From zero to six portfolio companies in less than a year. The Hydda family is growing fast and with a possible IPO on the horizon, the need for structure in finance and reporting is increasing. That job will be led by seasoned CFO Hans Grufman, whose background includes not only numbers, but also coding in Silicon Valley, skiing and highly involuntary pool maintenance.
All good things come in threes, and perhaps that applies to new hires as well? The Hydda family’s new CFO Hans Grufman was the third new employee to join in September.
Hello Hans! Tell us about your role at Hydda?
– Hydda Group has grown very fast and will continue to expand. Today we have six portfolio companies, several major shareholders and have passed 100 employees in the group. We have customers in 13 countries and subsidiaries in 5 countries. As we grow, so does our complexity. As CFO, I will ensure that we have effective structures and procedures for our financial management and reporting. I’m employed by the parent company, but will also provide support to the management and finance managers of the subsidiaries.
What is your professional background? What have you done before?
– In recent years I have held CFO positions in various IT companies, both venture capital and private equity backed. But I actually worked as a developer in Silicon Valley at the beginning of my career. The company had the contemporary name of net.com and made IP telephony tools. I was an okay developer, but soon realized that those of my colleagues who were truly passionate about code were better. Being more of a generalist and extremely fascinated by economics, I soon changed my focus. So I don’t think our portfolio companies will call me when they get stuck with their code. Then we’re in trouble!
What was it that attracted you and made you change jobs?
– A recruiter got in touch and I thought the job sounded exciting. One of my big dreams has been to build an exceptional SaaS group. In addition, I believe that too little capital has been allocated to proptech in relation to the huge potential. When Kamjar Hajabdolahi of BLQ Invest told me about Hydda’s future plans and how the company acts as a bridge between the real estate industry and the proptech companies, I had no more doubts. I just got onboard.
How does it feel so far?
– It feels really good, especially with the colleagues. And when that part is good, everything else works out well too. We’re a happy and constructive bunch of people!
How well did you know proptech before and what do you think about the future of the industry?
– Not very much, but I had come across a few companies and was a bit surprised that the industry was only in its infancy. But now there is a lot happening and more to come. I feel at least as much at the centre of events today as I did in Silicon Valley twenty years ago. It’s fun and exciting.
How do you want to contribute to Hydda’s development?
– I want to put our development in numbers and help build commitment to our business goals. I also want to create a stable financial structure so that the Hydda family can continue to grow in an efficient and controlled way, and also be ready for an IPO when the time is right.
What are you like as a person? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
– Determined, stubborn, analytical and committed is a good summary of my strengths. On the minus side are impatience and time optimism, which is not always an entirely successful combination.
What drives you in your everyday worklife?
– I really enjoy building something new, together with great people and in an exciting industry with a huge potential.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
– I spend time with my family, preferably doing some kind of outdoor activity. My main hobby is skiing, and this summer we had some great skiing on a glacier in Austria. In addition to nice and soft family skiing, my downhill adventures also include frozen toes in Kyrgyzstan and two completely snowed-in weeks in a camper in Alaska. Something I’d rather not do, but at my wife’s request am forced to spend a lot of time on, is maintaining the family pool. It’s a rickety homemade construction that unfortunately came with the house, and no pool professionals want to deal with it. With the help of epoxy glue and duct tape, I’ve managed to keep it working so far, but I’m already dreading the next swimming season.