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Scandinavia’s wealthiest families/entrepreneurs back e-commerce success story

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A good example of how family capital is backing new economy growth companies is found among the backers behind Swedish online grocery group, Mathem

Founded in 2006 by Karolin and Tomas Kull, Mathem has gone onto become the biggest online grocery store in terms of revenue in Sweden, with sales of more than SEK 1 billion annually. Last week, Mathem attracted €86 million in a private equity deal from Kinnevik, the Swedish investment group owned by the Stenbeck, Klingspor and von Horn families. And along the way, a number of other wealthy families from have backed Mathem.

Mathem started attracting investor interest after it won a series of awards for best online grocery store in Sweden, and in 2014 saw two venture groups buying a stake in the Stockholm-based group.

The following year, Anders Holch Povlsen, the Danish billionaire and owner of the clothing retailer chain Bestseller, through his private investment office, Heartland, invested in Mathem.

Two years later, Mathem attracts even more serious family capital. This time, Norwegian family office Ferd, which is owned by Johan Andresen and his daughters, invested. Even bigger still, Karl-Johan Persson, the CEO and a member of the family who owns the huge fashion group H&M, bought into Mathem. It’s not clear if this is done through an investment office connected to the Persson family called Dirt Investments, or if this is done as a personal investment.

Also investing in Mathem in 2017 was the big Swedish retail group Carl Ohlson, which is owned by descendants of its eponymous founder – they are the Tidstrand and Haid families.

The Kinnevik investment into Mathem has probably seen some early stage investors realise a good return on their investments. Here’s what one of them told Family Capital: “We have sold about a third of our holdings around our cost price, but with the injection of capital (from Kinnevik), we see the company much better poised to grow.”

Others still might be playing more of a long term approach to realising their returns. But, whatever the game plan of Mathem’s investors, the families backing the e-commerce group show they very much have their mind on new economy businesses like Mathem.  

 

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