I am wrapping up my paternity leave with the end of March.
April 1st, formerly known as the international day of humour, has become a symbolic date for new beginnings for me. 7 years ago we incorporated Teleport on this day. 4 years ago, Teleport became part of what we now call Topia.
My years as CPO of Topia have been a whirlwind since. We bought two more tech companies and integrated the best parts into Topia One, the most comprehensive Global Talent Mobility Platform on the planet. Many largest companies in the world now use what we built to understand where in the world their people are, where they should be, what’s going on with taxes and immigration compliance and occasionally – how to move them to a new place. Even in the middle of a global pandemic.
We hired, hired, hired (and still do!). Built an executive leadership team to drive change with steady hands. For a few times we reorganised and said goodbyes. We raised money and formed partnerships. And more importantly, friendships.
Pro tip: if anyone ever tells you as an early stage founder that things will get more stable and predictable once you get acquired into a more mature Series C company, then brace for a higher amplitude ride instead. :)
I will continue cheering for Topia’s growth in years to come as a shareholder, with a very special spot among the startups I’ve invested in.
But it is April 1st, after all, and I have decided that expanding that portfolio is going to be my new full time focus.
Taavet + Sten
Teleport was born from my time at Andreessen Horowitz as an EIR. Getting a peek behind the curtain of how one of the best venture capital firms works was magical. As a casual angel investor then, I contemplated that one day this could become a full time gig. At the time I had a strong pull to stay in an operational role and build at least one more company up from zero, with full attention.
That day of zooming out from one to many startups has come. And as with anything, I wouldn’t do it alone without the best people to team up with.
The big news today is that we are setting up a new investment partnership with my long time friend Taavet Hinrikus.
Taavet and I started working together back in high school in Tartu, Estonia, during the original internet boom of late 90s. Then we regrouped at early Skype ten years later. While we’ve stayed personally close during all the years he was building Wise mostly from London, we’ve now decided that it’s time to get back into business together with full energy again.
We share a lot of common values and interests. We feel comfortable in the crazy futuristic early stage technology world. We have both invested decades to help create the future of finance, work and mobility.
There are many futures yet to be created, and this time around we hope to support a much much broader generation of founders.
We want our new firm to differentiate with our hands-on experience scaling fast growing tech companies from Europe, the evergreen and patient capital we can provide and our flexibility across asset classes.
On personal level it has been fantastic to be able to stay at home to watch baby Stig turn into a little boy.
Thank you to the strong Topia team for giving me this time and proving you’ll be just fine with me cheering on the sidelines.
Can’t wait to roll up the sleeves for our next years of creative freedom and fun, Taavet.