When Almi Invest paid its first visit to Neo Technology at the Lead incubator in Linköping, not many people were aware of what the company was doing. Neo Technology was the first company in the world to develop graph databases – a concept that was unheard of at the time, ten years ago.
Neo was ahead of its time with the new graph database Neo4J, which makes a standard database a thousand times faster. Unlike standard databases, which are constructed like Excel spreadsheets, a graph database functions as a network or a graph, making links and searches extremely fast and streamlining the management of large quantities of information.
Almi Invest sensed that this was promising and provided the company with capital in 2007 as the first external investor. But then things slowed down. The company needed more money and it was difficult to get investors interested. So Almi Invest helped out with several bridge loans, which enabled Neo to get through the time it took to encourage more investors to come on board.
A couple of years later in 2009, the situation eased for Neo and the company was able to attract SEK 10 million from new investors. However, Almi Invest remained on board as co-owner until 2016, when its stake, corresponding to two percent of the capital and votes, was sold to Greenbridge Investment Partners. This coincided with Neo Technology receiving USD 36 million in venture capital.
Almi Invest therefore made an exit with a profit of 10 times the amount of invested capital.
Neo Technology, which is now valued at approximately SEK 1 billion, is continuing to develop in a positive direction and is a world leader in graph databases. The company has operations in several countries, and has been headquartered in Silicon Valley since 2011.
What was Almi Invest’s most important contribution to Neo?