What’s it like to work at a highly innovative growth company in one of the world’s most vibrant tech cities? This past Wednesday, 45 entrepreneurial students visited Trustly’s headquarters to find out.
In the past, AFT, a Belgian student organization aimed at stimulating high-tech entrepreneurship, has organized startup trips to booming tech hubs London and Berlin. But this year’s trips brought the students to the Swedish capital.
Why Stockholm? The Nordic region as a whole has brought in notable investments and has churned out even more impressive startups and technological innovations. But in 2015, $892 million was invested in Stockholm alone, and today, one in four investments made in the Nordics is made in Stockholm. So the “unicorn factory” was an obvious attraction for the student group. And considering that FinTech was the most-funded vertical in Stockholm last year, the online banking payments technology company Trustly was the perfect first stop.
The morning started out with a catered breakfast where students mingled with the Trustly team.
Students and employees chat over cheese sandwiches and smoothies. (The Kalles kaviar went untouched.)
Following breakfast, Carl-Henrik Somp, Trustly’s Head of Expansion, spoke to the students about Trustly’s core values, its history and the future of FinTech.
“Our product is based on the bank account, which people already have, know how to operate, trust and hold their money in. What’s missing is the link so people can pay from it online. That’s what we have created and currently offer in Europe.” Somp said. “We’re on a mission to simplify and improve online payments. We’ve had a flying start but are still in the beginning of our journey.
Next up, Märta Viberg, Trustly’s Head of Consumer Risk, gave a deeper dive into the product and a breakdown the organization’s structure.
Märta Viberg and Carl-Henrik Somp field questions from the students.
“The most interesting thing to me was the fact that Trustly has been profitable from the start. It’s not the approach most tech companies take to grow and scale,” said trip organizer Nick Scheynen, a 23 year old studying Business and Information Systems Engineering. “Trustly has a really wide reach and a lot of integrations while only having a rather small engineering team of about 25 — that’s impressive!”
The students’ visit concluded with a tour of the new office, which Trustly moved into last month.
The sunroom, where the Trustly team can work and play.
Trustly Recruitment Manager Sofia Berglind believes that tech and education go hand in hand, and growing tech companies can play a vital role in nurturing the next generation of tech entrepreneurs through events like these.
“We sprung from three entrepreneurs who were young kids themselves when they started and our story goes to show what energy and ambition can bring about,” said Berglind. “It’s great that a small startup can evolve to become a workplace for 100 — soon to be 160! — people and we are crossing borders even when it comes to recruitment. People from all different backgrounds get the opportunity to grow as individuals while helping the company to grow. Stockholm and Trustly have a lot to offer entrepreneurs.”