With his latest company valued at over a billion dollars, Sweden’s very own, Mattias Hjelmstedt, has an impressive record in the tech and gaming world. He’s contributed significantly to the global e-sports industry, built a myriad of successful digital platforms, and made lasting impacts on the lives of millions of online users. His startup, Utopia Music, has attracted funding from top-tier investors like FiveT Fintech (formerly Avaloq Ventures) and CV VC.
In this episode, you will learn:
- How to think about your passion
- Ways to control your own destiny
- Timing for an acquisition
- Market cycles and the approach to them
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The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
Moreover, I also provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400 million (see it here).
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About Mattias Hjelmstedt:
As featured in Bloomberg, CNN, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, and Wired, serial entrepreneur, Hjelmstedt has successfully created companies since the early 1990s in the areas of content distribution; streaming; online gaming; social media; and computer technologies.
An unparalleled innovator, Hjelmstedt’s commitment to online user experience, enhancing the media industries, and turning online TV into a global reality, sees him partnering with the leading figures in TV, Music, electronics, and digital industries, as well as discerning consumers.
Mattias Hjelmstedt is the founder of Utopia Music, which creates platforms so everyone can understand, use and benefit from the power of data in the music industry.
He was the Founder of Magine (www.magine.com). Created in 2010, Magine is the pioneering cloud-based service for watching live and catch-up TV in the same place and across all devices.
Mattias and Magine, over the years, won several awards, among some of them:
- Magine was named Best TV App at the TV Connect Awards 2014 (www.tvconnectawards.com), which took place at BAFTA 195 Piccadilly, and celebrated excellence, innovation, and achievements in the global TV and connected entertainment markets.
- Mattias was ranked number two in 50 VOD Professionals Nordic, a comprehensive list of the most influential figures working in the industry and region. Judged by senior industry executives, over 100 individuals were nominated, and the final league table includes representatives from companies such as Ericsson, NRK, and Netflix.
- Mattias also won the 2014 Digital innovation award at the Digital TV Europe 50
Leaders Awards event,
Mattias is also a frequently enlisted keynote speaker within the digital space since he has worked with digital transformation within the Internet, computer gaming, and media industry since the early 90th.
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Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:
Alejandro Cremades: Alright, hello everyone and welcome to the deal maker show. So today. We have an amazing founder. We’re gonna be talking about building scaling financing exiting I mean he’s done it home and now he’s building a rocket ship that is already valued at two point five billion plus valuation so again really really inspiring founder today so without further ado. Let’s welcome our guest today mattas jumpsstead welcome to the show. Hello. So originally originally born and raised in Stockholm so give us a little of a walkthrough memory lane. How was life growing up there.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: Um, well thank you? Thank you.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: Well I mean Sweden back in the days was a fantastic place to grow up with you have great schools. You had great security in Sweden a you know good support system. 1 of the first countries that said that internet and computers should be for everyone so or in the 90 s a big part of Sweden’s subsidi they they actually subsidized. Ah, computers to all homes so it was really one of the first countries in the world that really got internet penetration computers and and you know I think it’s one of the reasons why Sweden has been so you know in the front when it comes to creating massive successes on the on on the internet side. So. I would say it’s a great place to grow up in you have sports you you have everything. So yeah I would call that a happy place to to grow up in.
Alejandro Cremades: And how how did you get into you know? Ah oh I guess obviously you know you said that it was like a really big movement. You know, pushed by government. But I guess how old were you when you started to really experience and seeing how cool it was the the internet and what was coming first.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: Yeah, so I’ve always been a computer geek. So I think I my my my parents bought us the first computer when I was about 6 so I guess I’m the first generation that grew up with a computer in now in my lab. So. We saw that and then you had all of the bbs things happening in the 80 s and already there you could see that everything that can be digitized will be digitized and would be distributed that way so we saw that over the the eighty s so I’ve been part of that movement since the start. And then I commercially started to work with the doron 94 which I think is 1 year after baila became graphical and you know started to build and and even create protocols to be able to get out on the internet faster with connections and such so. Really from the start of the whole kind of internet movement.
Alejandro Cremades: So obviously you built a multiple companies so I’d like to spend more time on the latest one that you have which is smashing success. So I guess same you know what I like to get is more the lessons learned on the previous one. Let’s start with. The first one electronic sports network what were you guys doing there and then also what ended up happening.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: So it really was created out of the need of creating systems and and and technologies around a sport so to speak because I started to play quake really early I was really good at the game I won a lot of tournaments and we saw that. There was a lack of of structures because I come from an other athletic background before I did swimming in takwondo on on on high levelvel and we saw that it wasn’t organized so we actually started to organized tournaments. We did some of the first events with price money in the world. Ah in the 90 s. Ah I think 97 we did the first event that was ever streamed from in-game to other clients which is kind of the whole world does today right? The whole world on gaming is about and if you look at Youtube you have some of the largest accounts just about streaming and talking about gaming and and we did the first. Event ever with which was streamed fully from from ingaming at night seven and we saw that the interest was so high and there was not much organized so we set out to do that and for doing that we needed to create platforms that could make it optimize because otherwise you can’t. Have millions of gamers. We actually created a site called so gamed which was the first real social network for gamers in the world millions of users back in the early two thousand s and we saw that if we could make games social which esports is used.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: Stopped piracy because you would have to log in to to the games to play online and and when you played with each other it became ah you know you took the long livevity from a game from three weeks which was a kind of hypecycle to many years I mean kaf strike is still around and was launched in 90 s. Ah, so what? what happened with esports is that massively adapted and created a whole new industry around the games and and we were the first months really creating massive platforms and events and and systems around it. We’ve created the swedish eastport league and lease in all of the other territories which was the first major leagues played out of physical locations and that worked out pretty well I think about sixty seventy percent of all online gaming is portrayed the gaming in in Northern Europe was on the platforms. Um, and at the end I think around 2013 eu games and the subsidiary dies acquired the company and it’s super fun because it’s still the basis of their platforms. It’s called the batlog if you are familiar with the games. So if you play yeah bellfield or the star wars gamest etc you will. Log in through the battle log it will be every game start. It will be ever Statistic. It will be even every second screen interaction that you have so it pretty cools this year tech Twenty five years later still in the center of of an industry for some of the biggest games. So.
Alejandro Cremades: No kidding and also it was the first company first day exit. No. So how how did it feel to um, go through the full cycle of a business you know from building it to scaling it then all of a sudden you go through the acquisition. How did that acquisition process. You know, ah look like for you guys and. And how did that visibility? Well how was that visibility into the full cycle though.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: Yeah I think when it comes to to that company on the exit side and I had had also helped the actual Ceo of that company that that was running it for us was instrumental in that work. And and of course I mean I think one of the things that people think is that when you sold a company you go out and party but the actual thing that happens in general and I’ve sold a couple of companies now I invest in a couple of companies that also was sold. And the usual effect afterwards when you put your life into something is that you just are kind of blank for a week is kind of a vacuum that is created. It’s not kind of a euphoria that comes a little bit later and for me I’ve always been very entrepreneurial. So wells. Something has been sold. There’s been a short break and then it’s more about what do I do now and then you start something new. So for me and it was never about making exits or or earning money in companies. It was always about. The passion of creating something where you saw impacts in many people’s lives made something better and took something that was a passion for me back in today’s computer games and organized it and and and and was part of of creating kind of the backend of an esport industry I think that’s.
Alejandro Cremades: and and and and and 1 thing 1 thing here very interesting. You know that you say is is the passion. You know how the passion feels things you know there are so many people that are not able to find their passion.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: Benefits.
Alejandro Cremades: I think that one thing in life right? and and then they end up miserable just you know, pushing paper behind. You know this 9 to 5 and not excited about what they’re doing I guess in your case, you know it sounds like for every company that you’ve done. You’ve been able to tune into yourself to tune into whatever was moving. You. Whatever. You know you were passionate about and excited about where you had a deep interest and then you were able to monetize you know and convert that into a business. How does that process of building a company around your passion. How do you tune in into your passion and and really listen to get there.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: Yeah I think you know when you look back in the first company I can’t take any large credit other than I turn a passion into a business because I really like liked to do it and I wanted it to be better. So we’ve really created out of wanting something to work so I could have more fun with it myself so that was really the reason why it was started after that I’ve been way more methodical and and done a lot of zooming out work because. For instance I always had a passion of movies I always had a passion in all of these things television rights like and always had a massive passion in music which is what I work with now and when it came to for instance, the first thing that we started to do which was. Video so the company that we created was more less than there’s a Netflix before Netflix in Europe it really came out of a problem that is very very hard to ah be able to actually consume the things you wanted to. Ah, so it was hard. You have to go and rent movies or buy movies and you couldn’t just sit at home and get whatever you wanted when you were home right? You still had to make an issue around it which created piracy right? You had pirates around music. You had piracy around movies and it all came from.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: Accessibility how is it is it hard to access something you find a way to access it easier and this is in many ways where piracy came from and I really saw and it came from from an issue of of seeing that. Just is very very hard to consume movies in an easy way and get access to all of them because even if you go to a store back in the 2000 something. There was a lot of movies missing because you had windowing right? You had. Movies coming to the movies went to Dvd second Dd window then they went to pay Tv free tv and then it went out to the ether somewhere and it was hard to access those movies. So it was kind of a library problem as well to be able to want to see what you want to see so we actually took a lot of time there spent a lot of time or actually. Looking at the industry. Why is it like this. What are the different players doing why were they formed what are driving them and when you understand ah the industry. It’s much easier to understand what you could do with the industry because you need to learn to align. Where the money in and industries and this is kind of a learning I’ve seen so many entrepreneurs fail at over the years because they come up with this great idea that on paper looks amazing. Everybody should agree to that idea on paper.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: But you have failed to actually understand what drives the money into the industry First the playgis that will block you from coming in and if you understand that first you will much easier understand how to apply it so this is this is really what what I did with passion I took the passion looked at all of the problems to be able to. Actually consume it the right way did a lot of research because it was just not me that had the issue and then actually seeing where is all of the money flowing. Why is the decisions made and happening like they do and how do you actually make the lives easier and better for the ones that is actually. Producing movies and and at the end created more windows for them to consume them to to to end consumers which actually brings the movies out so it it really came from. Being very methodical about it over time and the same goes for the other two companies I created they were really created to fix large issues in industries without really destroying the industries rather enhancing them.
Alejandro Cremades: Now in this case, you know for for this one for Butler You know the something that you really understood was being in control being in control of your own destiny of the future as an entrepreneur tell us about this. Why is this so important.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: So one of the things I’ve learned really as an entrepreneur is that when you you know when you’re young as an entrepreneur you focus on building you see the problem you are kind of naive about it I want to fix it. My first company was very successful. And so you want to start building. We had great accessibility company. We had 10% of Sweden signing up for the service within the week of the onery was super hyped and but I did not mind really all of the things around. Board composition. How does politics flow how is decisions really made how do you work with investors. What are the v the rights and and and and rice that you sign on when you do investment rounds, etc and all of that always ends up hurting you at the end if you don’t think about it. Ah, because you need to be very wary about what is the kicker kind of controlled mechanism around the company because at the end your possibility to operate as an entrepreneur is always related to what you agreed on to get there. And I can promise everyone that listens to this that is worth the extra time and effort to drive that negotiate and to the end and not just be happy with it because you’re stressed and.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: Because it will always bite your deaths when you get a v the right for a liquidity preference. It can be used to actually ah stop you from some votes in the boards which you know gets the company to where it should be. You have to say no to another investor because another investor had a v the right? ah. You lose control over kind of how the board decides and they start interacting with each other for what they think is the best for the company instead of the driving vision of the company which usually always end ups in failure. So. I think the biggest experience there is to be diligent I think when it comes to how agreements look like what investors and what people do you bring into the cap table and how do you actually compose the board so it works for the company first and per se. If you look in the whole world. The company’s structure was created in a way we have shareholders that votes aboard that puts management in place and you have a reporting line that operates that way and in many cases in the Vc world. It doesn’t because boards are. You know, hamstringed by by agreements ah part of the board is set there to govern for 1 shareholder. Not all of the shareholders and then you kind of destroy the complex kind of idea of of how the structure was set out to be for corporate governance because it it benefits some instead of all and and.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: I’ve seen very few cases where this really works out outside for the ones that wants to protect themselves in this in in the system but it seldom you know gives you great companies. So that’s a big big big learning.
Alejandro Cremades: No kidding no kidding now. Obviously 1 what what happened basically is you guys send that up selling to to investors your position and you ended up you know turning into a new chapter and that chapter was imagine so real quick here. What.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: Have to say.
Alejandro Cremades: What is imagine because it’s still around and what was the lesson that you took away from your experience with magic.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: So Madden I think and still is kind of ah a great idea and concept and and and and company because again when you looked at the world of streaming and how you consume. Today it sounds commonplace that you can just watch live tv and anywhere and you can go back in time for from it. You can pause it and you can have a lot of apps for different things if you want to watch Tenni or whatever if you go back to early twenty ten or so. Nothing of that existed. You could literally watch television on the wall through airbox and you know it kind of dictated people’s lives to be bo if you were to go back and then you saw there was the idol coming up on Fridays families kind of even. Plan the whole time around this so you have to be at 8 at home to be able to view it together. You have to have eaten et etc so it kind of dictated your time and once more person once said that in the copyable future because in the future. Everything will be copied and even more so in the aia world because Ai is all about copying to honest, it’s. Learning from something that already happened and making it into something new and the only thing you can ever copy is time because time is always going to be essential for people and Tv was one of those things that was really hampered by time because it was a live signal and if you missed it. You missed it.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: If you didn’t remember to put your Pvr under recording. So what kind of the largest media industry in the world which had almost the whole world tuning in was hampered by time and Maddie was really created around that what can we do. To remove that constraint make television available on any device at any time so we actually invented a lot of technologies where we could richly record all Tv worldwide in the cloud and make available at any time at any device directly after signal. And we even did the first agreement that I know of together with I can’t say because I think it’s still under idea but we did it 1 1 of the largest tvbi groups in the world and the first time it was licensed to go back in time over a cloud signal. We did 2013 which today is commonplace today you can do it everywhere right? but.
Alejandro Cremades: Wow.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: We did that we even streamed football before anyone so we actually streamed a world cup in football in Germany on on on madian for instance which was great because um I don’t know if everybody remembers world cup 2014 but Germany won and. They won by quite a lot over Brazil and it was in Brazil the whole event and all games were played at ten o’clock in the evening ct central european time except for the final which was played at 9 which meant that we had millions of germans tuning in late. Because every single game was supposed to be at the 10 and and Maddie was the only place they could back go back in time and watch the football game from beginning before it was ended so it was kind of those things that. That Maddie was created around and we were the first company in the world that got all of the different due disapproval to do broadcast t on any device and the amount of work there to actually be able to do that is is immense. You have to work dealing with the overtime clear rights. Understand who sits behind rights understand the politics around rights and also understand how rights are in different territories e etc. So it was a lot of work to to make that happen. But once it happened it became magical.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: Because everybody that tried that the first time what do you mean? I can just go back to the last program that was played the yes play it instead of working now. Yes, you can and and that became a big shift and it’s still around as you said it’s it’s gone from being a frontend company that did services for end consumers to being a backend company where. Large players like I think we can say flix alay to I think even elon musk sisters passion flis run on it. So a lot of content providers in the world use that technology today.
Alejandro Cremades: And you were talking about time earlier I want to I want to ask you something here when it comes to time and that is work like balance with family members I mean over the course of time I know that you’ve seen you know stuff happening with co-founders with employees. When family issues you know would arise because maybe they were neglecting that side of the equation tell us about this.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: Well I think it’s a very very important factor. So why do you do things in general right? when you’re younger, you’re doing it because you want to achieve something when you’re older you do things because you want to secure things for your family in general. Right? And then people have a tendency to forget that and I have never seen anything make more people stressed than when they have problems in their family life when they start having neglections when they start having disruptions when they get fights when they get divorced when they have issues around the kids. And so what happens there and and I’ve seen so many cases of it. We’ve had thousands of employees over the years and every time we’ve seen where you get into these situations where ah you get bad issues with with with family life I’ve seen people that were the best. In the world. What they did to become absolutely zombies you know, shells out of themselves by us trying to run their business instead of actually taking care of everything around. So one of the big experience that I have. With having so many employees cofounders and partners is that I’ve seen very few being able to manage a good company and having a family crisis at the same time. It usually just doesn’t work so when you actually get people to understand that.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: Family life work balance is actually what makes you work better. It’s not about working 20 hours a day is’ about being effective around it. So you also have times for other things because what happens otherwise is that people get narrow-minded. So. I think it’s it’s very easily forgotten and and there’s been a kind of an iolization in the world of of founders and and and startups that the ones that works the most hours are the ones that are the most successful and it seldom. So. Most of the people that are very successful usually have time to think time to reflect time to zoom out time to actually operate the countplay from a larger perspective and to be able to do so. You also have to be imbalanced because if you’re unbalanced. Usually not a good operator so I have to say I’ve seen so many cases I have numerous occasions where people that really was on top of the game that did some of the largest businesses I’ve ever seen that failed because of not taking care of their balance in their life.
Alejandro Cremades: That’s so so important to Matthias and and and I don’t think that people talk about it enough. So um, thank you for for sharing that now. What was the transition of events you know from imagine to the rocket ship. That you’re writing with utopia music you know multi unicorn um valley valuation. What what were the sequences of events that needed to happen for you to bring utopia to life.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: I think and it’s always been kind of the the background right? because for me, music has always been so important my cofounder as well and it’s kind of one of those factors for me that. So important for for humans I’ve only met 1 person in my whole life that didn’t have a great relationship to music kind of a little bit autistic. Ah great He runs a very very large company that everybody would know but I’m not going to tell. Ah. But he thinks that music disrupts his is his sort patterns outside of that I’ve met very few people that doesn’t have music as an important factor of the life from. The moods therein to the music they grew up with the 2 the love that to the music that they had when they met their loved ones to music that is part of revolutions because every revolution do have a song ah to to love to passion to when you’re sad and all of the things in between. Such an important factor of humanity. Really I mean even if you go would find one of those tribes that still exists somewhere in the world that doesn’t interact with the rest of humanity I can promise you they have music so music has been such an important factor of of.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: Ah, the world and it it changes people. It. It’s even be proven that if you have alzheimer’s and you hear music from when you were young. You start recollection things right? It’s it’s kind of a time machine if I played you a song that you haven’t heard for 20 years but it was ah a song which was played when something big happened in your life. It would be transported back in all of the emotions and feelings would come back. So it’s such an important factor and then seeing how the industry was not helping it so the industry is kind of archaic and old and and and kind of problematic and. Not in a good way seeing too that all of the good music comes out and the ones creating it actually can live for it. It’s it’s kind of blocking itself and it comes from you know, just inefficiencies fragmentation and and and all of these different problems in between. We just had to go in and fix it. We just had to create a company that comes in and tries to make it more efficient. So more music can come out and the ones that live from it could live from it better without having all of the hassles because that would lead to more music in the world and for me that makes the world better. Ah, so this is really the reason why we created utopia one of the reasons when we saw that Maddie was starting to operate well it had a Ceo a good board etc. We just had to step out and do it.
Alejandro Cremades: And why ended up being the business model of utopia music. How do you guys make money.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: So utopia has a lot of business model because utopia is kind of a large player in the music industry today because it’s very easy to confuse an industry with digitalization because it’s been such an important part of of. Of music. For instance, everyone listens to Spotify etc. But it’s still not all of the revenue actually is is not even half of the revenue or the music industry. It’s because the industry is all about someone created music someone listen to music everything in between as industry and that. Comes from even buying a vinyl so to a vibe a Cd to listen to music on on radio which four and a half billion people still do and to ah going to a nightclub to hearing music in the elevator. To consuming it through Spotify but also more and more asking an ai to play me some specific type of music right? So the music industry is all of that and it has a tendency to try to forget it and it’s been very bad at at enabling new. Monetization ways of the industry and instead of trying to block them so music should be the biggest industry of the of the media industries. But it’s the smallest and it’s it’s because of it’s been so focused on where it is sister that of word you go and that means that when you work with it. You have to segment yourself.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: Ah, because the industry segments itself to what are you are you a publishing platform or your administration part. Are you a recording a studio or you a delivery platform? are you a consumer friend fronting platform or you’re collecting agents etc and that then fragments you up into. Different territories again because every territory does its own way. But it’s governed by the strongest kind of assetbacked legal framework that exists which is a copyright laws which is kind of worldwide and every country in the world more or less have have sign on to the treaties. So what does utopia do. At the first case as I said it’s about who owns or created music and at the second stage is who listened to it and utopia is by far the best in that we have seen to it that we know who owns because there is no central register in it. And we actually track all of the global usage of music so it actually can be paid correctly and the rest is processing of having of handling that some money can actually flow in the system faster and better and by doing so we have to interface in different parts of the industry so we do everything from actual distribution of music. We even. Ah, do about 98% of all deliveries of physical vinyls in Uk for instance, so in Uk every single cbo record you would buy has been delivered by utopia and.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: Because it’s such an important asset actually and this fast is growing revenue in the missing industry people don’t know that but 30 proceeds 33% year-to-year growths on vinyl and and it’s driven by younger population. So post- covidvid. It has been more important to actually have physical things and not just digil things anymore because you were kind of locked away so you kind of see your revival in in in things. Everything has been going digil for many years and now it’s going you know back a bit to you know, getting other things important. Utopia does that? Ah, we do the actual collection and and distribution of money. We even have ah advances so when this going to sign insane. But if you’re ah for instance, an american artist and you played on radio in Germany.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: It can take 2 years for you to get paid and even if if you’re a songwri and you uploaded your music. So a distribution platform to Spotify your music was played as Spotify the average payout times to the system is nine months ah so it’s it’s a lot of of legacy in there and you lose a lot of money in the way we can even so we can recognize the play and we can actually advance the money to to the players. You can get the money tomorrow instead of waiting. For years to get the capital which means that you are again your control over your destinies you instead of selling your assets. You can actually have them and control them and work with them. So we we work on on many of those different things. We. Enable different players with technologies so we do it 4 other players that use our technologies to do so instead of trying to be the one and the long-term model of utopia is really if someone collects money it should go to the system. So it goes faster and will enable anyone to do so. Ah, so we work with actual societies in the different territories to upgrade them and and make them modern so literally it is. It’s almost like an operating system for an industry so see two that is efficient which again saves time.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: And because it’s exactly what it does and when you say time you can actually spend more of that time to create more more you 62 that more music comes out and people can listen to more music which is beneficial for the whole industry.
Alejandro Cremades: I love it now. How did you guys go about the financing tool for this company because I mean incredible how you know the value has skyrocketed to two point five billion plus you know the last financing that you guys did so up until now how much capital have you guys raised to late. And how was that journey of going through those cycles.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: So since we’ve on purpose not officially announced how much we’ve raised. It’s a lot but I’m not going to officially say so. But we’ve managed to actually be able to find as part of it ourselves as we’ve actually done exits before and I think that’s the benefit of being able to operate the companies we’ve had and we kind of got into a little bit of this hypergrowss scenario because. Lost 20 years and especially last 10 has been extremely focused on hypergrowss. So if you take a lot of the large companies that exist today they went through these hypergrows scenarios which massively increased the the value of them. Not always from a profitability standpoint not always from a revenue standpoint just being able to capture market by growth. This has been how the world of of of financing has looked the last twenty years and a year ago that all came to stop. So now every company needs to look at sustainability and profitability and if you’re still one of the gross companies. You’re not getting kept up period. So we’re in a wake of of companies that are failing because of it. You’ve even seen banks being disrupted by it and and it’s not.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: Going to stop anytime soon. So experience-wise we went through that hypergrowss. We went from 40 to 1100 people. We recruited a team that was specialized in it come from some of the largest growths companies in the world. And that worked fantastically well up until the world didn’t reward it anymore and we were able to raise capital every single time at high multiples and we were also able to get oversubscribed every wrong with it. So we were in the fortunate situation of being able to control the life and the destiny of the company which led to all board members actually be selected board members who only have one share class etc. Which means that the value is the same for all shareholders. And all of these has been very diligent work and you could have done it easier but by doing so we’ve been in control of the company and but I have to say the the last year has been a very interesting year I’ve been operating from the board. So we recruited a global Ceo and. I will see too with that we take care of how we work with investors and boards and all of the different things to make the company been able to operate and in January this year I was asked by the board to step in as seo so I stepped back in and then I’ve been optimizing and and the company and.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: one of the biggest experiences I’ve had in my life of of having to see too with that everything that was in hypergrowths which literally means if something burns in the corner. You just leave it alone because if you try to to turn out that fire. You’re not moving fast enough to actually seeing to that every fire is turned out. Because that’s the only way to be sustainable over time and and and run your company versus profitability. So we’ve gone through the the lifecycles that I think you see in the world of of technology today. We’ve had downsizeds we’ve had to look at operations. How many offices? do we have? What is the cost How do we operate? How do we. Cost controls how we have controls of the development cycles go to markets and all these other things so in in about six months we’ve been able to lower our burn with about 75% and we’re still increasing our revenue this year with about 80%
Alejandro Cremades: Wow.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: Ah, so it’s it’s an interesting story but you know doing that and doing that kind of restructuring also requires money and that’s been. You know, not the easiest thing to do even for us a you know unicorn level company. We. We have the same problem and that’s why you see the likes of floridana losing eighty five ninety percent of their devaluation because at the end there’s always an equation of of valuation versus tractor of a company but it’s it’s a very interesting experience to. Look at how do you take all of decisions because we set out to be 1 of the camps that do take the decisions that c two is that you do all of the things you need and and as I said it’s not easy. I mean we created a company with very high human values. We can’t name yourself utopia without it and then actually having to let go people that are you know there for the vision to be able to get there. It’s it’s been a you know tough but interesting. You know journey but also kind of a sad one because there’s been so many great people but at the end the vision of making the world a music better is too important to not take all the decisions to get there and I think one of the learnings I’ve had in all of my companies is that.
Alejandro Cremades: Yeah.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: The ones to succeed are the ones who decide if you are thinking something will fix itself if you hope something will go away if you think that if we asked to do this a little bit more things will happen I think the most. And biggest experience and and advice I can give to everyone take take take decisions Operate. Don’t hesitate. Go forward always because that’s what make a company successful and when when we talk about valuations. 1 of the best and anecdotes or kind of not anecdote really but the best kind of folk I’ve ever heard is their valuation of companies usually equal to the amount of problems you solved to get there and I think that’s the life of an entrepreneur.
Alejandro Cremades: Got it I mean unbelievable. The um, the lessons learned you know, throw your journey and and and also what you guys are doing I mean I agree as well. That in the end too. You know like those cycles you know they end up making companies much stronger too know because they they help you to really take a look at things. So. I’m sure that there’s a ton of people right now that are super inspired and that are wondering hey what is the best way for me to reach out to Mathhias and say hi. What is the best way for them to do so.
Mattias Hjelmstedt: Well I think in general just ping me on Linkedin.
Alejandro Cremades: Amazing! Well hey well is he enough? Well Mattas thank you so much for being on the deal maker show today with that it has it has been an honor to have you.
Mattias Hjelmstedt:Ah, thank you so much. Thank you.
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