Innovation, Startups and Venture Capital in Iceland

The Memo: Study Cake, and thoughts on Startup Reykjavik investor day

First a couple of announcements:

We’re hosting an after-work meetup at Loft in two weeks.
We think there should be more opportunities for people in the tech and startup sectors to meet and connect, so we’ve decided to host a meetup. It’ll be on Friday September 2nd at Loft Hostel, between 5-8 PM. We’d love for you to come and grab a beer with us.

Also, we’re still looking for term sheets 🙏

We’ve gotten several submissions, but need more to be able to analyse the situation. If you have any, please send us 🙂 (message us).

Now, on to the Memo:

Study Cake boys quit to go study, and reveal a (potential) pink elephant in the room

A couple of weeks ago, the Study Cake team sent out an open letter detailing their decision to quit and go back to school. In the post, they discuss how an investment fund offered a 10m ISK investment, but pulled the offer “at the last minute.” They then talk about an investment for 35m ISK, which they then declined, to go back to school.

It’s not clear whether this 10m ISK investment (that got pulled) and the other one they were closing are from the same fund, but by how the team describes the fund pulling an offer at the last minute, is alarming. The Icelandic startup scene is young, and many founders are first time founders, and therefore don’t have any experience with investors and funds. But making an offer and pulling it last minute is just general bad behaviour, and should be talked about.

Now, I might be reading too much into this particular incident – I don’t know the exact details for the offer being pulled and they might very well be reasonable – but the bigger theme is that we as a community haven’t started talking openly about investor / founder interactions.

How can we as a community make sure that important things like these get discussed? Whose responsibility is it to talk about them? What can we at Norðurskautið do to help?

Startup Reykjavik investor day is upcoming

This Friday, August 26th, is Startup Reykjavik investor day. It’s similar to most other accelerator demo days / investor days in the way that the companies pitch to a group of investors, executives and stakeholders. We covered last years investor day: Overview of companies, and Comments from Linus Dahg, VC at Wellington Partners.

This will be the fifth batch to graduate from Startup Reykjavik for a total of 50 companies. A quick tally based on their website, suggests that of the 40 companies from previous years, six have gotten equity funding. A much larger percentage have received funding in the form of grants, mostly from the TDF. To my knowledge, the funding rounds have had considerable lead time – that is they raised a round a considerable amount of time after the demo day.

It will be interesting to see this year’s batch, and follow the development. Will there be a Q3 investment in a Startup Reykjavik ’16 company? What do you think? What company is most likely?

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