" class="no-js "lang="en-US"> Gilion appoints Oscar Werner as CEO to make debt mainstream in tech
Monday, April 15, 2024

Gilion appoints Oscar Werner as CEO to make debt mainstream in tech

Gilion (formerly Ark Kapital), the Swedish Growth & Lending platform, has announced the appointment of Oscar Werner as its new CEO. Oscar steps on as CEO, succeeding co-founder and CEO Oliver Hildebrandt, who transitions to a new role as operating Chairman of the Board. The change in leadership takes place as the company embarks on the next phase in making debt mainstream in tech.

Oscar Werner most recently served as the CEO of Sinch, a world leader in CPaaS (Communication Platform as a Service). During his tenure from 2018-2022, Sinch established itself as the category leader and scaled from $400M to $2.8 billion in revenue and over $300M in profit. Today, the company services more than 150,000 businesses, including 8 out of the 10 largest US tech companies, customers include Google, Uber, PayPal and Visa.

“We’ve reached a stage where we need a master scaler. Oscar scaled Sinch to one of Europe’s most successful technology companies alongside other Swedish stars such as Klarna and Spotify, and is one of the most prominent tech CEOs from our region”, says Oliver Hildebrandt, co-founder and operating Chairman of the Board at Gilion. “As a founder and serial entrepreneur, I can’t think of anyone more suited to take on the role of CEO and guide Gilion towards becoming a global leader in transforming funding and growth forecasting for both tech companies and its investors.”

Oscar Werner has extensive experience scaling international technology companies, prior to Sinch he served as President of Tobii Tech, the business unit of Tobii that builds Tobii’s Computer Vision & AI technology. Experience perfectly aligned with Gilion’s long-term goal of building a platform capable of giving founders across the globe everything they need to grow faster – from growth tools like insights, forecasting, and benchmarking to access to funding.

“Simply put, credit decisions will move from being made on static and old data to lots of real time data. And AI will complement human ability to assess what is a solid business.” says Oscar Werner, newly appointed CEO at Gilion. “This shift should logically happen, without question. Will Gilion be the winner? Well, after having presented lots of Gilion term sheets to startup CEOs, and looked at hundreds of companies on the Gilion platform – it is obvious that they’re onto something.”

Today, banks struggle to fund even the strongest of startups as they are commonly unprofitable in the early stages and since traditional metrics like balance sheet and P&L do not show the underlying performance. By building a platform that makes it possible to access and analyze all key data a company has in real time, Gilion is introducing a new way to evaluate and identify which startups are fundamentally solid – making it possible to fund high-potential startups with debt at scale, whilst lowering the credit risk for investors. The very same platform used by founders to better understand and grow their business through frontier forecasts, insights and benchmarks.

Gilion operates in a large and growing market, capitalizing on the global trend to make debt a mainstream funding source for growth stage companies. BlackRock, one of the biggest asset management firms in the world, projects the private debt market to more than double to $3.5 trillion as the current financial markets will spur more companies to seek out private players for future financing.

“Having worked in the Finance industry for a long time, it is obvious to me that Gilion is creating something that can complement the existing actors in the industry. Executed well, it can potentially be very large.”, says Annika Falkengren, banking veteran and Gilion board member. “By using more data, updating it on a second-by-second basis and complementing with AI – Gilion aims to improve credit decisions which I believe is the key to make debt mainstream for strong growth companies.

Gilion empowers tech companies by providing access to always updated insights into their historical and future performance. Our proprietary real-time analysis, Gilion Scores, and predictions serves as the engine enabling Gilion to provide access to long-term, non-dilutive loans to growth stage companies. Given Gilion understands the underlying performance better, we can offer Growth Loans with up to 2 years interest only periods before amortization starts, and up to 6 years to repay the loan. In 2023, Gilion expanded its operations to include Sweden, Germany, Denmark and Finland and raised its capital pool to €400M, available to European founders and tech companies.

Gilion (formerly Ark Kapital) is backed by LocalGlobe, Creandum, former Blackstone Co-head, John McCormick, banking veteran Annika Falkengren of SEB and Lombard Odier, and seven unicorn founders including Hjalmar Winbladh of Epidemic Sound and founding partner of EQT Ventures, Jacob De Geer of IZettle, Timo Soininen of Small Giant Games, Ilkka Paananen of Supercell, Sebastian Knutsson of King, Riccardo Zacconi of King, and Steve Anavi of Qonto.

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