Time Magazine placed reMarkable 2 on its list of 100 Best Inventions in 2020. Last year, the company was valued at NOK 1 billion when Silicon Valley investors Spark Capital, known for its early investments in Twitter, came in with NOK 130 million. Mari, Senior Strategic Finance Manager, has been with reMarkable since June 2017.
From idea to reality
The ambition of recreating paper in a digital format began with the launch of reMarkable 1 in 2016. Although it was reMarkable 2 that really nailed it and created a holistic and intuitive paper experience, the company had already received a lot of attention from investors when reMarkable 1 arrived on the market.
“When we launched reMarkable 1 in 2016, we were contacted by investors from Norway, Europe and the United States. That was when we were contacted by Spark Capital. It actually took two years of relationship-building with Spark before they decided to invest in us in 2019.”
Mari says that they had numerous conversations aimed at building trust and mutual respect. Spark wanted to see what the company had managed to achieve, their plans for the future, and how they worked to reach these goals. After a long “getting-to-know-you” period, the US investment company finally invested nearly NOK 130 million in its first Norwegian company.
“Spark had never invested in Norwegian companies before. They have offices in Boston, New York and San Francisco, and this was their first wholly Norwegian company – a small step for Norwegian technology and a giant leap forward for us!”
How to make sparks fly
reMarkable started an early process with mutual due diligence. What kind of investor is Spark? What will their priorities be as part of the board of directors? Mari says that the most important and most surprising part of the process was Spark’s genuine engagement in the product. Spark Capital were essential users. This appealed strongly to the executives of the company.
“Money was one thing, and a good reputation in Silicon Valley was another. It was also important to us that they did not try to micro-manage the company, but instead help us with the strategic challenges we are facing. By speaking with companies they had invested in earlier, including Twitter, we could see that they were interested in the same things as we were. It was reassuring and amazing!”