At the beginning of the year, Storytel became Sweden’s new unicorn when the company was valued at over 1 billion dollars, then the equivalent of 10 billion kronor. But since then, the market capitalization has increased to over 15 billion. In the last year alone, the share has risen by 126 percent.
Swedish small savers and large institutions seem to believe in Storytel’s aggressive growth plans. The aim is to win and about twenty new countries will be conquered.
“We have bought about twenty companies over the years. It is important to find the pioneers in the market who are passionate about the audiobook and we often put them as country manager “, Storytel̵
The strategy seems to attract investors. Pareto’s head of analysis Stefan Wård said in a Di interview the other day that “In a year, the valuation will be significantly much higher than today, probably 50 percent higher.”
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The stock is quite volatile. On Monday, the stock lifted and then fell back after the report on Tuesday. For example, the market pushed up the price by 10 percent in one day when the news came that Storytel had bought its competitor in the Middle East, Kitab Sawti. The takeover of the region weighed heavier than Kitab Sawti’s modest turnover of SEK 2.4 million for 2019.
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Storytel has become something of a public share with over 23,000 shareholders, but at the same time previous owners continue to remain on the list.
“I am just as passionate about the company today. Many of the early owners have kept their shares “, Jonas Tellander told Di Digital in July.
The CEO has been involved from the start and over the years has sold a modest share of his holding. During the financial crisis in 2008, he managed to turn the company, which was then close to bankruptcy, by getting money into the TV program Draknästet.
With the price rush, he became one of Sweden’s tech billionaires. Jonas Tellander’s holdings have increased to just over SEK 1.2 billion.
But the CEO still has a long way to go to Storytel’s largest owner, tech investor Jonas Sjögren. He invested in Storytel’s first round of financing already in 2007 and is said to have been involved and contributed more money when the company made a loss during the first years.
Jonas Sjögren owned almost 30 percent in Storytel 2015, but according to ownership data from Holdings has reduced his ownership in installments. Despite this, the success of Storytel made him qualify for Di Digital’s list of tech billionaires last year. But since then, the value has doubled and his holding of almost 15 percent is now worth a good 2.3 billion kronor.
Jonas Sjögren is also an active investor in other companies. He is the largest owner of the biotechnology company Alligator, which, however, has had a shaky stock market trip in the past year. Recently, he also joined the advertising technology company Danads.
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Jonas Tellander, together with the system architect and chief developer Jon Hauksson, founded Bokilur in 2005, which later became Storytel. According to the latest figures in Holdings, his holding is worth SEK 264 million.
Jonas Tellander’s ex-wife Annamaria Tellander is said to have been involved in supporting Storytel until the couple’s divorce in 2012, but never had an official role at the company. On her Linkedin page, Annamaria Tellander writes that she is “owner and co-founder” of the company, something that is not highlighted in Storytel’s official communication. If the price rush continues, however, there are good chances for her to qualify for the tech billionaire list as her shares are worth SEK 782 million.
Rustan Panday, who has been on the board since 2011 and as chairman in 2015, now has shares for SEK 505 million.