The background of BrainHeart Capital is very much the background of Ulf Jonströmer and Cynthia Jonströmer – two serial entrepreneurs with Swedish and Japanese origin respectively.
As a 28-year-old mathematician/economist, Ulf Jonströmer founded AU-System, a software company that focused on large fixed-price projects, and served as its CEO until 2000. The company became the largest specialist in datacom software in Europe, and had a long list the international enterprises as clients. Ulf Jonströmer brought in Ericsson, Telia, and, in the 1990s, Cisco and IBM as co-owners and partners. Two international software product companies, Across Wireless and iD2, were spun out. In 1998, Permira (Europe’s largest private equity investor) bought Telia’s shares. Two years later, the three companies were divested for a compound value of 2.5 billion dollars – meaning a 100 000 times increase of injected equity. Behind the well-known telecom-internet company Skype, Across Wireless and AU-System are the second- and third-largest exits in venture capital in Northern Europe.
Ulf was the chairman for the Swedish Software Industry for twelve years. In 1997 Ulf Jonströmer became chairman for the whole Swedish IT/Telecom Industry (including Ericsson, Telia, IBM etc) and left when he entered the financial industry in 2001.
Ulf founded BrainHeart Capital AB, which is owned by himself and the CEO, Cynthia Jonströmer. The company established an eight-year-long venture capital fund (USD 200 million) together with an experienced team of individuals from the IT/telecom industry. BrainHeart Capital financed the fund together with the Swedish government, Skandia, IBM and Swiss investors. The BrainHeart Fund became the largest European venture fund dedicated to wireless technology and applications. Among the successful exits are companies like Mobeon, Åkerströms, Meru Networks, Trux and Spring Mobile.
Before BrainHeart Capital, Cynthia Jonströmer ran her own businesses in Asia within different industries. The largest was a joint venture with the Swedish software company Frontec founded and initially financed by Cynthia. The Frontec Asia operation grew from 3 to over 250 employees in five years, delivering turnkey e-commerce projects. The company provided the solution to build some of the world’s largest e-commerce networks. This included Customs 2000 for Chinese government and the Chinese Customs service, COSCO’s global network as well as national e-commerce networks for Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Hongkong.
Upon joining the Frontec management team, Cynthia became the youngest executive vice-president of a listed European company. In 2011 Cynthia became the CEO of BrainHeart Capital – while Ulf Jonströmer took the position as its Chairman.
2007 BrainHeart started to investigate Cleantech as an investment area. In 2013 this resulted in acquiring a group of companies in the area of rockenergy technologies and services – a renewable energy area where Sweden is in a world lead position with over 6 % of total energy consumption coming from the bedrock/ground.