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Archive for the ‘Venture Capital’ Category

2,5 years later, a dubble turn-aound and a post merger

fredag, september 12th, 2014

Now the assignment is closed and results delivered. I maintain status as investor in this fantastic venture.  In 2,5 years the assignment has resulted in turning Digital Inn from a 30 M reseller with losses into Scandinavia’s #1 onsite and ecommerce Apple profitable reseller with an annual 50M sales. Shifted from a traditional retailing strategy to a premium branded multichannel supplier of Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, including the start of a large B2B Apple venture.

Some Highlights:

• Analysed operations; reduced costs; increased profit margins through innovative and strategic work, positioning and assortment work; and optimised inventory and processes.

• Created and executed a turnaround plan that included acquisition, integration and turning around a major competitor.

• Improved gross margins.

• Automated and digitalized sales, marketing, logistics and management systems.

• Introduced an innovative omni-channel approach of selling, supplying and balancing goods in all channels (on and offline).

• Increased stock rotation and reduced stock levels.

For the swedish audience, there is a detailed reportage describing the turn-around. Please read it here.

 

Venture Capital in Scandinavia

lördag, juli 24th, 2010

Just got introduced new interesting site, www.scandinavianinvestmentnetwork.com. An online matching service for angel investors seeking investment opportunities and entrepreneurs seeking capital. It is part of Angel Investment Network Ltd, a London-based company that was founded in 2004 having 30 networks all over the world. It is an amazing source of knowledge if you are interested in venture and entrepreneur trends. I asked the founder, Mike Lebus, for some data to explore the different perspective on entrepreneurship and investment between UK and Scandinavia. It was rather interesting; Scandinavia is at the moment focusing agriculture, mobile and telecom while UK is focusing entertainment, film and construction. My feeling is  that Scandinavia also is starting up a lot of professional service companies at the moment – but the need for venture capital is the same and thereefor not shown in the data.

It’s The Angels’ Time

fredag, maj 14th, 2010

That was the theme a few days back at 2010 Angel Capital Association Summit in San Francisco and the title of the speech by angel investor and blogger Basil Peters, who asserted that VCs are essentially dinosaurs saddled with too-big funds at a time when entrepreneurs can create companies cheaply and quickly, sometimes over a weekend. What these start-ups need is a limited amount of outside capital provided by angel investors who know when to exit by selling to corporations hungry for dynamic young companies whose revenue they can scale from $10 million to $100 million or more.

Quoted from http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2010/05/07/friend-or-foe-angels-vcs-debate-who-has-the-upper-hand/

It is not an easy task to be an angel, many has lost a lot of money. But even worse, some never contributed at all. Saying that, there are also angels actually destroy companies by introducing scalable models to early ort demanding formal business case for all innovation case instead of coaching innovation and creativity.

Today, entrepreneurs can set up a new business very quickly, acting big, with all support system and infrastructure in place in just a few days. Being a business angel is not about bringing money to the table, that what´s the VC should do. It is about helping entrepreneurs focusing, prioritizing, and thinking long term without losing the operational perspective.  Simple go for excellence, with limited resources but with a great idea and a lot of engagement and drive. Being an business angel and entrepreneur, I have my own check list (Penker Venture Zone) of what I believe and what learned is key success factors for supporting and helping entrepreneurs driving up their businesses;

  1. Pick case where the chemistry is working
  2. Build a common exit route with the entrepreneurs
  3. Be active but not operational, run frequently board meetings secure a short term plan (3 month), and a 3-5 year long term plan
  4. Challenge the Sweet spot – What business are you really in, why do your customer buy from you
  5. Challenge for commitment, individual and common. Go for breakthrough thinking, coach on results and failures. I always run what I call “The commitment day” with all my new companies, a hard day and night work ending up in a rocket solid commitment for an inspiring goal.
  6. Coaching in-between the board meetings, preferable the CEO. Typical prioritizing, focus areas, problem solving, aligning the organization
  7. Enhance the management team by supporting, challenging and encouraging building for the future leadership
  8. Secure constantly improvement of delivery capacity, competence management, talent management, innovation management
  9. Understand the company culture, challenge and drive debate about it. Facilitate! Visualize!
  10. Have fun.

Vilken är din sweet spot?

lördag, mars 27th, 2010

Det finns många sätt att arbeta med strategi, många skolor och framförallt mängder med erfranheter. Problemet är bara att det ofta inte får fästa, att uthållighet saknas eller att det rent av är omöjligt att implementera. För 2 år sedan publicerades in spännande artikel i Harvard Business Review som har kommit att förändra synen på strategival och definition av strategi, speciellt för tillväxtbolag. Artikeln heter ”Can You Say What Your Strategy is”, publicerad av D. Collis och M. Rukstad och kan beställas på http://hbr.org/product/can-you-say-what-your-strategy-is/an/R0804E-PDF-ENG.

Iden bakom att finna din sweet spot är att identifiera dina ”capabilites”, dvs din förmånga som är inbyggd i verksamheten. Detta matchas med kundens egentliga behov och den del som konkurrenterna inte erbjuder. Detta är din sweet spot. Den kommer per definition att krympa eller ändras och du måste aktivt arbeta med detta. Din sweet spot är sedan underlag för det klassiska Vision, Mission, Objectivs, Strategies.

När jag investerar i ett bolag och/eller går in i en styrelse är detta första lackmustestet jag gör och det har gett spännande underlag för att verkligen mejsla fram en fungerande vison, uppdrag och position som inte bara är flum utan som direkt kan omsättas och skapa värde dag 1.

Vid tangernterna,
Magnus

PS. Om du testar så bolla gärna med mig, det är alltid kul att få inspel. DS.