As raw as it gets – Skype legend Morten Lund bankrupt

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YouTube presses the mute button on some uploads

Morten Lund, an entrepreneur from Copenhagen, Denmark, might just be the real Rock-‘n Roll entrepreneur. Yesterday he was declared personally bankrupt by the Copenhagen Maritime and Commercial Court after losing 10M Krona in an investment into a Danish newspaper, Nyhedsavisen, which went badly wrong.

The free daily newspaper owned by his startup catalyst LundXY- Global Ventures, closed in August 2008 with a reported deficit of approximately $100 million, admittedly generated mostly under the previous ownership.

He told Danish finance news outlet Finans (in Danish): “It’s like superman getting his suit stolen – I’m shaken and don’t really wanna talk about it. I will come back again with full power, i just need to wash my suit.” (Google Translate suggests is a little different).

Lund is founder and managing partner of LundKenner, a venture capital firm. Wikipedia describes 36-year old Lund as a startup ‘ideologist’ and ‘visionary’ who has founded or co-invested in more than 40 high-tech start ups in the last decade, most famously Skype. In May 2008 he sold Danish social networking and mobile backup site ZYB to operator Vodafone Europe for around $49m.

At Le Web last year gave an amazing talk about the highs and lows of being an entrepreneur which impressed several commentators. Here it is:

  • Pat Phelan

    So sorry to hear this
    We all go through our highs and our lows, I am sure that Morten will be back stronger than ever and wish him all the best.

    • Sven Donhuysen

      for sure !!!

    • Jameson

      OH PLEASE. This guys got lucky with one loss making company, Skype, which was able to fool Ebay into vastly overpaying for something that will never make any money.

      To call him a brilliant VC mocks the definitions of the words brilliant and VC.

      Any fool can get lucky, a brilliant VC is someone who consistently makes money. He got what he deserved, and he actually tried to screw over his partners by saying that they did not sign a contract with him. Unfortunately, all was revealed in the end, and he had to make a public apology.


      • Carlos

        Most likely you are just a bitter man that has not accomplished what this guy has.

        You could have only build and sold a company like that in a wild dream.

        Stop being envious.

      • Walter

        What has he accomplished. He put some money when a Danish friend of him suggested it may be a good investment. That piad off big time when skype got sold. It’s not as if he created Skype, or developed the technology or led the company. On the back of one fluke, he is called a superstar rock star investor? Please?

        As Warren Buffet says, it’s only when the tide goes out that you see who has been swimming naked. Any monkey can make money in an upmarket.

      • Pierre Col

        I agree with Jameson and Walter.

        Just look at the facts : He was lucky to invest in Skype at the early stage of this company he did not create. And he was lucky another time, when this company with no future (every telco in Europe provides now flat rate VoIP services) has been sold to Ebay at an overestimated valuation.

        What other Morten Lund investment has been a success, in term of growth and profitability ?

        How can you consider Morten Lund as an “entrepreneur” ?

        His failure is the first of a serie, I think…

      • Benjamin

        I beg of you to look up what he has done in the past before making such utterly clueless comments. He got rich when he created a company called NeoIdeo which he sold to Leo Burnett at a very young age. He co-founded Bullguard and Zyb, zyb being sold for 50 million dollars and invested early stage in Maxthon (google it)… He has invested in over 80 companies, and people from all over the world have asked him to invest their money, including some of the richest people in asia. Do not underestimate him. Alot of people are hyped, and Morten defintely is, but no more than half of the superstars of silicon valley.

      • Bored by Basic

        This load of ass kissing comments here is quite disgusting. Why is everybody whishing this gambler good luck? Are they all hoping to get his next investment after he fools his lenders?

  • Nick Bell

    Agreed Pat, a ballsy entrepreneur. Good luck to him.

  • Markus Göbel's Tech News Comments

    Why would he be like Superman?

    Clark Kent was strong even without his suit. He just needed it to cover his identity. Superman would never lost his money if his clothes were stolen.

    There was no pocket for a wallet. ;)

  • Aidan

    I find it amazing that someone as obviously as intelligent as Morten Lund would invest every penny of his millions into a single venture.

    Never hear of a rainy day?

    • Mike G

      Aidan, “all-in”, “all-in” – it’s a great feeling.

  • Steven Livingstone-Perez

    I wish him luck. We need people prepared to risk big for inspiration to us hoping to do the same.

    There are a few lessons in this story, but “I’ll come back stronger” is the most resonant :-)

    • EH

      Absolutely. It’s important to keep the hallucinations going.

  • Pat Phelan

    This is an amazing kind of investor guys, a man who really put his money where his mouth was

  • Simon McDermott

    I saw him at Red Herring in Cannes last year, he is a really cool guy and was in big demand. As he says you have to take risks. At the same time he probably feels terrible right now, but that will go away. His point about this being a great time for entrepreneurship is exactly right!

  • Tom

    He should have known not to invest in a newspaper if he’s such a good VC. Newspapers are dead.

  • jose del moral

    I will never forget Lund saying he had come by subway to Le Web conference…

  • Monty Berlin


  • BK

    Can Someone add a link to the famous speech please

  • Joe Mescher

    Maybe it’s just old fashioned American idealism, but I respect a man who is willing to try and fail more than someone who plays it safe their entire life.

  • mikael

    This shows the thing that makes him such a great investor. I takes risks. Just as the risks made him rich and famous so they now make him poor. With his connections he will soon be back on his feet and fingers in several startups.

    His one of the guys you would want to have in your address book.

  • Gonzalo Arzuaga

    Oh boy, it does hurt. He’s so talented and determined that’s hard to beat. He’ll be back in no time. Mark my words.

    @aidan: never heard of the expression “all in” like in a poker table? To say a newspaper wasn’t a good idea might be clear now, but surely not then for him. Morten has got my respect for betting the farm on something he really believed in. His latest venture went south, so what? Life goes on and he’ll come back stronger than before. The road to success is full of obstacles, it’s your determination to get there that separate the ones who make it of those who don’t. And Morten got lots of it.

  • Andreas

    I’m sorry to say, but this is the worst researched article, I’ve read on Techcrunch. Drop a mail, if you need to get the right facts – of course he didn’t go bankrupt because of 10 million kroner (equivalent to 2 million dollars).

    Hope all goes well, Morten!

  • mikael

    Just watched the Video and must say this is one ofthe best articles I have read on TC for a few months.

    Perhaps an interview with him would be good.

  • Florian SEROUSSI

    Morten will be back stronger.
    Hard times are for everyone. Some just don’t have what it takes to come out and say it.

    My point of view is what won’t kill you will make you stronger.

    I just hope to meet Morten one day.
    Great guy.

  • Turulcsirip - János Pál Tóth

    […] & ZYB superstar Morten Lund goes bankrupt – great speech from last years LeWeb @ « előző | János Pál Tóth — 2009. 01. 14. […]

  • http://twitter.carlosapontejr Carlos Aponte Jr.

    He will bounce right back {seesmic_video:{“url_thumbnail”:{“value”:””}”title”:{“value”:”He will bounce right back “}”videoUri”:{“value”:””}}}

  • Shira Weiss

    He happens to also be a REALLY NICE GUY. Don’t worry Morten, you’ll return stronger than ever!

  • Ambar Hamid

    Great life of an entrepreneur. Nobody is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. He’ll learn from this and will surely rise better than ever.


  • Peter Urban


  • Ian Bell

    Great video, everything he said is spot on.

    I have a new hero :)

  • Dan Nicollet

    No one should feel sorry for Morten. It’s obvious he’s got balls enough for a few dozen more downturns. He will prevail and he obviously is enjoying himself on top of it.

    Anyone who thinks there is trying to compensate his loss by enjoying little things like being with the metro crowd again and counting his coins for coffee just misses the point.

    He is a startup artist. An artist cannot create when he is cut off from the crowd he creates products for. Only money and power does just that. Others call this “back to zero”. It’s a resilience mechanism to be able to come back down to better rebound.

    So Morten is so happy right now and he should be!! Loic doesn’t seem to get that but that’s because he is not an artist but a pawn for Sarkozy ;-) (just joking, sort of ;-)

    Have fun Morten! Rock on!

  • Wessel van Rensburg

    Nice video, not sure about the Crunchbase pic… Seems like a nice guy.

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