Neqst was founded not to do the same thing as other firms, but rather to take a fundamentally different approach. Back in 2008, we couldn’t find any other Nordic tech investors that could claim our combination of operational, strategic and financial expertise. Then, as now, we provided unique support and guidance based on hands-on experience.
We’ve always worked with a very specific set of companies: with proven technology, revenues of SEK 50M and upward, and positioned to achieve exceptional growth with the right support. There may be more tech investors on the Nordic scene now – but we still believe that Neqst stands out from the crowd in critically important ways.
From the start, an important difference was that we invested our own capital, side by side with our investors. We don’t profit from big management fees, we succeed if our companies succeed. As investors, we don’t take wild shots. In fact, we’re pretty risk adverse and our ambition is that every single company we invest in should be successful. We talk a lot about balanced risk - the limited, well-considered risk we take with our investors’ capital and our own.
Another difference is our patience. When investing, we often work with companies for a year or more before finding the right investment structure. We also want to get to know the leadership team well - and want them to get to know us. Because we have both perseverance and transactional expertise, complex transactions don’t scare us. Many times we’ve managed to get transactions done where other firms have failed. In fact, some of our best successes have grown from the stickiest of situations. We are patient investors, but also patient owners. Our corporate structure allows us to focus on long-term value creation over hype or quick exits.
Finally, we’ve had one focus since 2008: technology growth companies. We were pretty much on our own for a long time, so we’ve had a great opportunity to further refine our approach to our segment. We know this market and we know how to work with entrepreneurs to grow companies into bigger, better, more international entities.
So yes, we believe that we are fundamentally different from other tech investors in the region. We believe that this difference is tangible to the companies and entrepreneurs we partner with. And that this difference is reflected in the value creation we have achieved since the start.
Primarily Nordic region
Software, information technology services, telecommunications and software- and internet-enabled services
Private or public
SEK 50-3000 Million
Growth stage, profitable
Primary and secondary capital investments
Opportunity to achieve significant ownership and board representation
The four pillars of our investment philosophy – alignment of interests, long-term perspective, balanced risk and active ownership – grew out of our beliefs about what tech investing should be. We’ve put these principles into practice since 2008 and we know that they breed success; independent valuations show value growth in all our companies since investment and we have completed both a successful IPO (partial exit) and trade sale (full exit).
So how have we partnered with the companies? These are some examples of how we have contributed:
Neqst has a relatively small number of investors. They are entrepreneurs who have built up companies throughout the Nordic region and internationally. Our investors are sector-knowledgeable and as such able to contribute on many fronts. Crucially, they share the Neqst focus on building businesses over the long term.
Having a smaller number of long-term investors provides unique flexibility in our investment mandate, in financing of transactions and in holding periods. We can quickly respond to new opportunities and we are not pressured to exit investments based on arbitrary fund lifecycles.
In our business of meeting with companies and investors, we are often asked for references. We have extensive networks of current and ex-colleagues, co-investors, advisors and other individuals with whom we have worked over the years. By far our most important references, though, are the entrepreneurs, CEO’s and management teams of the companies in which we have invested.
In particular, we encourage entrepreneurs with whom we discuss new investments to meet with the management of our portfolio companies. As we discuss long-term plans, it is important for our future partners to understand how we work and how we can contribute over time.
“Before teaming up with Neqst I took their advice and contacted CEO’s from some of their portfolio companies. I put a lot of time into it, talking to five different people for an hour or two each and asking pretty much anything. It was well invested time. I feel very comfortable starting this journey together with Neqst.”
At Neqst, our value system stems from a passion for building companies that we can be proud of over the long term. Part of this is maintaining a perspective on the larger context of our business and the various stakeholders involved.
For a copy of our responsible investment policy, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Neqst maintains a 100% Swedish corporate structure. Our companies pay local taxes and any profits or dividends that are ultimately due to Neqst are taxable in Sweden.
Transparency characterizes our way of working with companies pre- and post-investment. An open and direct dialogue, taking into account the various parties’ perspectives, is the essential first step towards alignment of interests.
We are proud of the fact that we invest in local entrepreneurs and help their companies to create jobs and deliver value over the long term. Focus on profitability and growth is essential to achieving benefits for all parties.