Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard the news that CLARA was acquired by Jive Software (NASDAQ:JIVE) last week. Everyone in Iceland is talking about this deal. It was the first investment my partners and I at Auro Partners made in Iceland. We are very happy to have shared the journey with Team CLARA (a.k.a Resonata). If I am not wrong, this is the first Icelandic software company to be acquired by a NASDAQ listed Silicon valley company. This was a huge win for CLARA, Jive Software and for the Startup Community in Iceland!
I continue to emphasize that the key to success is always the entrepreneurial team. Finding and assembling the right team to drive success is an art. CLARA’s success can be attributed to many factors aligning at once and at the right time. But the core factor in CLARA’s success was its team. Auro Partners was impressed with the technology CLARA was building, but we invested in its founders.
I have written about CLARA before and the team at CLARA. This acquisition effort was led by Gunnar Holmsteinn (CLARA’s CEO), Sveinbjorn Indridarsson (CFO), the dedicated members of CLARA’s team, a committed Board of Directors, and guided by our lawyer Justin Hovey from Pillsbury Law.
There were numerous late night meetings, legal documents to review, negotiations, round table discussions and hard work that brought this win home. Like the startup team itself, the people that comprise the Board of Directors of a startup makes a huge difference in the company strategy, direction and opportunity for success. We were very lucky to have had a wonderful and dedicated Board, that consisted of experienced business minds with diverse backgrounds: Egill Masson from NSA, Paula Gould, Ragnheiður H. Magnúsdóttir, myself and Bjarni Armansson. Together we had the right mix of people with the right backgrounds and the right attitude.
The last 3+ years with Team CLARA has been a huge learning experience for me personally and I would like to thank every member of Team CLARA to have given me that opportunity to be their first investor and the Chairman of the Board.
On behalf of Auro Partners, I will say we are extremely happy to see Team CLARA get to do the things they love doing, and successfully. We are more confident now than ever about our Investment thesis on Iceland and excited to be part of the Startup Community in Iceland. We will continue to invest time, money and effort into building a much more vibrant business community in Iceland.
If you are an Entrepreneur or a startup team, you should definitely participate in Startup Iceland 2013. Gunnar Holmstein will be among one of the many exceptional and experienced speakers this year. He will share with us his journey, stories and strategies that worked (and didn’t work) for Team CLARA. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn from someone who fought the good fight to bring Iceland a huge win.
- Reykjavik Startup Clara sold to US Jive Technologies (oliorn.wordpress.com)
- Iceland’s CLARA Acquired For €6.8 Million By Jive Software (arcticstartup.com)
- Startup Iceland Entrepreneur Conference in Reykjavik, Iceland from June 1-4, 2013, to Focus on Building Antifragile Startup Ecosystems (prweb.com)
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