportunities in rapidly shifting sectors.

And the results?

Look at Swappie for example, the Finnish mobile refurbishment startup. Since Telia Ventures invested, Swappie has established internationally and expanded from Finland to Italy and, of course, here in Sweden. “Swappie has an interesting business model with strong sustainability agenda, a circular model that Telia can learn from”, Ebba says.

Born from success

Of course, Telia Ventures is itself a product of one of Sweden’s most renowned tech-investments. When parent Telia Company earned 2.3 billion SEK from its stake in Spotify back in 2018, part of the proceeds was used to open the Telia Ventures fund. Today the evergreen fund invests in four to six promising startups each year.

But why not more?

Ebba explains the focused, investment principles that keep them lean.

“We believe in hands-on VCs. Our style is to create an active, strategic and professional influence on the companies we invest in,” she says. “We engage in boards, create powerful partnerships and build long-standing relationships.”

Hunting out the next next big thing

Since many early-stage businesses make Epicenter their home, Telia Ventures knows they’re in the right place. “A large part of our business is meeting people,” says Ebba. “Having Epicenter as our city base makes it convenient to make new, productive connections.”

In short, got an opportunity Ebba and the Telia Ventures team can’t afford to miss? Preparing for Round A or B funding? You should certainly make yourself known! Reach out to Ebba: ebba.lilliehook@teliaventures.com.

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