Swedish Startup Space

Swedish fashion giant H&M on the hunt for more tech investments

Written by on September 3, 2015

Wrapp was only the beginning. The retail-clothing giant have started a venture capital operation and met with more start-ups to invest in.

There were probably a few raised eyebrows when we reported a month ago that H&M have entered the venture capital space, starting with an investment in Wrapp (article in Swedish).

It was the first time where the retail-clothing company – which last year had nearly $18 billion dollar in revenue –invested in a startup. The largest listed company in Sweden have so far chosen not to disclose any details in its new venture. In connection with the August Wrapp revelation, the answers from their public relations department were rather insipid.

The only answer we received back then was; “H&M want to contribute by supporting entrepreneurs who are active within our trade, within areas such as fashion, durability and innovation, both with capital and with our knowledge”.

Digging further on the subject, we are able to reveal more now.

According to two independent sources, H&M have fired away a venture capital operation which will invest in young tech companies with activities closely associated to retail-clothing sales, such as marketing and logistics.

The venture capital activity is led by Björn Magnusson, former business development manager at H&M. According to Breakit’s sources, he has initiated contact with several start-ups to discuss possible investments. Björn Magnusson also attended the Stockholm Tech Fest event in Stockholm during Wednesday, to meet with tech companies.

An interesting aspect worth adding to this is that Skype-founder Niklas Zennström, also CEO of venture capital firm Atomico, is on the board of directors at H&M.

H&M are hardly the first among big Swedish corporations to enter the field of investments in startups. SEB, the major Swedish bank, were soon to enter with their own venture capital firm, and Telia Sonera have made several noticeable investments recently (Spotify, Zound industries, etc).

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