After a year of rapid growth, blq invest is increasing its investment in the portfolio companies Ingrid by SEK 12.25 million and Quickchannel by SEK 4 million. Blq invested in the delivery experience platform Ingrid in March 2020 and the streaming platform Quickchannel in July 2020. Since then, the companies have grown strongly.
Both investments were made during the time when the world was marked by a pandemic. During the pandemic, organizations have been forced to switch to digital collaboration and hold meetings, webinars and town halls with Quickchannel. Together with their customers, Quickchannel has completed over 40 million minutes of watched streams during 2020. Quickchannel has signed 51 new customers and have shown a growth of +135 percent new users and 290 percent streaming growth.
Furthermore, e-commerce has gained momentum when we can not shop in physical retail in the same way as before. Ingrid has doubled its customer base with customers such as Åhlens, Footway and ICA. In the past year, they have handled close to 20M orders with as many as 2,217M orders for January alone (94 percent increase from January last year).
– Blq invest closed its first fund last fall and we are happy to have found such fine companies in Cinode, Ingrid, Quickchannel and Collegial. We are a challenger in the investor market who strongly believes in an active approach which we call the blq box, where we build the companies systematically together with the entrepreneurs. It is fun to see our approach work in practice, says Kamjar Hajabdolahi, founding partner of blq invest.
Dear blq family,
The last quarter has proven to be fruitful for us. Both in terms of deal flow and performance by our portfolio companies. Cinode signed 51 new customers during 2020, where the launch of Cinode Partner Network has led to +500 connections between companies. Ingrid grew orders handled with 75 percent during 2020, with 30 new customers signed. Quickchannel grew its user base with 135 percent with a 290 percent streaming growth during the year.
Our in-house sourcing approach has led to several investment opportunities. During 2020, we have evaluated +300 companies in team, and met +135 companies for first meetings. Interesting to note is that a number of clusters have been identified, either suitable for a standalone M&A approach, or as potential add-ons for existing portfolio companies.
During the quarter we have initiated several M&A dialogues and I am confident that 2021 will start a new chapter for our portfolio companies in terms of a buy, build and integrate approach to growth. They are all well positioned to expand their product offering, value-add and commercial footprint in a number of markets, organically as well as non-organically.
We are also pleased to announce that Karin Bjerde has joined the blq invest team as Company Builder. Karin will be working full time with our portfolio companies through our blq box approach, which we have implemented to all blq companies and working consistently with.
Entering 2021 is a bit brighter than 2020. During the pandemic, our portfolio companies have all been part of digitising their respective industries, helping their customers transition into a new way of working. Entering 2021, the vaccine rollout is bringing hope to us that we soon can go back to the new normal. The new normal with an increased focus of digital approaches is serving blq’s sweet spot well and I am eager to embrace 2021.
Kamjar Hajabdolahi, founding partner blq invest
New investment: Collegial
Blq (building legacy quota) leads an investment of 19,2 million SEK in a first tranche together with JCE in the edtech company Collegial. Collegial’s vision is to become number one globally within corporate learning.
Collegial is developing a Learning Experience Platform helping organizations to drive continuous professional development in the workplace and society-at-large. Collegial collaborates with global leading universities and content providers to offer world-class learning content, a marketplace and a learning community through their platform.
One of the biggest challenges companies face today is to re- and upskill their employees, and keep up with the workforce transition. At the end of the day, we are all personally responsible for our own professional development and education at work to keep up with the competition on the labour market. On the other hand, employers need to enable continuous learning in the workplace to attract, retain and develop employees in order to secure top talent and stay competitive on the global market.
Together with blq invest, Collegial will accelerate their growth and make the platform accessible to more users. With SEB as their first client and design partner, Collegial is applying user driven product development with the joint ambition to develop a market leading learning experience platform.
Collegial is checking all the boxes. In a short period of time, Collegial has together with SEB reached impressive engagement among their 15,000 users. Let’s go company building.
Welcome to the blq family!