Swedish Startup Space

Here’s How EQT Ventures’ Motherbrain Project Will Find The Next Unicorn

Written by on March 29, 2016
Editors Note: This post is part of a series called , presented by Breakit.

EQT Ventures’ new software, Motherbrain, is going to give the venture capital firm an advantage in the unicorn hunt. Breakit can now reveal new details about the project.

Last year EQT Ventures hired Andreas Thorstensson, previously the CTO of peer-to-peer lending company Toborrow.

The recruitment in itself was perhaps not very surprising, but Andreas Thorstenssons job description (article in Swedish) raised more than a few eye brows. His job is to “disrupt the traditional venture capital industry” using software.

Since then, EQT has been very secretive about the project. The only thing that has been revealed its name: Motherbrain. The tool is named after the final boss in the Sega Mega Drive game Phantasy Star 2, a game that Andreas Thorstensson is very fond of.

Breakit can now reveal a number new details about Motherbrain. Our sources describes the project as follows:

The tool collects data from at least 20 online sources, like the startup database Crunchbase and the online traffic measurement site Comscore, as well as social media like Facebook and Twitter. The purpose is to find out which companies are getting traction – before anyone else notices.

According to our sources, EQT Ventures has hired five programmers who work full time with the new project. The company is developing Motherbrain together with its sister company EQT, which invests in more mature companies. In other words, the regular EQT manages funds that are completely separate from EQT Ventures new tech fund.

EQT was founded in 1994 by the entrepreneur Conni Jonsson and the Wallenberg-family’s powerhouse Investor. The company has raised a total of $32 billion (€29 billion) since the start, and is one of Europe’s most successful venture capital firms.

The fact that the larger EQT is on board with the Motherbrain project is important. For one thing it means more resources – but there are also other, more exciting, benefits.

EQT owns the Dutch company Bureau van Dijk – one of the largest providers of financial data for private companies. The company has over 700 employees in 30 different countries. Bureau van Dijk’s flagship database Orbis contains over 160 million registered companies throughout the world.

According to Breakit’s sources, Bureau van Dijk is working together with EQT with the Motherbrain project.

The ultimate goal for Motherbrain is to find startups that are flying below the radar – even those who are not actively looking for investors – through big data analysis.

The idea is to give EQT Ventures a major advantage in the hunt for the next unicorn. It seems obvious that EQT Ventures will not share the software with others, at least not all of the functionality, as it might provide an important advantage over competitors in the region like Northzone and Atomico.

EQT Ventures has declined to comment on this article.

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