Stockholm, Sweden, Tuesday 29th March 2022
Today, Gilion (formerly known as Ark Kapital)– the data-driven precision financecompany enabling startups to grow faster and smarter through long-term loans, maintaining control forfounders and reducing risk for investors – announces it has raised €165m in seed funding. A combinationof debt and equity, the round was led by Local Globe, with participation from Creandum and angelinvestors including Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen, iZettle founder Jacob de Geer, and EQT Venturesfounding partner Hjalmar Winbladh. Beyond investing in promising companies, the new capital will beused for R&D and doubling the 20-person team within 2022.
Gilion (formerly known as Ark Kapital) was founded in summer 2021 – launching in November the same year – by six-timeentrepreneur Oliver Hildebrandt (CEO), veteran banker Axel Bruzelius (COO), and Spotify’s ex-VP ofAnalytics and former EQT Ventures partner Henrik Landgren (CPTO). The firm targets early stage,tech-driven companies predicted to grow super-fast but not yet profitable. ArK uses its artificialintelligence (AI) platform – the ArK Intelligence Machine (AIM) – to analyse a company’s business healthand to offer a suite of AI-powered financial and intelligence products. The firm shares daily access ofits analytics and insights in a borrower dashboard, so companies can optimise their business performance.
At seed stage, it’s common for founders to part with 20-25% of their company when taking equity-basedfunding. Offering an alternative to this, Gilion will initially focus on non-dilutive loans to multi-sectorEuropean startups ranging from €1m-10m. Typically, loans are short-term and must be repaid within twoyears, which doesn’t give early stage startups enough time to grow. Gilion solves this problem by offeringlong-term loans lasting up to seven years; unique to every company, the loans are based on predictionsof a company’s future revenue. Gilion’s unique combination of serial entrepreneurship, banking and fintechexpertise, and world-class developer skills creates an ideal team to help future-facing companies realisetheir potential.
Commenting on this news, CEO and co-founder Oliver Hildebrandt, said:
“Any founder will tell you howdifficult fundraising can be: retelling your story and hoping to convince the other side really adds up andresults in precious time spent away from a business. We believe that entrepreneurs should retain moreownership of their companies and more transparency is needed throughout the fundraising process.After all, no matter how small, any investor equates to a long-term relationship. This is where the power of an AI-driven approach becomes clear: companies can benefit from tailored financing options based ontheir potential, backed up by data. As an entrepreneur-first company, we want to offer the best networkfor founders. That’s why we’re delighted to partner with our new investors, whose collective expertisecomplements us perfectly.”
Henrik Landgren, CPTO and co-founder, added:
“We have seen the rapid evolution of tech, data andmachine learning over the years, and how the fastest growing tech startups are stellar in takingadvantage of their own data to optimise their growth. This trend also grows across all industries, wherenow over a quarter (27%) of respondents in McKinsey’s AI adoption survey now attribute over 5% oftheir earnings to AI. ArK Kapital was born from the belief that connecting to companies raw data andapplying state-of-the-art AI modelling enables both best possible financial products and instant access toAI-powered growth analytics tools for founders. We believe we can enable many more founders to growway faster with data driven growth tools and smarter finance products."
Axel Bruzelius, COO and co-founder, concluded:
“Most ambitious startup journeys need to start withequity. However, it doesn't make sense for companies with predictable revenues to be solely reliant onequity as a funding source. It’s very expensive and doesn't scale well. We believe that, by unleashingloans as a major funding source for European tech companies, we can be a major benefactor of theirgrowth."