Right after Mobilgalan opened last week the news hit the public. One of the most hyped services of last year, developed by VionLabs, has to shut down further development of Vionel as a consumer product. "The service remains, but we choose not to pursue that journey." says Arash Pendari, CEO & Founder of VionLabs. He also spoke briefly with Di Digital:
“In simple terms , the idea was that we would distribute other people's content. I was wrong, it was not as easy as I thought. The reason we did not go on was that we did not see how we could make money from it”
Last spring, the Breakit Podcast could reveal Vionlabs received SEK 25 million in venture capital from private equity firm Northzone and Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist among others. Besides Northzone and Michael Nyqvist, the chairman of Truecaller, Stefan Lenhammer has also invested in the company.
Instead, VionLabs will focus on developing a service targeted towards the B2B market. The system behind it is still the same, but repackaged to cater the needs of content producers, video services and phone companies.
Mobilbusiness could also reveal that VionLabs just closed a round with Zenith yesterday. No amount could be disclosed at Mobilgalan but according to a reliable source, Zenith will be taking 10 % of the company for 15 million SEK. What this means for VionLabs is that they will be able to expand faster in the nordic region, get their product out faster and close some big deals coming up. Here’s a video of Pendari announcing the news.
Arash Pendari is a fantastic entrepreneur and it will be extremely interesting to listen to his story right now. Vionlabs are going through changes and they have been forced to change their business model. This is the story for many startups and to be able to sit down and talk to the founder and CEO right in the middle of this change is very rare. The interview style of Startup Grind is to host a personal fireside chat where we talk about what life is really like. This interview has the potential to be one of the most interesting interviews in the three year history of Startup Grind Stockholm says Jonas Almeling, co-founder of Startup Grind Stockholm and Regional Coordinator of Startup Grind & Northern Europe.