Mats Johansson

Co-founder, Partner Spintop I and Spintop II

Together with Erik and Finn, I co-founded Spintop Ventures in 2009. My primary area of focus is taking really big ideas from the consumer internet, media, fintech and learning sectors from garage to global. To mix things up a bit, I dabble in design and have a tendency to insist that things should look good. Even spreadsheets. And in fact, as well as supporting Strossle, Pacemaker, AutoInfo and Pastry, I’m also Spintop’s un-official head of marketing.

Having lived, studied and worked in Boston, Eslöv, Frankfurt, London and New York, I’ve got a truly global footprint and an unfocused track record that includes being an employee, a serial-entrepreneur and an investor.

As an investor I have been involved in some 40 investments over a 10-year time period. First as an Angel, then as co-founder of GP Bullhound Sidecar Fund in London and a partner at regional seed fund Teknoseed in Lund, leading up to the launch of Spintop. I’ve seen a true blow-out, been part of some near-death rescues, as well as successful exits such as ExpertMaker, Fjord and the sale of Scalado to Microsoft. My philosophy as an investor is that, since you know that every company will have some type of an end, it’s important to always end in the right way – even if that end is in the ditch. Some of the best entrepreneurs I have worked with have found their best idea while in the mud.

Previously as a company-builder myself, I co-founded The Voyagers Collection in New York: a catalogue business aimed at travellers that achieved distribution in 200 000 hotel rooms plus American, Delta and Northwest Airlines. Following the successful but too early sale of my first start-up, I went on to lead the post dot-com rescue / re-start of Nasdaq-listed e-learning company Futuremedia PLC. During my five years as CEO we did a complete re-build of the company, grew annual sales from 1 to 40 MUSD, increased market capitalisation from 1 to just under 200 MUSD. Looks good looking back, but this was by no means an easy journey. In fact, as an entrepreneur I believe that launching a business is a bit like driving a car in Paris. You eventually get to that really busy roundabout, and to avoid getting stuck (by hesitating), you just need to trust your instinct, close at least one eye, and drive out into the flow. Only by moving forward will you get ahead!

I, like most entrepreneurs, started out working for someone else. First, at textbook publishing company Studentlitteratur, where I launched the company’s international business from London. A number of marketing positions followed, at American Express in London, Frankfurt and New York – including managing the market launch of the New Corporate card in Germany. I like to think I know a thing or two about serious A/B testing!

A former amateur DJ, serial party organiser, avid traveller, thinker and curious explorer of all things new, today I live in London and in airports – but like to spend time in the summer house in Skåne. Despite all my travels, there’s really nothing like the Swedish summer.

Motto: And finally, if I had to pick a motto it would be “Stay curious”.

Education: Education: BSc in Economics from Lund University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Languages: English, Swedish and some German.