Ferd joins joint funding initiative for start-up companies

Ferd and Johan H. Andresen have joined together with several important business players to invest a total of NOK 70 million in a newly set up fund called Founders Fund II. The fund is intended to help 50 technology companies through the critical start-up phase.

The investments will be made through the company Startup Lab, which is a business incubator and accelerator. Startup Lab offers start-up companies office space where like-minded people can sit together and provides access to advice and guidance from experienced entrepreneurs. The idea is that this will help entrepreneurs with the difficult early phase of their development.

The business newspaper Dagens Næringsliv has previously highlighted that there is little appetite for investment in start-up companies in Norway. In a market in which capital is in short supply, investors are choosing to put their money into companies that are in later stages of development. This is creating a critical void in relation to companies in the earliest phase of their development.

Important investment
Founders Fund I was set up with NOK 30 million at the end of 2013. Founders Fund II became fully subscribed this autumn, with capital of NOK 70 million. The fund will invest in 50 start-ups, with no more than NOK 3 million invested in any one company.Everyone who has invested in the fund has contributed at least NOK 2 million. Some of Norway’s foremost investors have joined Ferd and Johan H. Andresen in investing in Founders Fund II, including Kjell Inge Røkke, Are Traasdahl, the founder of Tapad, and Jon von Tetzchner, the founder of Opera Software.

Ferd’s Chief Investment Officer, Tom Erik Myrland, regards this type of investment as important for creating the solutions of the future for Norway.

“Ferd’s history and Tiedemann’s before that have always been characterised by entrepreneurship and the development of companies and ideas. When Ferd Venture was combined with Ferd Capital in 2010, we moved away from investing in start-ups and the venture industry. We are, however, seeing that Norway depends on investment in new ideas and new technologies, and investing in Founders Fund II is a resource-efficient way for Ferd to contribute to this”, he explains.

TEXT: IRINA LEE

 

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