Last week, Linus Dahg previously a VC for 5 years in Stockholm with Almi Invest and in London with Wellington announced that after a short stint on the other side of the table working on product, growth and partnerships for Danish startup Tonsser, he was tempted back to venture by Finnish-based Inventure to head up their efforts in Sweden.
We caught up with Linus to get a sense of what he will likely be focusing on once he starts at Inventure on May 1st.
What start up verticals interest you most right now?
Firstly, I think it’s hard not to mention something about AI/Machine learning enabled businesses even though it’s not a vertical but a horizontal technology enabler. I will spend a lot of time looking into its effects on a number of verticals. I’m particularity interested in how it’ll affect healthcare and fitness, enterprise software/B2B SaaS and I’m also keeping an eye on Fintech. In general I, like many others, believe that data and specific data sets will become extremely valuable here.
Secondly, I’ve spent a fair amount of time looking into Foodtech/AgTech due to the size of the market and that we as humans need to figure out how to sustainably feed everyone in the upcoming years given the population growth. And when I say Foodtech, I mean opportunities from food production, processing, distribution, food consumption to food waste management. I think we’ve seen innovation in some of these buckets but far from all.
Thirdly, B2B SaaS and Enterprise software is still very interesting. Even if there are a lot of business applications that have become easier to use there are still a number of old incumbents and legacy products out there. There’s a long way to go before we’ve reached the same level of design, usability and user experience as what we’ve seen on the consumer side. I mean think about it, a lot of people still use Outlook.
What are your biggest predictions for the next 12 months?
So I think the Nordic scene is in for some big changes. Mostly for the better though. It’s never been better to be an entrepreneur in terms of access to funding and that will continue for more than 12 months. Especially if some of the large tech companies like Klarna, Spotify et al will go public. There will be a lot more capital available for investments into new startups.
However, the Nordics as a region will definitely have more competition from the outside. It’s easy to see that great companies can be launched anywhere and the Nordic infrastructure, that has been an edge for the region, will not be enough. And unless we see structural changes on a governmental level, the Nordics might suffer quite heavily long-term.
On a more techie side, some quick ones: I think that Amazon Echo with the OS Alexa will take a huge chunk of the smart home market. I don’t think that VR will become mainstream this year but AR will become a lot more prevalent. And finally, we’ll start to see a number of companies utilising edge computing technologies.
Are there any specific company ideas that you really want someone to build and would potentially fund?
So on a personal level I’ve been looking at some global issues that technology made worse. One of these issues is that people are getting more and more lonely. And it’s becoming a major thing where it’s now, according to research, on the level that some researchers think it’s as bad as smoking or obesity. I’d love to see someone take a stab at trying to solve a problem of this size and severity. And I don’t mean another social network with dating components but some sort of platform to genuinely connect people where they build real relationships.
There are just too many people starting “me too” companies trying to work on the next fashion discovery platform/aggregator and I would love to see more ambitious projects.
If you could wave a magic wand and instantly have any imaginable solution to a problem you’re facing (personally or at work), what problem would you solve?
Good question. I think I’d have to go with a personalised edible pill that would give me all the nutrients and substances my body needs to stay healthy and alert. Don’t get me wrong, I love food and eating with family or friends but there are so many times I have no idea what I’m eating, I don’t prioritise to cook something healthy enough or I’m too stressed to eat at all. There’s never enough time!