We had a word with Mads Bjerring Ellegård, who together with multi-entrepreneur Nikolaj Astrup Madsen, is one of the two key persons in the venture.
The deal behind Ateo is somewhat unusual: instead of starting a new service the two entrepreneurs will take over Amino’s existing service, with Amino, and to that extend also it’s founder, Martin Thorborg, having a 50% stake of the new company.
We asked Mads about some thoughts and reasons for this setup.
“The deal was from the beginning, that we took over Amino’s Lokalebørs which already had a lot of time and money invested in it. Even though the Lokalebørs never had gotten the full attention from Amino, it is still one of the most used site in Denmark for finding business rentals. So it had a lot of value from the beginning. But if you really want to grow something, it has to have your full attention. Thats why its a win win situation for both parts that we are now rebranding Amino’s Lokalebørs under the new name Ateo. Both Amino and us will achieve greater results than we would individually.”
However he ads that besides an existing costumer base and revenue stream, they also get marketing value:
“Due to Amino’s huge user-base and the many followers of Martin Thorborg, our project can get a lot of attention and marketing value. This is extremely important for a young company because the hardest part is to get the snowball rolling. Partnering with Amino will be seen as a seal of approval for many partners and customers that we approach.”
He also mentions that advice and counseling is one of the important factors in the deal:
“Martin Thorborg and Nicolai Frisch from Amino have a lot of experience with creating successful companies. Both as the torchbearers that lead the daily operations and as advisors were they act as a more classical business angel/incubator type of role. They have have been through many ups and downs and we can draw upon that experience in Ateo.”
When asked if Amino has made any investments into the venture the answer was no: the deal was that Mads and Nikolaj run Ateo’s daily operation without funding from Amino.
“Nikolaj and myself have invested most of what we have in this project. Besides from that, we contribute with the good old ingredient you can’t buy in the supermarkets: hard work. The daily business is solely run by Nikolaj and myself.”
“Amino owns half of the company. Nikolaj and I both have 25 %.”, Mads adds
The new service is expected to launch officially at the beginning of October. Until then the service is still run from Amino, with the exception of the conference service which is up and running on Ateo already.
This is an interesting concept and an interesting deal, which we will be following closely. Mads hinted that an expansion to the Swedish marked might be of interest in the future, and we expect that the ambition is to later expand even further abroad.