's first year, part II – investments & portfolio

Hello! 👋  It's time to continue our first year's review with the part II. Last week in part I we wrote about our fund and how we increased it from €14 million to the maximum size of €20 million. In this post we focus on our first year’s investments & portfolio. Stay tuned for part III where we talk more about our community.

From 0 to 1 investment 

In practice, we started our investment operations almost exactly 1 year ago with a €250k seed investment in HoxHunt. Don’t know why, but many VCs out there say that a fund’s first investment usually goes belly up pretty fast. 

Luckily for us, HoxHunt is still alive (BADAM TSHH 😊 ). Actually, the company has shown impressive progress during the past 12 months. Soon after our investment Risto Siilasmaa’s First Fellow Partners also joined in as an investor and later on F-Secure’s CSO Mikko Hyppönen joined the company’s advisory board. Today the company has users in 51 countries and plenty of large corporates as their clients in Finland and rest of Europe. We are beyond excited to see how far the company gets during the next 12 months while fighting against cyber criminals and making the world a safer place for all of us. 

From 1 to 17 investments 

After the first investment we have continuously been searching for the brightest and nicest pre-founders and founders who we want to help dream big and reach their full professional potential together. As of today, we have made 17 investments. 

17 investments during the first year may sound crazy for those who know how the traditional VC industry usually works. So how have we done it?

Well, firstly, we've met such strong teams of pre-founders and founders that we couldn't say no to them. All of these teams fit what we think will make great companies: their cool vision is backed by the team’s strong domain knowledge and there’s a unique tech strategy.

Secondly, we've invested in teams that were still looking for complementary co-founders at the time we wrote the cheque. Most of the investors would never do it because they know how hard it is to build a strong co-founder team from scratch. We know it too.  However, boosting the momentum and providing an access to a network of brightest and nicest minds can make a difference. More about this in part III ;) 

Thirdly, the Icebreaker community helps the companies in hiring, getting customers and advice so that it's possible for us to support all the companies. So far we’ve been happy to witness the collaboration and other cool stuff that has happened when talented people help and push each other forward. We are also working hard to continue the development of our community and model to provide the best support for our portfolio and other community members. 


It has truly been a pleasure and privilege to work with all of the 56 founders in our 17 portfolio companies. 12 of our investments have so far been announced. So, here you go: 12 of our portfolio companies in chronological order: 

Next week we are going to talk more about the Pre-Founder Projects, team formation and how ambitious people have found their next thing through the Icebreaker Community. Stay tuned for the part III 👀


Lasse, Riku, Aleksi & Teddie