April 27, 2020
Back in December 19, 2016 we went to buy a new printer. After pressing Command+P and Enter we had hundreds of pages of contract documentation in our hands. The next day we took the big pile of paper to the Finnish Patent and Registration Office and that was it: the first closing of Icebreaker’s first fund was done at €14 million. We had been working for about two years to launch the fund.
Now we had to dust off that good old printer and fire it up again. Only to realize everything physical is closed. Oh well, just Cmd+Enter this time and we just achieved the first close of Icebreaker Fund II at €50M. 🎉
We’ve been working on this for over a year now and have to say we are extremely happy and proud to reach this milestone.
First of all, we want to thank our portfolio company teams. This achievement was done by you. We hope that we have been able to support you and we promise to continue to do so. Our #1 target will always be to support our portfolio companies and create new ways to add more value to you. Our humble thank you for your confidence and great work.
Secondly, we want to thank our Icebreaker.vc community that is now over 1000 members strong. Your continued interest in supporting founders and early teams, generating new ideas and starting new companies is what gets us up in the morning. It keeps us in touch with the most exciting thing of all – ideas. Our discussions with all of you community members at our monthly afterworks are the highlights of our months! We’d also like to thank the larger community: Slush, Aaltoes, Lift99, Agrid, Sting, all the universities and our home-base Maria01 for the extraordinary work you have done that has enabled what we do as well.
Thirdly, thanks to our LPs, new and returning, who have believed in us and chosen to be involved with our funds. We are working hard everyday to fulfill what we have promised to you and promise to continue to push to over-deliver. Our lead investors are Tesi, KRR III, Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company and Elo Mutual Pension Insurance Company together with 41 other investors consisting of institutional investors, family offices and founders.
And of course, our team that continues to work on us being the best place to start, build and grow strong tech companies. Akseli, Anni, Mari, Merja, Mikko-Jussi, Pauli, Rasmus, Slobodan and Tiitus. Your great work has enabled us to reach together where we are today and to reach what we are striving for in the future. We hope for many more online and offline celebrations together in the future.
We now also want to officially introduce Leo, our General Partner in Sweden. We have noticed that there are great teams in Sweden that we can partner with and we’re extremely proud to have Leo join as our first partner on the ground. Leo is from Stockholm, a founder of Wrapp and Vint, and that is where he will continue to be based. Leo will be building the Swedish Icebreaker.vc team and community going forward. If you find yourself interested to join our growing team or know someone who might, please note that we're hiring in Stockholm and Helsinki.
In addition, we want to introduce Kristian Pentti. Kristian has already been working with us for a year and is Partner and Head of Community. He will lead our community efforts to support pre-founders in creating stronger tech companies. Building strong companies requires a strong supporting network and our aim is to accelerate that network support; access to knowledge, companies and people.
So what have we been doing since launching our first fund in 2017? We were aiming to support pre-founders to start, build and grow startups from Pre-Seed to the next stage.
From a portfolio point of view, our companies have far exceeded our expectations and our Fund I has also exceeded expectations. Even our own.
We are still continuing with the same focus:
Giving the best support for the earliest stage tech companies. We continue to create new ways to support our portfolio companies: Our operational team for Talent, Tech and Growth, CEO mentoring, growth hacker program, well-being program and many more. This is what we focus on 100% – supporting the development from idea stage to seed rounds to create the strongest companies possible.
We invest €150k to €800k in teams that have deep domain expertise and are building globally competitive strong tech companies. We’re investing.
We’re continuing to develop our Community, which is the best place to start, build and grow strong tech companies. It’s a great network of pre-founders with over 5 years of work experience in their domain aiming to start or join a strong tech company. Starting today, we will also be supporting pre-founders in Sweden and Estonia. It’s free to join and you will instantly be connected to the 1000 other pre-founders online, please don’t hesitate to apply!
At the moment we need to protect our communities from COVID-19 and make sure we minimize the impact of the pandemic. Everyone in the Icebreaker.vc team is keeping themselves isolated to make sure we do not contribute to the spread. We celebrated the new fund online 🎉.
We also believe this is a great time to start new companies in Finland, Sweden and Estonia. Even if the global economy is hitting a bump, there is more talent available than usually, there will be many new opportunities arising following the current crisis – we believe it will be easier than ever to build a global company as work is shifting online. For domain experts that have experienced large problems that need to be solved in your industry, get in touch, we will keep on investing actively.
Aleksi, Kristian, Lasse, Leo, Riku and Teddie.