Erik Wenngren

”If you don’t ask, you won't find out”

Together with Mats and Finn, I co-founded Spintop Ventures in 2009. I focus on the consumer internet, e-commerce, music tech, fin-tech, gaming and companies with global appeal. I always study companies’ international go-to-market plans with interest, but given my financial funding background the numbers always reveal interesting thoughts on ambition.

My Board seats at DealDash, Pastry Sweden, InProdicon and Small Giant Games cover a multitude of different sectors and fun challenges.

Throughout my career I have had an international approach, having studied and worked in New York, London, Tokyo, Paris, Copenhagen and Sweden. I have also travelled widely in business across Europe, many parts of Asia, the US and Australia. But I’ve always had one eye towards the Nordic area.

Over the last 15 years, I’ve worked as an investor in early stage companies – both as a Business Angel and with Spintop. Actually, it started almost by accident: after my City career I supported companies by helping them to get funding through VC’s and Business Angels (I know what investors are looking for!) but got so excited about the early stage companies and entrepreneurship that, just a few years later, I found myself with a personal portfolio of stakes in some 20 early stage companies. One or two of those companies did not survive (I still think that on-line dating site was a good idea… proper execution of the agreed business plan would have been even better!!!) but there have been some great successes along the way. In fact, one is rapidly approaching the 1 billion US$ valuation mark – a “real” Unicorn! I have had the opportunity to have a hands-on approach with many of these companies, working with them in operations on a daily basis as Board member, active Chairman or as an advisor – activities that obviously continue with our Spintop companies.

My first career was in Investment banking. I started out as a stockbroker, for Enskilda Securities in London and Tokyo, advising tier 1 global institutional investors on their equity portfolios. But quite soon I moved across into Equity Capital Markets for Enskilda and then to BNP Paribas, where I supported companies getting funding through the public markets. I ran approximately 100 privatisations, stock market listings, IPO’s and capital increases for global giants as well as small companies. I then had the opportunity to run a pan-Nordic stockbroker, Danske Securities (part of Danske Bank) managing all the challenges a multi-country, fast-growing service business with several hundred highly ambitious people brings. Subsequently, as Head of international listings for NYSE Euronext I had the opportunity to travel the world (from China to Silicon Valley) meeting entrepreneurs, VC’s and other stakeholders in my quest to tempt companies to come to Europe to list on the market and find funding.

In my private time I travel to explore the world, am an avid reader and art gallery visitor, like to play and watch sports (especially Chelsea FC – my local team in London) and run the occasional marathon. I have lived in London for many years, seem to spend far too much time at airports, but enjoy the stunning sunsets at my summer house on the west coast of Sweden.

Motto: I have two mottos: “If you don’t ask, you won’t find out” and “Always make new mistakes”.

Education: BSc in Economics from Lund University and an MBA from Columbia Business School as Fulbright Scholar.

Languages: English, Swedish, some German and enough Japanese to get into trouble (but not out of it afterwards).