Weaving Code into Gold
There was once a natural progression of things in business that made navigating your career path, your ‘passions’ and your ultimate landing place so much simpler – sure there were entrepreneurs or ‘self-starters', but the road was pretty straight and the destination pretty predictable.
We know the story of the modern era, the hybrid world of shaping how you work, bending trends to your will and ‘leaning in’ to every opportunity in order to become successful, a unicorn, a rainmaker. I’ve found that the reality is a vastly different picture, one that people seem cautious of painting lest it clash with our westernised ideals of extroversion and rapid growth.
Having founded four successful tech businesses I took the decision to launch my own venture capital fund, Maxify, what would make me do that? Beyond the obvious? It was honestly the opportunity to re-write some history and pave a way that wasn’t really my story but could be someone else's. My team and I are seeking to fund, support and mentor the next generation of innovative technologists, wherever we might find them.
My aim is to reinvent the role of the VC in this post-pandemic world, championing new kinds of business and fresh economic models at the vanguard of the planet’s mission to build something better. I am committed to helping the next cohort of entrepreneurs.
Born and raised in Malmo, Sweden, my business journey began when I was studying software engineering at the city's university. Whilst studying for my undergraduate and master’s degrees, I was an early web enthusiast – running SEO before it went mainstream to help pay for my education.
Following university I worked in software development, project managing new and exciting technology for online casinos. After learning my trade at the coal face of the tech revolution I built up some capital and some courage and founded my first business in 2007: HappyBingo.com, which quickly became a popular bingo site, ultimately bought by United Media.
Next, I co-founded Casumo, an online gaming company which now has 300+ employees, working across all major aspects of the business to understand it better, including investor relations, governance, marketing, tech and diversity. In 2013, I founded Hero Gaming, an iGaming B2B system which develops some of the world's fastest growing and leading online gambling products.
All this to say, I have been around the block – but it was a highly unconventional block.
Alongside pre-seed and seed funding my real interest lies in providing guidance, experience and mentoring to nurture exciting new businesses and allow entrepreneurs to develop at their own pace and with their own ideas.
From my experience, founders can sometimes be over-indexed in a specific area – a necessary evil for the often-bumpy road of starting up. Typically, they are really good at some aspects of running a company and not so strong at others, and no one teaches you, you learn on the fly. It is so important for entrepreneurs to have the luxury to put time aside to figure out who they are, what their skills are, and what their weaknesses are.
Being self-reflective and understanding your weak points will make the difference in the long run. Having somebody who you can bounce ideas off, and who can help you out with things that you don’t know is incredibly valuable.
As a coder-turned-CTO-turned-CEO-turned-investor, one of the main lessons I have learned is the crucial importance of finding the right people for your business – including investors. Even when you are under pressure to fill a role quickly, or the money is running out, I believe in building a company culture which is transparent, friendly and understanding. Finding and nurturing great people and giving them the motivation and environment to go out and create great things has led me full circle, and I am more energised than ever by the unconventional block I am on.