A year and a half ago, Michaela Berglund bought out Feminvest with some female co-investors. Now, she is launching the first major fund in the Nordics’ exclusively for women-owned companies.
The fact that women invest and start their own companies is nothing new. However, venture capital is nearly non-existent for women-owned companies, and Sweden ranks at the bottom on lists, both in Europe overall and when including the USA.
– It’s a disaster. Without capital, women have no opportunity to grow their companies. Something that, in the long run, makes it incredibly much more challenging to build a unicorn company as a woman, says Michaela Berglund, CEO of Feminvest.
Three years ago, she started gathering female investors in a forum. Now, she is taking the next step by launching Feminvest Ventures – the first fund in the Nordics exclusively dedicated to majority-owned companies by women. The goal is to contribute to changing the statistics regarding women’s access to capital.
Feminvest is currently Sweden’s largest hub for female entrepreneurs and investors with over 50,000 registered participants. The company operates on four pillars: education, an entrepreneurial network, an investor network, and now the fund.
“The purpose is to accelerate women’s ownership to achieve a more equal distribution of wealth and capital between women and men.”
– The purpose is to accelerate women’s ownership to achieve a more equal distribution of wealth and capital between women and men, explains Michaela Berglund.
Coming from a background in marketing, IR, and finance, Michaela has worked in both London and Sweden in recent years. At the age of 18, she began investing in the stock market and has experienced two exits since then.
When it comes to women-owned companies, they tend to be more profitable and face fewer bankruptcies than those owned by men. To invest in Feminvest’s first fund, a minimum of 100,000 EUR is required. The fund has an active investment committee, including names like David Wendel, CEO of First Ventures, Pernilla Nissler, former CEO of Skincity and Blocket, Hannes Wideteg, founder of the AI company Asekio, Raja Skogland, active investor and entrepreneur, and Marianne Österlund, formerly with Goldman Sachs.
– All investments primarily occur in a Nordic context. The focus is on companies majority-owned by women, with interests in both retail and technology. We are seeking founders with experience and a plan for international expansion. Some form of sustainability focus integrated into the business model is considered important, says Michaela Berglund.
The past year for Feminvest has been eventful. In the fall of 2023, the company launched in both Norway and Finland. n addition to extensive work on the fund, the company organised the major entrepreneurial event Fearless in Stockholm with over 500 attendees. This year, Fearless is set to be held in Helsinki, Gothenburg, Stockholm, and Oslo. Feminvest achieved a remarkable 300 percent growth last year, with the goal of doubling its turnover this year.
Text: Elin Liljero Eriksson
Photo: Rickard L Eriksson