The goal of a startup

There’s often a fair bit of romanticism around startups, the startup scene and the startup ecosystem. The participants are creating a new and hopefully better world. Maybe that belief is needed when starting out, as the odds if success often is lower than anyone would want to admit.

But pretty much regardless of what a startup does, a startup is a story about transformation. The goal being that the startup itself should transform into something different. Values and mission hopefully stays the same, but everything else is bigger, better and different.

Or differently said: the goal of a startup is to not be a startup any longer.

Originally published at on January 25, 2013. Slightly edited.

Mjuk raises €2.5 million to grow furniture re-commerce marketplace

Alliance VC has participated in Mjuk’s latest €2.5 million fundraising together with Trind Ventures, Lifeline Ventures, Superhero Capital and others.

We first invested about 18 months ago and have been impressed by how Rickard, Max and Casper has adapted and improved Mjuk in the face of a very tough economic environment where consumers are spending less on furniture and more on interest payments.

To make Mjuk an even better place for furniture re-commerce, Mjuk has added quality inventory directly from brands and increased focus on having very attractive prices.

I believe quality inventory (second hand and non-used) and attractive prices is the right way to build a great marketplace in the very large furniture market.

10 lessons for top creators

Lenny Rachitsky has created the 5th most popular newsletter on Substack with more than 500,000 subscribers by writing about product management. He shares his top 10 lessons, which are applicable for different types of creators and mediums. Some key points:

  • Quality + consistency = all that matters
  • Follow your energy. What topics give you energy to think about, write about, and talk about? What saps you of energy? Spend more on the former and less on the latter.
  • Commit to a consistent cadence, and make sure it’s sustainable

State of US seed investing

Semil Shah of Haystack describes the current US seed stage investing climate in six points. They are all worth reading but on point that I found interesting, and directionally similar in Europe, was this: “6/ Speaking of future financings, the conversion of these early-stage investments from pre-seed to seed, or seed to Series A (I’ve given up deciphering the nomenclature) has suffered dramatically since the start of 2022. If we take out the AI-hype or momentum deals from 2023, the traditional Series A firms have really slowed down as they’ve digested the portfolio triage that needed to happen while waiting for evidence-based momentum deals to invest in after years of narrative-driven high-priced Series As.”

Compound & Friends podcast about stocks, Tesla, European tech, and Rolex

My favorite guest on one of my favorite podcasts. The Compound & Friends are visited by Nick Colas. Discussing, among other things, the stock market, some macro, Tesla, and that Rolex raising prices (since the 1960’s and acquiring retail stores) is a classic response from a company that is getting disrupted.

Also some talk about European tech companies (“ASML is good one”), including Josh Brown’s comment, paraphrased, that think what would happen if Berlin started churning out startups. Which many in Europe probably would argue that it is doing already. A good reminder that perspectives matter.

Founder vs Investor

A book about startup investing and company building I’m really looking forward to, release date is September 12, is Founder vs Investor: The Honest Truth about Venture Capital from Startup to IPO by Elizabeth Salman and Jerry Neumann.

In addition to successful angel investing, Jerry has been writing high quality stuff on startups and venture investing at Reaction Wheel for a very long time.

Alliance VC adds partner in Denmark

I’m very happy that Stine Mølgaard Sørensen is now a partner at Alliance VC. Stine brings experience as a founder (e.g. Radiobotics), startup investor and board member in several Danish startups. As she is based in Copenhagen, Alliance VC will be a better partner to Danish founders (and, to be fair, Swedish founders based in Skåne) as we will be part of the local ecosystem.

A fun fact is that with Stine joining, the three latest partners at Alliance VC all have operational experience from health or wellness startups (Radiobotics, Kry and Lifesum).

A deep dive into investing in venture capital

My Alliance VC colleague Arne Tonning has written a longer article about institutional investing in venture capital. It is a real deep dive into how well venture has done over the last twenty years (the best funds have done very, very well). As the article covers multiple areas it is not easy to take only one idea from the article, but the TL;DR gives a good overview of what the article covers:

  1. VC has driven returns for the Endowment Model + proven itself
  2. The Power Law dictates winning investment strategies
  3. VC delivers top returns for consistent, diversified and selective LP allocations
  4. 🇪🇺 returns are on par w/🇺🇸 and 🇩🇰🇫🇮🇮🇸🇳🇴🇸🇪 tops in efficiency 💪
  5. Call to action: Join the ride 🚀