Swedish Startup Space

Gustaf Brandberg: Strong and long term investors are a competitive advantage for startups

Written by on June 4, 2013

Today I’m speaking with Gustaf Brandberg – a tech VC at Gullspång who has invested in LoadImpact and Traveas to name a few.

Hi Gustaf, tell us about yourself and your background

I co-founded Citerus, a software consulting company with an agile profile, back in 1996 when I studied for my Master of Science in Information Technology at Uppsala university and was the CEO until 2006. I am still shareholder and chair of the board. I still define myself as an entrepreneur.

My father is a seasoned investor and I joined forces with him in 2010. My brother Magnus joined us in 2012 and the same year we decided to work under the brand Gullspång invest. We have a different profile compared to most angel investors and VCs: We are reinvesting our own money, divideds from previous succesful investments, which means that we have an unlimited investment horizon.

Our oldest portfolio company is from the end of the 1980’s and is now stock listed on the Nasdaq OMX Large Cap. No exit strategy – we are in until the sweet or bitter end and the goal is to be long time owners of new succesful companies giving dividends that we can reinvest. Compared to a VC with a fund structure we do not have external investors that we have to keep happy with good news – we can use all our time and energy to support the entrepreneurs and we often help out with operative issues. We can afford to be long term and have more muscles than most other seed investors. We truly believe that strong and long term owners is a competitive advantage for startups.

What do you look for in an entrepreneur?

We look for smart and seasoned entrepreneurs, a fairly good business idea implemented well in a strong market. Most of all we look for pull from the market: are potential customers craving for the products and services that the startup wants to develop? There must be an ambition and a potential to have a reveneue of more than 15 MUSD within 5 years. We mostly invest in IT and energy companies.

If you plan to pitch us, let us know what problem you are solving for whom, something about the current market trends and the potential, what makes your startup well positioned to capture the market and your plan and current status. We love demos, prototypes, betas and launched services. The only thing we love more is paying customers.

Thanks Gustaf!

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