2021 will most probably go down in the history books as a red herring. For many, many reasons, but when speaking of the tech ecosystem, we might have to consider removing that year from the record books, as things just got, well, shall we say, a bit hectic there for a moment.
Fast forward 6 months into June of this year, and Ark Kapital co-founder and CPTO Henrik Landgren delivered his thoughts on how founders could (cautiously) set a course right through the eye of the storm and come out reasonably unscathed, if not ahead of where they were when they encountered choppy waters.
Little did we know at the time just how much worse that storm was about to get.
Having spent the better part of a decade crafting big data models at McKinsey, Spotify, EQT Ventures (where he built the firm’s well-known Motherbrain), it’s fair to say that Landgren knows a thing or two about using AI forecasting to mitigate risks and determining when it’s time to get the gas and grow. And when not to.
And as of today, Landgren and Ark Kapital are bequeathing founders everywhere with the same technology they’ve been using to identify and track companies with durable growth and forecasting their future cash position to ensure that the loans ArK Kapital issues are ultimately repaid, with AIM.
“Due to my background - AIM has been a highly sought-after tool for VCs, and we’ve let a few of our closest VC friends invite some of their portfolio companies in the beta version. But today is the day we feel ready to release it widely to the founder community.” - Ark Kapital CPTO and co-founder Henrik Landgren.
At the time of Landgren’s departure from EQT, his creation, Motherbrain was tracking over 20 million tech companies and their growth trajectories globally. Crucially, the AI was trained to identify hidden dark horses in the market before competing VCs spotted them.
Since launching Ark, Landgren has assembled a dream team of tech and analytics experts hailing from EQT, Spotify, Klarna, Tink, Anyfin, and Instabox, all collaborating on building a forecasting platform running on the complete data set related to costs, revenues, and user behavior.
The 5-year plan
As Landgren highlighted in his original op-ed at Tech.eu, connecting the dots and recognising the signals that indicate future financial strength, particularly in not-yet profitable companies lie not only within the teams responsible for growing the company’s user base but also in the CFO’s purview, namely, can the growth can support the cost of the whole operation.
Given the way the market has been, and apparently seems to be further heading, providing founders with a solution that will give them a green light on growth or whether this acceleration will lead them into a brick wall, is nothing short of a Godsend to many, if not all.
“It’s common for teams and founders not to draw product, growth and user behaviour analytics all the way down to actual money on the bank. But metrics need to be connected all the way down to the financial modeling,” says Landgren. “Only then can you know if your customer acquisition cost is any good - by answering the question can the engine carry the car and how long will it take me. This is how you mitigate hitting a wall and being forced to layoffs.”
As of today, founders are welcome to apply to gain access to AIM. The service is available to companies in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and the UK, and Ark has plans to quickly roll out the service to additional key tech regions across Europe.