12-11-2021 10:44

Oslo-based Vev received 50 million kroner: From a wild idea to a one of a kind growth fairy tale

Oslo-based Vev wants to simplify the creation of visual websites. After only four years the company’s customers now include media giants. It is backed by Nordea and has been able to get a large, international investor onboard. “We wants to set the new industry standard,” says the company’s CEO, Tine Karlsen (30).

Since they started in 2017, the founders of Vev, Nicolay Thafvelin (left), Tine Karlsen and Fredrik Evjen Ekli (right) have seen incredible growth. In 2020 the company got a loan from Nordea, enabling them to grow without having to sell shares. “It clearly makes our investors feel more safe when they see that Nordea is backing us too. Photo: Sadan Ekdemir.

“Running a start-up is often compared to running a marathon. I think it’s more like interval training,” says Tine Karlsen, CEO and co-founder of Vev, a design platform that lets you tailor websites and digital content without expensive coding.

“Even though it takes stamina, you also go through periods where the pace is high. We’ve sometimes had to gather the troops, pause and assess our direction and then move on.” 

She takes a moment to reflect. 

“All the hard work we’ve done since 2017 is the reason we're here today. 

Creates creative freedom

Oslo-based Vev is spearheading a wave of groundbreaking tools that make it easier to create websites and digital content. As opposed to other standardised website building tools Vev combines the so-called “no code” with “low code”. The service is used by both designers and developers and provides the customer with more flexibility and the chance to quickly tailor content. 

“The idea came about because we were frustrated over the limitations in website production. If you’re creative or think a bit out of the box, it often requires coding. Creating quality visual websites was just too difficult,” says Tine.

“Our goal has always been to provide users with full creative freedom and at the same time create faster processes and an improved work flow,” says Tine. 


About VeV

VEV AS is a platform for tailoring websites and digital content in a simple way – either without coding or by using so-called “low code”. The service targets three user levels: designers, developers and content creators.

Vev was founded by Tine Karlsen (30), Fredrik Evjen Ekli (29) and Nicolay Thafvelin (32) in 2017.


“Since our ambitions are big and international, solid advice and strong partners have been important in order for us to make smart choices along the way,” says Tine Karlsen and mentions Nordea as a key player. 

Nordea a key player

Vev’s customers include Norwegian media houses such as Schibsted and DN and American giants such as The Economist, Netflix and Osprey, so Vev is truly a genuine, Norwegian growth fairy tale.

It began as “sort of a crazy idea” in 2017, but earlier this year Vev received funding in the amount of 50 million Norwegian kroner from international investor EQT venture. This chance to venture into new markets was a milestone for the company. 

“Since our ambitions are big and international, solid advice and strong partners have been important in order for us to make smart choices along the way,” says Tine and mentions Nordea as a key player. 

Strong focus on the start-up segment

Even though the bank was not the first partner that came to mind during the start-up phase, the close relation with Vev’s account manager Maiken Selmar Luhr in Nordea Startup & Growth has been very valuable. 

 “It was just love at first sight,”, says Maiken with a smile on her face. 

“Everything worked out – both the service and the problem it solves, and we were very impressed by the Vev team. Supporting start-ups always involves a risk, but they already had competent and active investors onboard. 

Maiken’s speciality is guiding, assessing and offering financing to start-ups and she’s been helping the Vev team with their financing strategy and ambitious growth plan. She’s proud of Nordea’s strong focus on the start-up segment.

“My job is to help start-ups to succeed. This means building relations and understanding the company’s growth drivers to enable us to provide the best possible advise and support on its journey. 

Important partner. Vev upended the entire media industry with its user-friendly design platform. Now the founders have big, international ambitions and mention account manager Maiken in Nordea Startup & Growth as an important sparring partner.

The security of a bank partner

Through account manager Maiken, Vev got a loan from Nordea at the start of 2020, enabling the company to grow without having to sell shares. 

This means that Vev is able to attract the interest of large, international venture capital funds that have very specific demands as to how big an ownership share the founders must have in their company. 

“That loan was very important. Maiken understands our growth journey and has really opened our eyes to the role the bank can play – also in the long run,” says Tine. 

“I can tell investors feel more safe when they see that Nordea backs us too. 

Industry standard ambitions

At the moment Tine and the rest of the team behind Vev have their eye on one thing only: gearing up internationally. 

“Our ambition is to become a new industry standard for frontend building, meaning what you see on screen,” says Tine. 

“If you are to publish an article or create a new, interactive landing page, Vev should be your go-to option.

The world wide web. From its central Oslo offices Vev has built an impressive customer list including Schibsted, Polaris Media and New York Times. Photo: Vev

Business growth