Speed and resilience in market downturns

May 22, 2022


Henry Nilert talks about building startups during market crises and how you survive the volatile times. He also shares his founder stories of building and exiting to large corporates as well as his take on the venture studio business model.


Henry Nilert is a Swedish entrepreneur with a background living and working in France, the US, the United Kingdom and Finland. He has extensive experience building successful startups, as co-founder of iobox, one of the largest early mobile entertainment portals in Europe, and co-founder of Credit24, a leading online lending platform in Finland, the Baltics, and beyond. As advisor and angel investor he has supported a large number of startups, with a focus on B2B SaaS and Fintech.


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Episode notes

  • the story of iobox: €230m exit after 18 months from the first round of funding
  • high clock speed execution and compressed implementation timeline
  • technological infrastructure limits your capabilities
  • rapid geographical expansion and PR success
  • three rounds of funding within a year
  • what to do when the market starts to weaken down
  • IPO track disappears
  • options when selling your company
  • hiring an investment bank
  • getting the company ready for the trade sale and the due diligence (DD)
  • the deal details: different shareholders (options, employees, share classes etc), lock-ups, warranties
  • how to keep the deal momentum going
  • startups are fragile
  • how to keep the transaction costs under control and close the deal in a few weeks
  • leverage on negotiations: know what you want
  • what happened to Iobox after the acquisition
  • timing and technology as a part of the success
  • the story of Credit24
  • a regulatory change allowing new business opportunities
  • when the founders have no experience in their line of business
  • online lending business
  • rapid market expansion
  • listing the company and raising funds
  • small cap pubic company disadvantages in fundraising
  • when your share price does not reflect your real value
  • when out of industry players have advantages over incumbents
  • building a company during the credit crisis
  • switching to a crisis mode with your startup
  • when even your shareholders expect your company to fold
  • the thin line of having enough business to have a chance to survive
  • learning the business and becoming resilient via crisis
  • speed vs. resilience
  • challenges in an unregulated business environment
  • regulatory uncertainty
  • team confidence
  • clock speed as your de-risking method
  • acquisition by a traditional business
  • synergies for both parties
  • closing the sales with a hard deadline
  • Credit24 lending business after the acquisition
  • selling your company as a listed entity
  • coming up with the sales price
  • pros and cons of a venture studio business model
  • an angel perspective on deal flow
  • how to approach an angel investor
  • why your angel investor is not investing in your next round of funding
  • disciplined angel investing

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