eqtventures

Welcome to our new partners in London as EQT Ventures’ global footprint expands

Today, EQT Ventures is delighted to welcome new partners Johan Svanström and Lyle Fong to our London team, bringing our operational team of company founders and scalers to almost 30 worldwide. Over the last 18 months, EQT Ventures has significantly increased its global footprint, setting up teams in San Francisco, Berlin and Paris in addition to its offices in Stockholm, London and Amsterdam. With full-service teams on the ground in six cities, EQT Ventures provides founders with the local support and advice needed throughout all stages of growth.

At EQT Ventures, we don’t just provide our portfolio with capital. The team partners with our companies to provide the resources, skills and experience needed to build and grow global success stories. Johan and Lyle’s experiences building and scaling companies internationally will be invaluable to our portfolio and they join the EQT Ventures team on its mission to be a different kind of VC - the kind we would have wanted on our own startup journeys.

Support and advice for the next generation of founders

An expert in launching and scaling brands globally, Johan was previously President of Hotels.com and a member of the global management team of its parent company, Expedia Group Inc. for five years. In his role at Hotels.com, Johan oversaw the innovation, strategic development and growth of the brand - operating in more than 70 countries. Johan was also President of Expedia Affiliate Network, the B2B partner division of Expedia Group, for more than three years. Before this, Johan spent eight years with Expedia in Asia-Pacific as a Managing Director, launching and growing several of the company’s divisions into leading regional players. He’s also an active investor with experience of advisory and board positions in both start-ups and public companies.

Lyle is a serial entrepreneur and, having founded successful enterprise software and gaming companies, knows all too well the rollercoaster ride that founders experience! One of Lyle’s companies was Lithium, a social media software company acquired by Vista in 2017. Before it was acquired, Lithium raised more than $180m in funding, made four acquisitions, grew the team to more than 300 employees and revenue to over $100 million. Lyle has also been a visiting partner at startup accelerator Y Combinator and an active investor and mentor to early stage companies. Lyle has relocated from San Francisco to London for this role, bringing Silicon Valley expertise to the London startup ecosystem.

As EQT Ventures heads into the next phase of its journey, Kees Koolen’s role will also be evolving. Kees will now step back from the partner position and become a senior advisor to the EQT Ventures advisory team. With Kees in this role, the EQT Ventures team will continue to benefit from his wealth of experience and knowledge on growing and scaling successful global businesses.

Key 2018 milestones and the journey ahead

Last year proved to be a milestone year for the fund. Just over two and half years since the fund’s launch (May 2016), EQT Ventures had its first exit as Zynga acquired Small Giant Games in a deal valued at $700m. The fund also doubled the number of its portfolio companies and the team’s aim of bridging the US and Europe started to come to fruition, providing European startups with a launchpad into the US and vice versa. EQT Ventures now has seven US companies in its portfolio, including recent investments HeadSpin, Handshake and Mental Canvas. Four of the fund’s portfolio companies - Peakon, Codacy, Natural Cycles and Tinyclues - have also recently opened New York offices.

With the San Francisco team, EQT Ventures can be a true partner to US founders who want to scale into Europe. There’s a huge number of US companies at the series B and C stages looking for a team with on-the-ground experience of navigating Europe’s complexity. That’s where the EQT Ventures team can help. We're well-positioned to support the best European startups when they expand into the US, so they don’t have to rely on just US funding.

EQT Ventures is looking forward another great year ahead, supporting our current portfolio and discovering more ambitious founders keen to build global winners!

Hjalmar Winbladh, Partner, EQT Ventures

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