Carl is one of our General Partners and is based in San Francisco. He focuses on the b2b world, specifically on developer tools, infrastructure, and anything in the sales and marketing stack, as well as broad consumer internet opportunities.
The first half of my childhood was spent playing video games, and the second in various IRC rooms as the internet was spreading on dial-up. I built websites back in the days of webrings (shout out to the presteemed Wu-Tang Clan webring of the 90s), and tried to make dumb devices smarter using WAP. Since I remember I have been excited by new technologies.
Carl in awe of the Nordic wilderness together with the Creandum team
Despite that, I started my career not knowing what to do by going into management consulting. Rather than learning what to do with my life, I quickly discovered what I didn’t want to do - being stuck in the bureaucracy and politics of the big corporate machine.
This brought me towards smaller companies, where my work could have a bigger impact, and not knowing anything about entrepreneurship I ended up starting my first company. The company was the bootstrapped ad network Adprofit which I co-founded together with a person whom I proudly today call my wife (!).
Carl, Nik (UnitQ), and Oskar (Cornershop) power using Vivino during San Francisco after hours
During this time, the Swedish startup ecosystem was starting to flourish. Spotify and Klarna were about to take over the world, and through meetups and the community, I learned about the concept of venture capital which felt extremely intriguing. At the time in Sweden, there were very few VC firms, with Creandum being the most prominent one, and after getting to know Fredrik, Daniel, and Staffan I started to show up at the Creandum office to talk about startups and entrepreneurship, which eventually led me to join the firm as an Associate.
Carl and Jeppe (Pleo) ready to sail the San Francisco Bay
I instantly loved the job, but imposter syndrome sparked the urge to get back into entrepreneurship and try being a founder on the venture-backed path. In the following years, I co-founded and built the gift and rewards platform Wrapp, which ended up raising close to $40m from firms like Creandum, Greylock, and Atomico. We scaled the company across 18 countries, I moved to Silicon Valley and really grew up professionally. We made endless mistakes related to scaling an immature organization too fast, discounting sales and subsidizing our own product, and overestimating the importance of competition.
Carl setting the vibe during a Creandum family gathering in San Francisco
After Wrapp was acquired I was fortunate enough to rejoin Creandum in San Francisco and build out the US hub, which has been my life ever since 2016. During my years I have seen Creandum 360 degrees across all the ranks of the investment team as well as a portfolio founder. What we call the #CreandumFamily really holds true to me. I have witnessed this firm evolve so many times and still does today, which is why I love it here. I don’t take for granted the feeling of having the best job in the world.
Carl MCing the CEO Summit in San Francisco
The ability to dramatically change our environment is what separates homo sapiens from all other animals on this planet. Innovation is really what makes us human, and entrepreneurship is the most powerful tool and force for innovation and change we know of today. This is why I fundamentally believe entrepreneurs are the true heroes of modern society, and it's a privilege to serve them every day through Creandum! As Carl Sagan once said, “Dreams are maps of the future”. Dare to dream. Dare to innovate.
Bjarke, Staffan, Simon, Daniel, Fredrik, and Carl with unanimous isle seat preference while touring Asia's tech hubs
Carl with the team in Seoul trying to figure out if the real Slim Shady will stand up
Carl behind the decks during Creandum's 20 year anniversary