PublishedAugust 23, 2022
The work to build a European proptech powerhouse is in full swing. Meet Martina Skande, Hydda’s new CEO, who will lead the group’s continued expansion and development.
Hydda Group, backed by Vasakronan and BLQ Invest, has grown from SEK 0 to SEK 50m in annual revenue in six months. And the plan is to triple turnover to SEK 150m over the next 12 months. An IPO is also on the cards – if and when the conditions are right.
The person who will lead the group and its ambitious growth is Hydda’s new CEO, Martina Skande. Martina comes most recently from a deputy CEO role at fintech company Qliro. She also has solid experience in the startup world as well as experience in international banking and management consulting. Martina has been a key player in the development of the Nordic fintech industry, which has given her experiences perfectly suited for the proptech sector’s corresponding journey of change.
After the first week in her new job, we interview Martina – a bit overwhelmed by everything new but also very motivated and positive about what she has seen so far.
We always start with the classic sports question: How does it feel?
– It may not be an unexpected answer, but it feels really good. A lot of new things, of course, in terms of both the people and the industry, and that motivates and inspires me. Hydda’s motto is “The future of working and living”. Can you work on anything more important and exciting?
How was the recruitment process?
– It was a classic search that made me curious. “This is something that would really suit you,” said the recruiter. When Kamjar, CEO of BLQ Invest and founder of Hydda, told me about the assignment, I realized that the recruiter was absolutely right.
What attracted you to Hydda?
– Almost everything actually. The opportunity to build a company with talented colleagues in a young and exciting industry, which has only just begun its development. The intersection between the perhaps more traditional real estate industry and the tech companies is exciting. Our growth plans and the possible IPO also appealed. The unique ownership arrangement with Vasakronan and BLQ Invest as the largest investors gives us incredibly good conditions to develop the proptech solutions that are needed and in demand.
Who is Martina Skande?
– Tough question! Professionally, I have a background in fintech, banking and management consulting. In addition to Qliro, which I came from most recently, I have worked at GE Money Bank, Santander Consumer Bank and EY, among others. I have worked on many different things, for example company management, product development, purchasing, pricing and the IPO processes around stock market listings. Privately, I am married, live in Nacka and have two teenage children. Nowadays, we also have Bernie in the family – a ridiculously energetic Bernedoodle, which is a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a poodle.
How do you want to contribute – to Hydda and the subsidiaries?
– My signature is drive and passion. Once I make up my mind, I drive 100 percent. I always want to be successful with whatever the team and I are working on, and I hate to lose. At the same time, it is very important to me that everyone enjoys themselves and I genuinely care about others. Now I want to continue developing the Hydda Group, together with the whole team, so that we really become the powerhouse of proptech. That is one of our most important goals.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
– When Kamjar and I talked during the recruitment process, I think we both felt that I was the right person for Hydda – and Hydda the right job for me. I have the right background and skills, while at the same time I am good at building teams and developing employees. Weaknesses? Me? Yes, I can get restless if there are too many routine things on my desk and I put a lot of pressure on myself. I am also quite direct in my communication, but in a kind way. It’s usually an advantage but I might not be suited to a diplomatic career in all circumstances.
You have very ambitious goals. What challenges do you see ahead?
– There are always challenges and without them the job wouldn’t be very fun. One challenge we have and are happy to take on, is to be a bridge between real estate companies and software companies. They are very different in nature and one of our strengths is that we understand both. Growing with profitability is never a “walk in the park”, so of course we need to focus on that – especially now in a tougher economic climate. Sustainability from various aspects is also close to my heart, so it feels important and positive that Hydda can contribute to more sustainable buildings. After all, the construction and property sectors are responsible for a large part of the world’s climate impact.
What do you do when you’re not working?
– Besides spending time with the family and trying to channel Bernie’s excess energy, I love hanging out with our great friends and playing sports. There is some padel and I have always loved downhill skiing of various types. Right now, I’m completely hooked on randonné, which involves climbing up a mountain with crampons and then skiing down. It means you can go off-piste almost anywhere you want. Earn your turns, as we say in the sport!