Photo coming up..
Niels Vejrup Carlsen
Niels is a General Partner at SEED Capital, where his main focus is SaaS, Democratized Healthcare and Deeptech. He sourced and invested in Trustpilot, Endomondo, Coinify, and many other strong Danish startups. His current portfolio includes Dixa, Forecast, Superb, Abzu, and Eivee.
Prior to joining SEED, Niels has entrepreneurial experience as C-level in a couple of startups, including CTO at market-leading online health care company Netdoktor. Before that he worked in R&D for Siemens where he spearheaded the company’s work on large-screen internet phones.
He started his career in Computer Science and holds a PhD in User Interface Software from the Technical University of Denmark.
In 2007 as Investment Manager; was promoted to Investment Director in 2011, and made Partner in 2015.
- Family. I am married to my wonderful wife and we have two beautiful children.
- Cycling, hiking, skiing and...
- Sailing (still fascinated by the ocean) in my ‘fleet’ of two sailing boats 🌊
- I do like good food and a glass of excellent red wine - I was very happy to be Chairperson at Vivino in the early days 🍇
Blade Runner, Pulp Fiction, Arrival and Love Actually) are some of my favourite movies. When I have the time for series, I like Peaky Blinders, Breaking Bad, Ozark, the Boys, Killing Eve and The Peripheral.
- I’m an avid science fiction reader. Iain M Banks, William Gibson and Peter Hamilton are some of my favourite authors.
- I start many business / tech books but finish few of them. I finished and especially enjoyed: Hooked (Nir Eyal), Artificial Intelligence - A Guide for Thinking Humans (Melanie Mitchell), Sapiens - A Brief History of Humankind (Yuval Noah Harari)
It is the best job in the world. Super passionate, intelligent, warm-hearted and fun colleagues and working with founders that can change the world and challenge you every day – what’s not to like?!
I was about to sign on with a management consultancy when one of my friends called me. He’d hired me as CTO for his previous startup and had just founded a new company and raised capital from SEED. He knew they were looking for a software profile in their investment team and asked me whether I wanted to be a capitalist. I was broke and it sounded amazing. Happily I got the job. 🙂
I sailed around the world with his family in a small sailing yacht for 2 years 2005-2007 just prior to joining SEED. I like to think of it as my own little startup. It took planning, the courage to leave port, agility, patience and grit. It was successful. We made it back home alive and with an intact and recharged family.
On the business side, I’m still proud to have discovered and invested in Peter Mühlmann and Trustpilot in 2008 when nobody except his uncle would invest. And proud that we were patient and bridge funded the company for 3 years until we could finally raise a series A with Northzone.
Any founder with a compelling vision, passion and execution skills can persuade me :-) But, lately I focus on 1) deeptech; 2) democratisation of healthcare and 3) impactful software.
Deeptech, maybe because I’m an engineer at heart and it fascinates me how technology breakthroughs can truly disrupt and create new types of businesses. What happens when AI is explainable and provides new insight and not just predictions - does this accelerate science (check Abzu.ai out)? What happens when quantum computing gains advantage over classical computing in certain areas? What happens when access to outer space becomes as available and cheap as air transport? Deeptech startups are challenging but with enormous potential.
The healthcare sector is gigantic and mostly controlled by large private or public operators. When I worked at NetDoktor I fell in love with how much technology could improve access to and transparency of healthcare for ordinary people - both within the established healthcare systems but even more interestingly direct to consumers. At the time connectivity, sensors and powerful devices were not generally available; so NetDoktor failed. But recent successes like Kry and Babylon Health are proving that the democratization of healthcare is a powerful trend.
Climate impact is one of the most important and powerful agendas. My own interest within this area is how software solutions and technologies like blockchain can help us drive the agenda and track initiatives to ensure actual impact. One example in our own portfolio is Eivee. There are many solutions that offer carbon accounting to companies, but not all go deep in the companies’ data to make sure that their data foundations are correct. And if the reporting is off, you don’t really know where to take action to reduce impact.