How Hampus Jakobsson Sold His Tech Startup for $150M

Apple Podcasts

About Our Guest

Hampus Jakobsson was the CEO of Brisk, which finds the fastest paths to sales for companies like Evernote, Hootsuite and Zendesk.

In 2002, Hampus co-founded pioneering mobile UI firm The Astonishing Tribe, which was acquired by Blackberry in 2010 for $150 million. Hampus is also an angel investor in over 40 startups.

About this Episode

How Hampus Jakobsson Sold His Tech Startup for $150M

Back in university, Hampus Jakobsson and his friends didn’t want to work for “the man” - the big tech giants that dictated what resources you could access, what you could build, and all the hoops you had to jump through to be able to do it.

Instead, they built businesses out of passion. And had fun doing it.

One of these businesses included licensing a mobile product to Sony-Ericsson. This kickstarted a whirlwind journey and eight years later, over a cup of coffee, a $150M acquisition offer from Blackberry was on the table.

Hampus shares his story on how he helped build a team of people who prioritised passion and fun while still managing to double down year-over-year. His motivation around working with the right people to building the right product is a blueprint for others to follow.

What you will learn in this episode

  • Why acquisitions fail: the Maverick VS the Financier
  • Three key qualities to hiring the right employees
  • The different types of entrepreneurs and how that translates to the company you build
  • How to appeal to the technical buyer, user buyer, and financial buyer

Connect with Hampus Jakobsson

Show Notes

(5:42) Six friends who wanted to avoid working for a big tech company ended up with a business that caught the eye of one of those very tech giants - Sony-Ericsson.

(13:38) The startup doubled their headcount every year. By 2010, Hampus’s team was sitting at 90 employees and $10M euros in revenue.

(16:38) The recipe for successful culture is hiring great people who, fundamentally, like what they do and enjoyable to work with.

(33:21) Going into the Blackberry meeting, Hampus thought they’d end up as customers after a typical nine-month enterprise sales process. But after a meeting and a fateful coffee, Blackberry offered to acquire The Astonishing Tribe for $150M which was 4x multiple of next year’s revenue.

(49:37) The acquisition on both ends was not about the number. This astonishing six-week acquisition was about building long-term loyalty with Hampus and his co-workers.

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