Building businesses is what Andreas Bernström does best.
He’s spent 20 years running different companies and helping entrepreneurs turn their dreams into reality – including Pleo.
Head of Nordic investments at Kinnevik, Andreas is chairman of our board – and a Pleo user too. Now that’s what we call a Pleo Hero.
We wanted to find out what advice he has at this unique time for companies across Europe and what the business landscape looks like after lockdown.
I really wanted to work within investments, focusing on a few companies in a long term way. There are not too many investment companies that have those two dynamics, Kinnevik was one of them.
That it’s so varied. I get to meet so many interesting people. We probably see around 100 entrepreneurs each year. A handful of those are just standout impressive.
There are actually quite a few. The one that springs to my mind the most is iZettle.
I was given the opportunity to invest at seed, but decided not to. Partly because one of the founders is a close friend of mine, and partly because I thought it needed to be a mobile solution, rather than a dongle.
Clearly, I was very wrong!
When you’re looking to invest, you look for an addressable market that is very big. You look for something that solves a real problem. Pleo solves a real problem – in a market that’s enormous. That was extremely exciting.
Every digital business is looking to find every opportunity to improve efficiency, to be more transparent with their employees and to understand how they’re spending money.
I really like Fetch. Mainly because I have a few online subscriptions that I always tend to forget. I also think my finance department likes it, cause they don’t have to chase me for the receipts anymore.
Empowered people tend to perform better than people who are directed to do something. If you want to get the best out of somebody – give them the tools, show them trust and they’ll deliver.
How can companies show their employees trust? I think it’s just part of the culture.
Businesses that are marginally improving things [for customers] are going to struggle.
As mentioned in the Pleo Talks webinar, we’ll see a step change in non-discretional Ecommerce, so that’s things that people actually need. We’re invested in online groceries (Mathem) and on-demand delivery (Budbee), they are both doing extremely well right now.
In essence, you need to burn considerably less cash and spend more time fundraising.
If you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur, you will already have a unique level of determination. You probably see this as a bump in the road, but you still need to be relentless and focused on your product.
I believe we have set a new benchmark for how we should handle global warming. People will understand that they don’t need to travel as much as they did. Me included.
I don’t think I could live without my morning coffee.