Introducing ‘Startup stories’ – and reminiscing on Tink’s own journey

From tech giants to emerging disruptors, every company that is now making an impact in the world likely had a humble origin story. The life of a fledgling startup is rarely glamorous – it involves long hours, grit and probably tears. But it is exhilarating. To celebrate entrepreneurship, we’ll share a few startup stories over the coming months – starting with Tink’s own, as described by an OG Tinker.

TL;DR – Quick summary

  • We reached out to hear the stories from startups and entrepreneurs that are using Tink to power their ideas.

  • But first, we’re sharing Tink’s own story.

  • Andreas Lundgren, VP Engineering at Tink, opens up about his journey – from the challenges and excitement of the early days to the hiccups along the way to where we are now.

  • In the coming months, we’ll share other startup stories on LinkedIn.

Startup stories

At Tink, we have a deep respect and appreciation for entrepreneurship. People who want to push their boundaries, take that leap of faith and solve society’s most pressing problems give us energy and optimism for the future.

Since entrepreneurial journeys are extremely personal, we reached out to hear more about the stories of startups and entrepreneurs that are using Tink to power their innovations.

But first, we wanted to get really personal – and share a bit of Tink’s story. As luck would have it, the inspiration came right into our inbox, sent from a Tinker who’s lived through it all.

‘Just getting started’

This email was sent by Andreas Lundgren, VP Engineering, to everyone at Tink before he went on parental leave.

‘I finish work at about 5pm. I grab my backpack and walk towards Stureplan to KG10, the office hotel, the door next to McDonalds. We have a small room with only three desks and no window. There they are: Fredrik, Daniel and Johannes. We got the room cheap with the condition that Fredrik handles the wifi across the complex.

Johannes is Tink’s first employee but will leave in a year and start his own business. We share a desk, he works on our web app during business hours, I do the evening hours after my regular job. I am still on notice period, cannot wait to be here full time. Daniel and Fredrik work all the time. We have a small fridge, one of those mini ones, where only one unit of milk and a box of six eggs fit. This office has all we need. Heads down.

If someone back then, in November 2012, would have said that in eight years, Tink wouldn’t have one, but several large fridges packed with milk of different types, I would’ve fallen off that non-adjustable and too low chair I was sitting on. It’s just absolutely amazing what has been happening since then.

Was it a straight line from that mini fridge to where we are today? It for sure wasn’t.

Andreas Lundgren, VP Engineering at Tink

For me personally it could have ended already after my first performance review with Fredrik and Daniel: ‘You are not as good as we thought’. End of review.

For Tink, it could have ended a couple of times too. Those first years with no revenue, a too-short runway and a pretty shitty web app with only 5000 users. When we moved our platform from stable and smooth AWS to our own servers – the night before launch of the Tink app. When we pulled back from an all-or-nothing US launch at the last minute (I still think it was the sign from Startup Gods when Daniel and I literally ran out of gas in Palo Alto). When a head-to-head competitor released their app in Sweden three months before us. When we got another threat of a lawsuit from a European bank. Or from collective heart disease having eaten too much at that McDonalds next door.

But it did not end, and it will not if we continue to do the right things.

I have spent the last 7 and a half years at Tink and I’ve enjoyed it so much. I’ve learnt so much from so many bright people. The team and the never ending challenges are what keeps me going. I’m looking forward to taking a short break to be with my kids. Buuuuuut I must say I would have wanted to work this fall through as well.

There are so many exciting things happening. And as always it feels like we just got started.’

Inspiring other startup stories

As you can imagine, this email means a lot to us. But more than that, it sums up our thoughts about startups and entrepreneurship perfectly, and really conveys that feeling of uncertainty, excitement and disbelief that comes with being part of a startup.

We know we’re lucky to be where we are today, and beyond thrilled that we have the opportunity to help other companies – from big banks to small startups – build cool new stuff using our platform.

Our story is just one of many. In the coming months, we’ll be shining the spotlight on other people and startups that are working hard to push boundaries and solve problems, big and large. Follow us on Linkedin to get inspired by their stories.

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