Cookie Settings Our site uses cookies in order for the site to function properly and for your user experience to be even better. You can read more about them use and control their settings.
logo
Services Marketing & strategy Creative & content Tech & experience Segments B2B E-commerce & DTC B2C Lead Generation B2C Branding Cases About Podcast Insights & events Events Webinars E-books Blog Growth academy Careers Contact
sv fi en
sv fi en

Episode #28

Björn Thorngren is the CEO and founder of MEDS. We talk about how they became the fastest-growing company in Sweden, the strategies they used to acquire 800,000 customers and raise 50M€ in funding, what the pharmacy markets in Sweden and North Korea have in common, and much more!

This post is based on our podcast episode with Björn Thorngren. Björn is the CEO and founder of MED, an online pharmacy and one of Sweden’s fastest-growing companies. You can watch the entire conversation here.

1. Branding vs customer acquisition

Most startups begin by focusing on customer acquisition, e.g. through digital performance marketing, and only start making intentional investments in branding as the company matures and grows.

MEDS decided to do it the other way around and invested a lot in brand campaigns in the early days. For example, they ran a highly-publicized campaign with Swedish pop star Måns Zelmerlöw, where he was naked on a horse. The strategy was simply: to show that they were a new and serious player in what is often seen as a generic and boring industry.

The strategy paid off and now 5 out of 10 Swedes now recognize MEDS, which is an incredible achievement for such a young company. MEDS is now focusing on converting this awareness into conversions.

2. Winning through experience

MEDS operates in a regulated and low-margin industry where there’s little-to-no room for differentiation. When it comes to e.g. prescription, the pharmacies don’t control inventory or prices.

How do you succeed in this kind of environment? The market agencies that worked with MEDS could hardly believe it when Björn explained that they don’t have any specific USP (unique selling proposition). Instead, MEDS decided to go all-in on providing the best possible customer service and customer experience. Their support is available 7 days a week, they make sure the selection is wide, and they’ve developed their own tech stack in order to give the best possible service.

The strategy is clearly working, and MEDS continues to grow approximately 3x faster than the overall market.

3. Lessons learned from raising 50m€

The number one lesson when it comes to raising capital? “Embrace the pain”. Björn points out that raising money was, is, and will always be hard, regardless of the economic cycle. And if you as an entrepreneur feel that raising money is the worst thing ever, perhaps it’s a better idea to try growing more slowly and build a smaller company.

The second lesson is to find the type of investors that are most suited to your company’s strategy and vision. MEDS has for instance avoided venture capital because they typically want companies to take huge risks in order to have 10-20x value creation in a short amount of time. MEDS has chosen a more thoughtful and measured approach when it comes to growth and therefore chosen long-term investors like family offices and tech entrepreneurs.

Subscribe and never miss an episode!

Watch video: How MEDS became the fastest-growing company in Sweden with founder & CEO Björn Thorngren

Björn Thorngren: How MEDS became the fastest-growing company in Sweden – Youtube transcript

Today’s guest is Björn Thorngren the founder and CEO of meds which is an online pharmacy in Sweden on the financial times list of Europe’s fastest growing companies between 2018 and 2021 meds was ranked number one in Sweden and number 72nd in Europe welcome to the show BR Beyond thank you very much and great to be here so you had a background in business development m&a and investment The insights that led to MEDS and I’d be curious to you know given that background you presumably have really good understanding of markets you know breaking apart business models and so be curious to know what was kind of like the Insight that you saw that led you to found meds back in I think 2017 or or 2018 correct yeah we launched in 2018 but we started in 2017 so I I really do have a 360 degree uh career kind kind of a backwards career I started with tech Investments and then moving on advisor in then operational roles for a US company and then finally founding meds that quite a late stage in in life I’m I’m happy to have read in Harvard Business Review that the most successful startups are started by 45 year old so uh at least that we did right and uh of course uh I’m I I’m still a lot to learn uh as as does everyone but um The Experience from those various sides of business was valuable in finding what to do and what to start and number one is a a big market and obviously Pharmacy is one of the largest retail markets around it’s in in Sweden uh over 5 billion euros per year and and it keeps growing it’s been growing since the Middle Ages and grows every year uh totally un cyclical uh so that was number two and not being impacted by uh economic shifts uh was really good uh and then finally I was really looking for a consumer oriented Service as I’ve been very much into the B2B space before which is uh also great uh but a lot more binary either you land that big customer or you don’t and if you do not then you’re in trouble whereas of course H we like to keep 100% customers happy but if we lose one we can always find another and it’s um a lot more movement it it it generates money while we’re sleeping so so that combined with a real problem to solve uh I think made all the the bits there to build a great company and you mentioned that there are some unique features um of the online pharmacy or like Pharmacy in general in The unique online pharmacy market in Sweden Sweden um I think we talked about there’s it was has something in common with North Korea and Swedish Pharmacy yes the Swedish Market is is uh extreme and it’s it’s funny there’s a Swedish expression log on which means just about right but really nothing in Sweden is is log on we’re always on the uh either one side or the other and with Pharmacy in 1971 all phes were nationalized and there was only one Pharmacy a big chain called the pharmacy and uh that remained until 2010 so Sweden was unique with North Korea in in having a Government monopoly for for pharmacy and we’re actually still unique in that this chain remains and only North Korea and Sweden does have a state run Pharmacy retail chain even though the market is uh deregulated and that chain is not even number one and has no special Mission so it’s interesting to compete against the government that also in many ways sets the terms for our our business so they’re on on both both sides and there was an advant Vantage of that background in that one government entity talk to another government entity and thereby we have really good technology uh to um to sell online we have 100% electronic prescriptions and um uh we also have a digital ID and we have good regulation that actually allows this which is not the case in many other countries so Sweden is the leading country globally in terms of selling prescribed medicine online so even though we’re a very small country small population we have a huge market and we also have the very best um prerequisites to uh to create the business so that’s why we’re still only here um and and not having expanded to many other markets which is the norm for a scale up and actually has been what I’ve done for other companies in in the past just expanding to New Markets all around yeah I don’t think that’s obvious to people but you mentioned that the the online penetration in the pharmacy industry is like 10 times higher in Sweden than it is in Norway for instance so there’s a huge difference in terms of just consumer Behavior very much so and and that also is because the government Pharmacy actually launched online back in 2006 so so they were early in in uh promoting the concept uh which means it’s known and in many other countries it’s still quite unknown and and when I talk to peers in other countries they say we have to spend a lot of time and effort in educating people that this is even possible and that’s not really the case here and it’s also it’s not controversial in some markets uh it’s seen as a threat by the existing physical pharmacies and they Lobby against it whereas here everyone’s doing it and even the government’s doing it so it’s not controversial at all and everyone see the value it brings because uh we have very few pharmacies in Sweden we have half the EU average which is also a result of the Monopoly uh they only placed pharmacies here there there on on like a strategic level rather than actual according to demand so we do feel a very important Gap in in bridging that there so let’s talk a little bit about How to win in a competitive market like the early days of meds um it sounds like you had a very good kind of the the MC review made a lot of sense right there’s all there’s a there good prerequisite for starting a b business in this non-cyclical you know ever growing market and as Sweden is the right country to do that but you know presumably you guys had competitors including the government which is I can imagine difficult competitor to have um so what was the strategy in the beginning in in what I would assume to be a very price driven Market is that what was the strategy in terms of customer acquisition and and differentiation for you guys yeah that has actually been one of our greatest challenges and we sat a lot with different marketing agencies and they tried to really find what’s the unique selling point and um we were quite blunt with that there isn’t one and and just accept it it’s a huge Market everyone sells the same products especially when it comes to prescribed medicine we don’t even control the inventory it’s decided by the doctors uh and and uh so what we do is we create a really good experience every time and that’s unique selling point if you are are happy as a customer you will you will return so we do our best to really live up to what we promised and and try to fix when things go wrong but that said we do also compete with a higher service level so we have customer service s days a week and we deliver faster than others and we have our warehouse just outside the city of of Stockholm whereas others are hours away and 50% of the market is in this region so we can deliver faster and then we work a lot also with the customer experience making it as fast and smooth as possible and of course we do try also to stick out in in terms of what products we sell um but 90% plus is is the same everywhere and so um then I guess the only way you can really stick out is to be the by far cheapest and that’s a position we haven’t Chosen and I I worked a lot in telecoms before and I see in most markets there are three or four mobile operators and it’s similar uh Dynamics actually they do tend to take a position of the market one is the former government incumbent and one is sort of Enterprise and one is the consumer uh and and then there’s typically a value player and that’s that’s us we we deliver a lot of value we have good prices but we’re not always number one uh but uh we’re already a lot more affordable than the stores there’s a huge price difference between stores and online which doesn’t exist in any other markets so it’s it’s quite unique for pharmacy at least in in Sweden uh so there is a great advantage to shopping here and then maybe you can get one or two% even cheaper if you hunt around for each and every product and and that’s fine we don’t have to take 100% of the market I think I can just imagine the marketing agency kind of getting heads exploding when when they’re trying to figure out the differentiation yeah it was almost like an interrogation like tell me the USB like we we don’t have it but it sounds like you had a really clear strategy and kind of like a playbook out of the Amazon you know way Providing the best customer experience of approaching customer Obsession and and essentially you said it doesn’t matter if the price is still going to be so much cheaper to shop online versus in store that customers a large percent of customers I’m not going to try to find exactly the cheapest like pain uh Killers whatever they’re going to go for the meds which is because of the they’re going to they know they get the best customer service so that’s that’s really what we’re aiming for and and that they can find also everything they’re looking for I think that’s equally important that it’s not a theoretical uh product inventory we have 20,000 plus products you know 30,000 plus if you include the prescribed medicine but if only uh a handful of those are actually in store and then you have to wait then you go somewhere else so we work a lot with actually getting things in and and making sure they’re never out of stock and and always available that’s the probably especially when it comes to our products that you typically need in a hurry more important than if you can save you know 10 cents that makes sense so in addition to obvious things like inventory what have you guys been doing uh what kind of Investments have you been making in customer experience to make sure that you are you know the customers are really happy every single time and they keep coming back cuz obviously it’s it sounds like a a really effective strategy growth strategy but it’s I I would guess it’s not very simple to execute so so what have you guys kind of been doing and and how have you gone about finding customer needs and meeting them and perhaps before your competitors have been able to yeah it is a challenge especially when the company grows as fast as we have done so 17 % on average during a couple of years and and we could have grown actually a lot faster but then we would have also taking in a lot of unhappy customers and that’s that’s not very smart because they don’t come back so you just spend a lot of money on acquisition and and then they go somewhere else and and are disappointed so giving investing ahead of time has been very important to us in all aspects in terms of capacity in the warehouse in uh in a number of pharmacist number of customer service staff and it that you hear a lot I think especially in the uh d2c space the the brands when they launch something oh the the website breaks down and then they’re happy because the demand was so great for us that’s that’s not what we’re looking for we need the website to always work and and we do invest a lot we develop all all it systems in housee and my co-founder Adam shawaf is the CTO and um we do take a lot of pride in in making sure it works it’s boring but it’s very very important just a quick side note um because it’s kind of so so fresh are you using AI in any ways already to improve the customer experience in any way anything that you’re kind of excited about any use cases in general for AI that you’re look at we we have some built in but we can do a lot more and that that’s something we we talk a lot about internally how do we get all this promise to actually get Traction in in in the in the business uh because there’s always an excuse why you don’t use it oh it’s not good enough yet for my particular task and of course if you’re a really good designer then AI will not do exactly what you want all the time and and vice versa if you’re a Content writer or you’re a buyer or whatever but we have to find a level where it’s good enough and actually start using it and accept that sometimes it will not go go great and and then we fix it uh but we have only like touched on the surface there and and I think also some may in general not just here in general be concerned oh what happens to my job with AI will it take my job but but are are philosophy is that it might if you don’t Embrace AI because then we’ll have to hire someone that that knows AI but if you do it then you’re going to be Irreplaceable plus you’re going to be supercharged you’re going to be able to do 10 times as much in the same time without being stressed so that’s how we have to see this and and there’s so much we can do in the customer experience and um our board member David who seeo Clara he has a lot of experience from China for for example where he says you don’t search for the product the product searches for for you uh and with the bread of products we have and and um it’s it’s hard for a consumer to find out what is actually right for me and even for me I’ve been in the company now five plus years and when I walk around in a warehouse I find a lot of products that I didn’t know existed so how can we help the consumer find those products online and uh uh yeah in in every way in the customer service uh and you there’s there’s good enough solutions for pretty much everything now so it’s no longer a theoretic concept it’s it’s out there so the answer is we we have just started but year from now I think you you hopefully will see a lot of changes in how we approach the customers and how we help our suppliers as well so it goes the whole way yeah I think I can imagine that there must be such a huge up opportunity and helping customers discover more products that they can use cuz there yeah I don’t know there must be Millions out there um going back to to customers The strategies MEDS used to get 800,000 active customers and customer acquisition you have about something around 800,000 active customers right now and you’re like you said you’re only in Sweden so quick math that should be about 8% of the total population which is pretty crazy for a new company um can you talk a little bit about the acquisition strategies that you have used to acquire those customers and maybe if those are changing and if so how as you kind of continue to increase um to scale the company yeah it’s mindboggling actually that it’s that many and and of course it’s because we’re an industry that touches everyone so if you just look at the prescribed Medicine 2third of the population have at least one prescription per year and and for women that’s even higher it’s like 80% and then we sell a lot more as well so some people say oh I don’t I don’t go to Pharmacy uh but like do you brush your teeth do you wash your hair yeah yeah of course you do do you need some skincare yeah I do do you eat some vitamins yeah I do so yeah you do shop at at phes typically it’s um the woman of of the household that do the shopping and you know the Bandaids just magically appear at home uh so I think that’s a key question to figure out uh who’s actually making the buying decision and and so if you look at our audience it’s heavily tilted to females 70 80% and uh quite young you it’s like 25 to 55 is is the core even though we have customers that are over 100 um but in general everyone’s our customers so we have to figure out who’s most likely to to switch because it’s still early adopter game uh and who’s most profit profitable as well so we just don’t find The Bargain Hunter uh so our strategy has been from the start to to build a brand uh five out of 10 Suites now recognize Ms which is even more mindboggling I guess um and we invested a lot in in brand campaigns in the early days we we retained mon Selman the Eurovision Song Contest winner and he did a music video which was really uh um recognized because he was actually naked on a horse uh so that made headlines uh uh especially since it was a pharmacy that did ites are typically very generic green and boring and all of a sudden we had this pop star on a horse uh without clothes so so um we we decided to stick out because we are very serious in everything we do in the operations uh and that’s that I think means we don’t have to be serious in every part of the way in how we communicate so that was important in the first few years getting the brand out there getting it well known uh and um understood that this is a serious player this is one of of a few there’s actually not that many big Pharmacy players but they’re strong so we compete with the government we compete with EA which is the largest um um grocery chain here extremely well-known Brands so we have to build our brand as well um and having done that we we gradually tone that down and now it’s all about getting as many to actually test the service it’s not good enough to just know about Ms we want you to test it and hopefully be happy and come back uh so that’s a process I think that will continue for some time and and eventually we can then start growing the the brand Investments again and and just reinforcing what you already know you had a good experience don’t forget it basically so that’s the the the tactic in in short uh uh but of course we try to maximize that we’re online that we know so much about our customers and figure out which are our most profitable customers and how can we keep those customers and attract more of those customers and not the ones that we don’t see really uh benefit us because it’s a tight margin industry and we cannot serve everyone every time that’s really interesting like it sounds like you made brand Investments quite early on which is I think for for most kind of startups SCS the the opposite is they first Focus really heavily on tactical like Performance Marketing getting users customers whatever and then at the end or later on they they start adding brand Investments but um it sounds like doing brand early on was really key in order for you for you guys to to to get explain or show to people that this is something new and different yeah I think it depends on what industry you’re in so if you’re in an industry that’s very new and you’re actually building the market as you’re scaling up your service or product then it doesn’t really make sense to just invest in a brand because what is that that that’s nothing but we’re entering a huge very old incumbent industry and we need to really box our way in so that’s what we we decided we have to make this uh investment um but in general I think it’s smarter to really make sure you have a solid product and and product Market fit and then start investing that’s that’s a more traditional approach for for sure and and you mentioned that you guys are now very heavily focusing on getting those the right customers because the Finding, acquiring, and activating the right customers margins are so tight um can you talk about maybe other there any practical ways of of first like identifying that and then actually trying to go after those specific type of customers I feel like that’s something a lot of companies struggle with is even if they know that there’s specific segment that they should be targeting they just you know is it about channels or is it about messaging or are there other tactics that you can use to find those specific address or reach that specific segment that you want yeah it’s it’s all about um making sure what part of the data set you analyze because we have so much data you can easily get lost I think um but if we we look at we need High average order values that’s the key like it doesn’t matter if you have 100% margins on a low average order value in Ecom it’s not going to work so we need to find the the people that spend a lot uh and preferably the ones that also spend in the categories that have higher margins and after a while you learn that oh it’s it’s probably it’s not so much tied to geography but it’s rather uh age gender and and other things that that Define if you are a customer that really adds value to to us that are loyal and um don’t always shop around for each and every campaign we can still give campaigns and to activate the customer base and that’s really what we’re looking probably the most at now is is improving our CRM game we made a key recruits in that area and having people shop more often uh all what we know are loyal and and profitable customers so on average you should shop four times year in this industry and our customers still on average shop uh less than that but if we can focus on the customers that have shopped at least twice then we see they do tend to stay a long time and have shown a lot of potential of um increasing and thereby each time they increase average order value because they give more and more of their share of purchase to to US versus um other pharmacies but also uh grocery stores whatever we can find similar products uh so so that’s the key really yeah you really got to know your numbers in a in a kind of tight margin industry like that yeah and it’s taken a lot of time I think to get um the right amount of data but also learn really the patterns and we keep rediscovering things that you know we thought was true it’s not really true and and adapting so it’s it’s never ending yeah I can imagine um so in 2020 we had obviously the the coid pandemic and and Growth and failure during the pandemic lockdowns and and that must have been well you know what what was that like for for you as an online pharmacy uh it had kind of I mean you were at the intersection of both this massive shift to online that happened in a very short period of time uh and also obviously everything related to Pharmacy Healthcare prescriptions um and just overthe counter you know medicines and supplements and so forth so what what was that like like those 2020 2021 and and 2022 yeah that was interesting days for for sure and especially for us we were already growing so fast so it’s not necessarily as many think only a blessing it was it was in in a way a blessing especially long term but also a lot of problem and U we we had more to deal with in terms of demand that we could handled and then all of a sudden that tripled overnight uh and then maybe uh there was this hoarding and then for for a while people had what they had needed and they stop shopping and so it was constant stop start stop start and uh replenishing the warehouse getting the people in at one point we interviewed I think 100 people and or hired even in a matter of weeks uh getting them to understand what to do uh it was very costly and and um short term we lost a lot of money on on on coid and and we also lost a lot of money on coid related products because normally we get products within 24 hours it’s by law here so we don’t have a lot of inventory not at least for you know months ahead but all of a sudden we needed to make big buys and also direct buys from Turkey from China very odd calls and really the the private uh players here ensured uh that Sweden had protection it was us that did it with great financial risk it was not the government or even the government Pharmacy we we we took a lot of risk and and um uh it was just a completely different business than than the year before and and today so uh the good side is that we we um came on the radar screen also for older people and everyone accepted and understood the value online plac in this industry uh including including at government and and um Department level we we got access to a lot of people that didn’t want to talk to us earlier and and they were basically how can we how can you help us how can we help you and we’re in it together so it was a very very interesting period and we were right in the middle of the of the story for for good and for bad yeah and and you know I think you’ve been sharing some data that this U the switch online there’s been kind of a reversion in most categories but not in in Pharmacy because it makes so much sense to shop online because of selection and prices like no one no one goes to the far no one looks forward to the pharmacy trip to walk around the aisles and and do the shopping so um Geopolitical risks and the pharmacy value chain that Co also exposed a lot of risks due political supply chain risks so is that something that you’re paying attention to uh inside you know at medicine and and if so how are you preparing or or trying to mitigate those r RIS yeah it actually went surprisingly well uh because um the medicine industry is always prioritized in in the value chains and as far as I know there weren’t any major uh outages of of medicine there were there were some but not for life-threatening things I think for for a while some painkillers were out of stock for example but in general it work really well and uh it’s small packages you can fly them and and you can prioritize them uh what I think is more of a longer term issue is that medicines run out even today and and more than more than uh has always been the case but it’s it’s continuing and it’s a global problem and the the uh pharmaceutical industry have very tight value chains and in the 90s a lot of medicine was produced in Europe now it’s all produced in China and India and usually at a single Factory in in some cases so if there’s a fire there then we’re in trouble so and there’s no storages along the way so um that’s something I think for the politicians to think about how can we create redundancy in this system and not be geopolitically dependent on China for example uh but also on on a more micro level dependent on one single manufacture and and it’s been so much focused on saving money and that’s great I I pay taxes too and I appreciate that but uh in in the end you can be smarter uh and then then then you you think can and actually create a lot of problems by uh being that tight um so that’s something we we can really control but we can communicate and and make everyone aware of this ISS issue typically General consumer blames the pharmacy because they go to the pharmacy the pharmacy doesn’t have the medicine and it must be the pharmacy’s fault but it’s it’s uh it really isn’t there’s no interest for us in not having things on stock they quite the opposite so it’s only because we cannot Source it and and that’s in in other parts of the value chains to to figure out yeah I think it opened the eyes of a lot of people to the fact that a lot of critical surprise material is produced in a single place as you mentioned in some cases and that’s probably not a very good idea um I want to go back something you mentioned with about growth so you decided to stay in Sweden because it’s a Does it always make sense to grow? very huge Market it’s been growing as a Middle Ages like you said so there’s no reason to go abroad but um you also read in a recent article we talked about you know right now you’re are focus on growth there’s no carrot if you will for for growth so I’d be interested to to just hear about can your philosophy and and how are you thinking about it like when does it make sense to grow uh when does it make sense to go into a new market like how do you how do you weigh these decisions in your head as someone who is focused on profitability and building sustainable business I would assume but also someone who has raised Capital right um debt and Equity from investors who presumably want to see growth so H how how are you balancing and thinking about the growth question yeah there’s um a value to growth for us in that we need to become big enough to be relevant to suppliers and create a brand Etc but it’s not relevant to Infinity if it doesn’t also create value for investors and I’m one of our investors too so I want to see value and uh if you look at some really in my mind successful companies that are listed and that create great results but they their share price goes down and already from quite a low level uh in a market like that we don’t really see why should we invest in in growing if it’s not appreciated and uh there’s a time for everything long term growing is the only way to create value um but right now I think we reached a level where we don’t have to grow for the sake of it and then we can focus rather on making sure we have a a very solid unit economics base and and then once the world becomes a little bit of a happier place than it is today uh we can always resume growth and we do grow still it’s not just 170% per year uh because the market keeps growing and the switch from uh physical to online is is uh continuing uh so so it’s uh it’s for up to us really to control where we want to go and and where we create the most value for investors and so that’s that’s how we we we think yeah and you are uh at least last year and I’m presuming this year as well you are growing faster than the market so it’s by no means yeah we did 30% last year and I think the market was was 10 so and some media said oh they’re they’re collapsing whatever but I don’t think 30% is is really that three times the market is that bad actually so no a lot of companies would be very happy with that right um but yeah you raised I Raising 50 million euro think over 50 million in both that and Equity uh from various investors so I’d be interested to hear are there any lessons you’ve learned about uh now being on the outer side you started on the you started on on one side of the table then I was entrepreneur at the other side is there anything you’ve learned about the process and and maybe specifically do you have any advice for e-commerce Founders entrepreneurs who are looking to raise either debt or equity in in this kind of current economic environment yeah I talk with with some of my peers that also have raised a lot of money and and we agree it’s always been hard so immedia it was like oh it was so easy like taking candy from kids and now it’s hard but it’s always been hard and should be hard so number one is embrace the pain it’s it’s going to be hard and uh that’s that’s just reality we don’t have to raise money um can also grow slower and and if you think raising money is the worst thing ever you either find someone else to do it not externally you need to do it internally and focus on something else or build a smaller company because then you you won’t have to raise money so that’s number one is is really it’s going to be hard and if you’re going to build something really big in a Big Industry it it probably will take several rounds and um then then once you made that decision is to find the the pool where you get the fish and don’t don’t fish in the wrong Pond uh and for us uh VCS traditional VCS has not been the right Pond for example and I know as a former VC myself uh VCS want to see 10 20x value Creation in a short amount of time at huge risk and and that’s typically done by expanding internationally really early too early in most cases but uh you need to really show that Traction in many different markets probably the big markets and um that wasn’t really what we were building for and aiming for so we we have not um focused on that type of of investor we we rather started out with other Tech entrepreneurs and and that’s a great thing about Stockholm and in many cases in many countries now but we have a lot of successful entrepreneurs that have created huge wealth and sometimes they have more money than the VCS even that wasn’t the case back in 2001 when I started out as a VC and we were the only show in town um so there is money there and they do also understand they have a longer view they don’t have a set um oh this needs to do this in three years and then I need to exit in four as long as I think we follow a plan and and they’re they’re happy to to stay along for the ride so family office Tech entrepreneurs that has worked really well for us um but to a point then after a while you need to sort of switch doesn’t um work if you need to raise really large sums and if you want to make Acquisitions and to New Markets then you need to start talking to other types of investors H and for us we we we really saw the public market being a good place to be in that sense um when public markets were working I I don’t really see them working now in terms of actually uh having a lot of liquidity and providing uh increased values compared to the the private Market um so constantly think two years ahead where you going to be what type of investor do you need for that journey and it’s going to take at least six months to to land around and you should have at least you know a year and a half or Runway uh so you’re you’re not constantly out in the last minute and start early that’s also very good for your personal health than don’t imagine I think that’s really good practical advice there um it it’s been a pretty Biggest lessons learned wild Journey last year last five year five years at uh uh five six years at meds is there anything that stands out in terms of particularly important lessons about entrepreneurship and Company building that you’ve learned during those five years um it’s a hard question um I I I wish I learned more I guess but um it’s just keep learning once when you think you know something in in a short amount of time you’re going to find out that it’s not no longer true so uh just keep adapting that’s that’s the number one uh and then also find not necessarily the the people you need three years from now but the people you need now so um you have to find someone that can really help you at your stage because if you can get some someone really really senior typically they haven’t really been into the details for a long while and all of a sudden they need to hire a team to do what you really wanted help with in the first place and and you could probably have hire those people instead so um in the end it’s all about the team and making sure everyone knows what they should focus on and they can also you can you can work a lot but if you run in the right direction you’re not getting anywhere so it doesn’t matter how fast you run uh so getting the right team and making sure that they are very uh focused and incentivized on on what you want to do and that helps when you’re on a mission like us to really create a Challenger in a big industry and uh it’s easy to understand and we see every day the value we create customers that write to us or call us and and say thank you because we helped them out in a tough situation uh that that helps in in motivating people it’s not just another fintech um nothing against fexs but uh I I believe it’s kind of harder for that type of company maybe to to find a purpose V it’s been a a real pleasure uh to talk to you and hear more about about meds if people want to um you have a lot of good kind of thought leadership about the industry in general and and stuff like that um what’s the best way if people want to follow you is it LinkedIn yeah LinkedIn is is great uh I think that’s a magic Tool uh I’ve been in sales in the past and pre- Linkedin and it was a nightmare to figure out who am I going to talk to and how do I reach that person so uh yeah please uh connect there and and if I can help in any way I I try to take time uh and um I’d love to like I said thank you so much for coming on um we’re got to put the the your personal LinkedIn um URL in in the show notes if people want to check it out um yeah thank you so much and have a great rest of day Thanos it’s been pleasure thanks for having me thank you for listening you can find all episodes of the growth pod on Spotify YouTube and apple [Music] podcasts

Read More