How the banking crisis and interest rates are challenging entrepreneurs

Antler founder and CEO Magnus Grimeland interviewed by Dagens Næringsliv

Rike Döpp Bergérus

May 4, 2023
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“Banking crisis and interest rates challenge entrepreneurs”—Antler founder and CEO, Magnus Grimeland, and partner TC Høiseth spoke to Norway’s leading financial newspaper Dagens Næriningsliv about the funding landscape and how Antler supports founders. The focus was on product-market fit, keeping costs low, ensuring runway, and having a solid business plan. While it might be harder to find funding right now, Magnus and TC believe great new ideas and growth opportunities exist.

The article opens with Radu Achihai, co-founder of second-life battery storage startup Evyon, who recently raised 70M NOK, explaining how they planned their fundraising to raise fuel growth and reach a positive cash flow. Radu explains, “I am glad we raised more money than necessary when we see how some banks have run into problems.”

DN reporter Jacob Trumpy then sat down with Magnus and partner TC, to zoom in on the investor side. 

Magnus says that financing growth companies through debt has become increasingly expensive. His long-standing belief is that early-phase companies should not rely on debt financing and it has been reinforced by this development.

Magnus suggests that many companies are currently undergoing a “repricing process,” largely due to the higher cost of debt financing. He also believes that it is healthy for individual investors to take their time in making investment decisions, even if this means delaying entry into new fund structures.

According to TC, large venture capital investors should invest through economic cycles and recognize that many successful unicorns have emerged from difficult times. Notably, US and European investors are increasingly looking towards the Nordics for sustainable and renewable energy investment opportunities.

Moving the article's focus back to Evyon, reporter Jacob Trumpy notes that the founders of the battery company are now under pressure to demonstrate that the recent influx of funding from a variety of international investors, including Antler, as well as Skagerak Energi (which is owned by Statkraft), can generate a profitable return.

“Our goal is to reach a three-digit million in turnover this year, and reach positive cash flow at the start of 2024”, says co-founder Radu Achihai.

Read the full article on Dagens Næringsliv here.

About the author

Rike Döpp Bergérus

Rike is the Global Senior Communications Director at Antler, working with Antler’s top-tier in media relations and executive visibility.

She has two decades of experience in Communications, founded and scaled a Communications agency, leading brand introductions, communication transformations, and crisis PR. Rike expanded her agency to five offices across the EU and US and acquired clients such as H&M, Zalando, Scotch&Soda, 24sèvres, and Mercedes-Benz. As a result, the company was successfully sold in 2019. Rike is an angel investor, frequent speaker on Marketing analytics, and crisis PR speaker. And jury member of Nova talent.


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