Stockholm, Sweden, 5th September 2022
Today, Ark Kapital – the data-driven precision finance company enabling startups to grow faster and smarter through non-dilutive loans – announces it has doubled its equity funding from €15m to €30m in an acceleration round, 6 months after closing one of Europe’s biggest seed rounds at €165m. The round was led by banking icon Annika Falkengren with participation from all seed investors (LocalGlobe, Creandum) and angels (Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen, Zettle founder Jacob de Geer, EQT Ventures founding partner Hjalmar Winbladh, founder of Embark Studios Patrick Söderlund). The company also welcomed a new angel investor on board – one of the worlds most prominent gaming founders, Timo Soininen of Zynga-acquired company Small Giant Games. This brings up the total equity raised to €30m and total capital pool available for founders to lend from to €300m.
Ark Kapital was founded in the summer of 2021 and launched in November the same year– by six-time entrepreneur Oliver Hildebrandt (CEO), veteran banker Axel Bruzelius (COO), and Spotify’s ex-VP of Analytics and former EQT Ventures partner Henrik Landgren (CPTO). The firm offers a new model for tech companies to grow their business, offering non-dilutive loans and access to world class growth analytics. Founders simply plug into ArK’s machine learning platform with all their growth related accounts and in return get access to a detailed 5-year forecast – from which they can access customized funding. ArK’s financial product suite currently consists of a transformative, large growth loan that spans between €1-€10m, lasting up to seven years, with repayments not starting for two-to-three years. The second loan product in the portfolio allows founders to get instant access to the money they’ve earned through various marketplaces or app stores, allowing reinvestment into growth peaks. Both products are fully non-dilutive.
The credit market has historically been closed off for early stage tech companies, as banks haven’t been able to properly risk assess companies with not-yet profitable growth. With ArK’s always-connected approach to underwriting it is however possible to bridge the gap between the credit market and the startup community. This is what brought banking icon Annika Falkengren to the table. Since stepping down from her 11-year CEO tenure at European bank SEB, she’s currently one of Lombard Odiers seven managing partners and is continuously cited by Fortune as among the 10 most powerful women in global business.
“I’ve worked in banking my whole life and the lack of tech lending has never been due to lack of will. The problem has been forecasting startup risk and financial strength, something you could argue the whole capital market is bad at. ArK has come leaps and bounds in this regard and their success will not just change debt financing but tech funding as a whole. I see this is an investment into the next chapter in finance and funding.“ – Annika Falkengren
Zettle founder and angel investor Jacob de Geer adds:
“Founders who have gone through an extreme growth journey know the importance of protecting equity. With large ownership comes control and with control you get to keep the joy of building. I’m glad to be part of delivering the new era of funding to the next generation of founders.” – Jacob de Geer
Leaving his comments is EQT Ventures founding partner and chairman of the ArK board, Hjalmar Winbladh: “To raise an oversubscribed round in just a few days from some of the most reputable Investors, is a strong testament to the whole ArK team, its ability to execute and the market demand for its ground breaking lending product to Scale-ups.”
CPTO and co-founder Henrik Landgren further comments on the latest capital injection: “We are gunning to become the leading predictive platform for tech companies and this money will be put towards getting the best machine learning talent from Google, Spotify and the rest. What all of these people are doing at a single firm, we invite them to do for every single tech firm in the world.”
About ArK Kapital
Fusing banking and artificial intelligence (AI), ArK Kapital is a data-driven precision finance company that enables technology companies to grow faster and smarter through long-term loans. To optimize this, ArK developed a proprietary AI platform: the ArK Intelligence Machine (AIM). The AIM connects to the raw business data of a company; combined with relevant external market data, this unlocks hidden possibilities for growth and strategic foresight. Potential insights include when a customer will become profitable, when they will require new capital injection, and how quickly they can reasonably repay a loan. Based on that intelligence, ArK customizes loans and other financial tools that fuel growth for founders with fewer mistakes and less equity dilution. ArK also helps expand access to top-level data science for countless companies by sharing always-on analytics and insights with its borrowers through the AIM dashboard.