André has been a cornerstone of Skagerak Capital for close to 20 years, specializing in venture capital investments within AI powered B2B SaaS. André has led multiple investment rounds and successfully orchestrated numerous exits for portfolio companies. His comprehensive understanding of the SaaS landscape and skills in guiding companies to exit have been pivotal in shaping Skagerak Capital's focused and high-performing portfolio.
Outside of his professional commitments, André is passionate about outdoor sports. He finds solace in skiing and exploring the mountains during winter.
André, looking back since 2007, how has Skagerak's focus shifted, especially with the growth of our SaaS portfolio?
Skagerak Capital initially had a broad investment focus, covering multiple sectors. However, over the years, the firm has significantly narrowed its focus to primarily invest in AI powered B2B SaaS companies. This transition has been shaped by the robust, scalable business models and consistent recurring revenues that the SaaS sector offers. Our focus in Deeptech has also been more specilized over the years till now having a focus where the Norwegian community is world leading.
How do you think the venture capital scene has changed over the years?
On a general note, the landscape of the venture capital industry is undergoing a notable transformation, driven by multiple factors that amongst others include regulatory changes and an evolved focus on sustainability. One significant catalyst is the advent of new regulation, such as the EU Taxonomy, which provides a classification system for sustainability and serves as a guideline for funds. This has led to a more nuanced approach to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors, moving beyond mere box-checking to a more integrated and substantive focus on sustainability.
The venture capital sector in Norway has seen significant maturation since I started in 2007, expanding to include a more diverse array of investment opportunities. One crucial factor in this development has been the elevated status of entrepreneurship, which has drawn more talent into the startup ecosystem. Investment focus has also shifted, placing greater emphasis on not just product-market fit but also scalability and a trajectory toward profitability. Along the way the exit landscape has evolved as well, thus offering a more diversified exit strategies, including sales to PE firms or PE-owned entities.
As we move forward, what excites you the most about the future of Skagerak, particularly in the SaaS and AI realms?
I’m particularly excited about the future prospects of integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) into SaaS platforms. The integration of AI technologies is creating new avenues for rapid innovation and efficiency. Decisions serves as a prime example; the company has demonstrated outstanding performance over many years and effectively embraced AI technologies, aligning perfectly with Skagerak Capital's forward-looking investment philosophy.
The journey since 2007 has been marked by significant achievements, and Skagerak Capital is poised for an even more promising future, especially in the realms of SaaS and AI.