Forget all those stereotypes about repressed, understated Scandinavians. Christian Lanng, the CEO and co-founder of the business software network Tradeshift, is as unashamedly noisy as the brashest Silicon Valley entrepreneur (think a young Viking version of Marc Benioff). And not only has Lanng founded one of the most promising business start-ups in the world right now but, having relocated to the Bay Area earlier this year from his native Copenhagen, he’s also pioneering the idea of a lean intercontinental start-up with offices in Europe, America and Asia.
So why, I asked Lanng when he came into TechCrunch TV’s San Francisco studio earlier this month, did he move from Denmark to Silicon Valley? While Lanng acknowledged the value of the European welfare state in giving him the education to become a top class programmer, he told them that this welfare system “kills the hunger” to make money. America, in contrast with Europe, “creates hunger” for success, Lanng told me.
Lanng also was not shy to promote Tradeshift. “All current business software is crap”, he explained, before detailing how his start-up is using distributed data to solve core problems for many of the world’s businesses. I suspect Lanng is onto something here. The 18 month old Tradeshift has already raised $17 million from investors including PayPal and is being used by more than 100,000 companies around the globe. So keep an eye on Christian Lanng. This is one Scandinavian who isn’t shy to radically change the world.