Sindre Østgård comes on board as Managing Partner of London-based investment and company builder We Are Human, co-founding and leading the new Nordic branch with a strong track record to match the successful focus on values-based entrepreneurship.
We Are Human was formed in 2010 as a response to the last financial crisis. As we enter a new time of great change following the global pandemic, WAH is ramping up investments in companies that adhere to the principles of values-based entrepreneurship, meaning they have a core focus on solving basic challenges for humans, societies and the planet.
In late 2011, WAH co-founded their most impactful venture to date, Kahoot! By making learning fun for everyone and staying true to principles of inclusivity and responsibility, Kahoot! has attracted 1.3 billion users. Kahoot!’s values have secured robust growth even through the pandemic. This experience is at the heart of the launch of a Nordic branch of WAH:
“There is a clear tendency in the markets that companies based on values-based entrepreneurship adapt better to adversity than companies centred on shareholder gain, which can be struggling to find relevance”, says Johan Brand, a We Are Human co-founder.
“We believe the Nordics currently provide some of the most compelling examples of values-based entrepreneurship in the world. A large number of companies that we’ve invested in are based here, so setting up officially made sense.”
Sindre Østgård will head the Nordics operation
“We are thrilled to have Sindre join as a partner at We Are Human. We know him well from his 3 years on the Kahoot! board and as a founding partner of our venture EntrepreneurShipOne. His unique strategic experience and business acumen is a perfect fit for our Nordic ambitions.”
Values-based entrepreneurship: The Nordic approach
Sindre Østgård (bio below) has served in prominent positions at media group Schibsted, Discovery International and public broadcaster NRK. He is also a co-founder and board member of several venture companies, and Chairman at Katapult Ocean. As a Kahoot! board member, he has witnessed how values-based entrepreneurship provides more future-proof business models.
“WAH Nordics will implement the principles of values-based entrepreneurship in our partnering and investing in Nordic solutions. We will tap into the unique Nordic brand of public-private collaboration to solve our greatest common challenges”, Østgård says.
One portfolio example is Nyby, a Norwegian startup with a smart collaboration platform that connects public services with citizens for important societal tasks such as shopping for the elderly or delivery of medical supplies. Nyby’s user base has shot skyward during the pandemic.
“Using our knowledge and financial power to build companies that make the world better is the right thing, ethically and financially”, Østgård says.
Fuelling The Blue Economy and The Green Shift
WAH Nordic will have a particular focus on the ocean industry.
“The Nordics are maritime countries that have created ocean-based business for thousands of years. It is the most exciting area of innovation and company development in this part of the world”, Østgård says.
“As a source of proteins and resources, the ocean is part of the solution for our most concerning challenges when it comes to sustainability and healthy food production. Nordic companies are poised for leadership in a field that is expected to expand by 600 percent in the next two decades. That growth will be fuelled by novel technology and green energy, and is a natural place for We Are Human to engage.”
WAH Nordics will apply its business acumen to build the ocean ecosystem, seek collaboration with strong partners, and co-create the best solutions to build the Blue Economy.
“Already, strong Nordic science and business clusters are presenting scalable technological break-throughs. By connecting the right ideas with the right funding and smart scaling strategies, there is blue ocean ahead for many of these companies”, Østgård says.
- Sindre Østgård, Managing Partner, Oslo
- Johan Brand, Founding Partner, Oslo
- Tim Moore, Managing Partner, London
- Jamie Brooker, Founding Partner, London
Sindre Østgård is a Managing Partner at We Are Human and co-founder of We Are Human Nordics. He has a broad strategic and business-related background. He served as CEO of Tinius Trust, the largest owner of Schibsted Media Group; Nordic Digital Director of European M&A at Discovery International; Digital Director at state broadcaster NRK. He was a co-founder of scaleup community Share, co-founder of Uno Group and other venture companies, and a board member at growth companies like Patogen and Kron. He is Chairman of the Board at Katapult Ocean. He is a co-founder of EntrepreneurShipOne and a board member at Kahoot!, which has 1.3 billion global users.
We Are Human builds and invests in technology-enabled companies creating a better world. Established in London by Johan Brand and Jamie Brooker in 2010, WAH is most notable for co-founding Kahoot!, a LearnTech company whose game-based platform has surpassed 4.4 billion cumulative players as people are learning, working and socialising remotely during the pandemic. Since 2017, WAH has refocused efforts on early-stage companies. Tim Moore and Sindre Østgård have joined as Managing Partners in London and the Nordics respectively. WAH has directly or indirectly invested in more than 120 companies across #LearnTech, #OceanTech, #HealthTech and more.