In Iceland, conditions are extremely favorable for start-up and growth companies with its small and flexible economy, and strong infrastructure. Icelanders generally have a can-do attitude, and entrepreneurship and creativity are highly regarded. In the field of innovation it is often said that the best time to invest is on the back of a recession, and this has in fact proven to be the case in Iceland. Numerous successful start-ups have emerged since the financial crisis in 2008 and continue to emerge as Icelanders learn to appreciate their importance in the economy. Brunnur vaxtarsjóður slhf. is a VC fund that utilizes the abundance of opportunities in innovation in Iceland.
Brunnur Ventures GP ehf. is the General Partner of Brunnur VC Fund slhf (Brunnur vaxtarsjóður slhf). The Fund’s limited partners (LPs) are Icelandic pension funds, Landsbankinn, Brunnur Ventures GP in addition to a few other financially strong private investors. The Fund invests in Icelandic start-ups and growth companies that sell or intend to sell products or services to foreign markets. Brunnur Ventures GP analyses and manages investments for the Fund in collaboration with Landsbréf. The Board of Directors is comprised of Gudbjörg Edda Eggertsdóttir (Chairman), Hjörleifur Pálsson and Kjartan Örn Ólafsson.
Árni Blöndal, General Partner, Co-Founder
Arni has over two decades of experience with start-ups and private equity, as a co-founder, venture fund manager, investment banker and as a fund general partner. From 2001 to 2005 he was the Managing Director of Uppspretta Venture Capital, following his role as founding CEO of UK on-line advertising start-up, BePaid. Between 2006 and 2014, Arni was a corporate finance professional at Landsbanki, Askar Capital and at Moneta Corporate Finance. He has completed transactions and managed both private equity and venture capital investments in more than ten countries and has served as a board director in numerous start-ups. He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Iceland and holds an M.Sc. degree from Denmark's Technical University in Informatics and Operations Research.
Arni on Linkedin:
Sigurdur Arnljotsson, General Partner, Co-Founder
Sigurdur has two decades of experience in the private sector in various roles; as a co-founder and CEO of one of the world's most successful gaming companies (CCP), as CFO in two growth companies, Industria hf. and Hringras hf, and as an investor and board director in numerous start-ups. Sigurdur led CCP through its early stages between 1999-2002, where he, as the CEO, secured the necessary funding and executed the company's plan of launching "EVE-online" a few years later, including securing the initial publishing deal with Simon & Schuster. Since his days with CCP, he has been active within the venture capital industry, with investments such as Vivio, Dohop, Notando and Solid Clouds. Sigurdur holds a Cand. Oecon degree in business from The University of Iceland and an MBA from the University of Edinburgh.
Sigurdur on Linkedin:
Brunnur VC fund's portfolio:
Brunnur vaxtarsjóður is a 4bn ISK venture capital fund, of which Brunnur Ventures GP is the general partner. The fund is co-managed by Landsbréf, an Icelandic fund management company. The Fund’s vintage is 2015, with a 3-5 years investment period. It invests in Icelandic start-up companies, emphasizing on innovation and growth with scalable business models and extraordinary entrepreneurial talent. The Fund emphasizes on companies within software, internet, high-tech, biotech, energy technology, marine technology and food manufacturing that has a competitive edge with patentable technology or proprietary know-how. The Fund aims to invest in 10-15 companies, between 100-500m ISK in each case.
From left: Sigurður Arnljótsson (GP), Hjörleifur Pálsson (Board Director), Árni Blöndal (GP), Guðbjörg Edda Eggertsdóttir (Board Chairman), Kjartan Örn Ólafsson (Board Director), Ólafur Jóhannsson (Fund Managing Director).
Stefán Jökull Sveinsson
Former Executive VP of R&D at Actavis and Member the Executive Board, Adviser at Landas, Reykjavik.
CEO of Simplybook.me, Valbonne
Partner at Nordic Makers, Founder of Unity Technologies, San Francisco
Soffía T. Tryggvadóttir
Head of Cloud Marketing, NetApp, Reykjavik
Guðjón Már Guðjónsson
Founder & CEO, Oz, Reykjavík
Former Director of Communications at WOW air, PR advisor, Reykjavik
Director at Accelerate Business Research Center, Copenhagen
Margrét Ormslev Ásgeirsdóttir
Deputy CEO, Carbon Recycling International, Reykjavik
Prof. Þórarinn Guðjónsson
Histology and Stem Cell Research, University of Iceland, Chairman of Icelandic Academia of Science, Reykjavík
Prof. Sigurjón Arason
Food Processing and Engineering at Faculty of Food Sc. and Nutrition, Chief Eng., Matís, Reykjavik
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