After Trump Victory, Sweden’s Kinnevik Still Bullish on U.S.

  • Investment firm will continue to back robo adviser Betterment
  • Kinnevik plans global investments of up to 3 billion krona

Swedish investment firm Kinnevik AB continues to see the U.S. as one of the world’s most attractive markets for technology following the victory of Donald Trump in Tuesday’s presidential election, Chief Executive Officer Lorenzo Grabau said.

Kinnevik made its first investment in the U.S. in March when it provided $65 million in funding to the New York-based automated wealth advisory company Betterment. The results of the election “in no way impacts our attitude toward our aspiration to invest in Betterment first and foremost and in other exciting companies that might come along in the next three to five years in our chosen sectors,” Grabau said in an interview Thursday in London.

Kinnevik, which has a market value of about $6.9 billion, has traditionally invested in telecom providers such as Swedish mobile company Tele2 and e-commerce companies such as German online retailer Zalando. The firm is a major investor in Berlin-based startup incubator Rocket Internet, and has co-invested in many of Rocket’s portfolio companies. It recently made its first forays into financial technology and digital health care.

“Ultimately the leadership of the United States will always want to create an environment where great businesses are being built and where foreign as well as domestic capital is brought to bear to create great businesses,” Grabau said. “In our opinion, the U.S. is and has been and will continue to be an exciting place to build great digital businesses.”

Grabau described 2016 as a year of consolidation for Kinnevik, with almost all of its investments going to existing portfolio companies. He now believes the portfolio is well capitalized, meaning the Swedish firm could turn its attention to more new investments in 2017.

Kinnevik will likely invest from 2 billion Swedish kronor to 3 billion kronor (200 million to 300 million euros) in companies worldwide in the coming year, Grabau said. “That feels like, on an ongoing basis, a good level to have,” he added, citing past amounts of investments the firm has made.

Kinnevik shares fell 1 percent to 217.40 Swedish kronor at 12:42 p.m. in Stockholm, bringing this year’s decline to 9.5 percent.

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