My name is Jarkko Huttu and I’m the Sales and Marketing Director and a stakeholder of LivLiv Solutions as well as a trainer at Eduhouse Oy. I travel around Finland coaching within IT, work search, sales, customer care and marketing and am fascinated by applications. I am also an unofficial serial crowdfunding equity investor on FundedByMe.
How did you first get familiar with crowdfunding and why does it appeal to you?
Originally I found out about the power of equity crowdfunding when my sister started to work within the industry, but I’ve always been interested in business and startups. I haven’t entered into entrepreneurship yet myself because of all the risks involved. But I am, however, interested in this kind of activity, where one can own a smaller share of something. Crowdfunding is a good way to get into business with a small amount of money and it’s also a good way to decentralise investments. For instance, if you want to buy a part of a company, 10k is not going to get you all that far, but with crowdfunding you can invest that amount in ten different companies and decentralise the investment quite well.
Which project(s) on FundedByMe did you invest in? What made you want to get involved?
First, I invested in a company called Elinnovation AB where I was the lead investor in the campaign. What appealed to me the most about this one was the fact that the entrepreneur, Elin, had a goal to become the business woman of the year in Sweden before her 30th birthday. When investing in a startup company, you invest most of all in the people behind it – and I do think that a person with goals can go really far. I have also invested in Postify, On The Flea, SellanApp, Nerdy By Nerds Jeans and Global Talent. All of these brands have great business ideas and I see a lot of potential in all of them.
What do you expect to get out of these investments on the long run?
Most of all I want experience from different lines of business and to observe the operations from a close distance. It becomes interesting in a different way when you have some of your own money in it. I don’t have any huge profit expectations, but the dream is that at least one of them would turn out to be a big success. However, it must be kept in mind that these are very high risk investments and that it is important to decentralise the investment.
What is the most important tip you’d give other crowdfunding equity investors?
The old rule of investing still applies: don’t put all your eggs in one basket! The main thing is to understand the company’s business idea 100%, believe in it and stand behind it – and only then to invest. I am the kind of person who, when I get excited, I go for 100%, but it is important to think and to observe things like the way the entrepreneurs respond to your questions, what information they offer and to really consider the investment. The entrepreneur and the team are of crucial importance – you invest in a person and not just in an idea.
Are there any new investment rounds on FundedByMe that you have your eyes on at the moment?
Beibamboo. There is a big chance that Beibamboo is going to be a very, very big thing. When this clothing brand for premature or sick babies becomes a huge success, I think many people will regret not investing in it now when they have the chance to do so for as little as €50… Beibamboo has received a lot of media attention and there are some prominent investors on board including Matti Vanhanen and Alf Rehn. Also, Nina Ignatius – the entrepreneur behind Beibamboo, is a very strong person and the kind of lead figure that can take the company anywhere. I do believe that crowdfunding is the next big thing in the future.