Sophia Bendz: A Glimpse into Spotify’s early days and the Investor’s Mindset

🎙️ **Unicorn Bakery Podcast: Sophia Bendz – Insights from Spotify’s Founding Days and Personal Growth** 🎧

Welcome to a new episode of the Unicorn Bakery podcast! In this episode, we have a special guest, Sophia Bendz, General Partner at Cherry Ventures, and former member of the founding team at Spotify. Join us as we delve into anecdotes from Spotify’s early days, explore personal growth, and gain insights into the mindset of a seed investor.

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Sophia Bendz has an impressive background in the tech industry. As General Partner at Cherry Ventures, she supports early-stage companies and has made over 40 angel investments in Europe and North America. Prior to that, Sophia was the Global Marketing Director at Spotify for seven years, playing a crucial role in the company’s growth from a Swedish startup to a global player.

In this interview, we cover a range of topics, including:

– Anecdotes and insights from Sophia’s early days at Spotify
– Building a global brand in the consumer space
– Learnings as an investor and the role of personal development
– The importance of making the right decisions and managing ego
– The significance of trust in the “founding family”
– The role of Scandinavia in the European tech ecosystem

🔍 Timestamps for the interview chapters:
– (00:01:51) Making important decisions and choosing Cherry Ventures
– (00:04:52) Introduction to Cherry Ventures
– (00:05:46) Leaving Spotify during its growth peak
– (00:07:33) Exploring Spotify’s early days
– (00:10:31) Aligning brand focus in a developer-focused team
– (00:12:22) When did Spotify feel like something massive?
– (00:13:33) The reality of the Netflix series “The Playlist”
– (00:15:11) Key cornerstones for a successful marketing and brand strategy
– (00:21:02) Relationship between brand strategy and founder’s vision
– (00:23:05) Tips for founders regarding ego and decision-making
– (00:27:41) The importance of trust among the founding team
– (00:28:50) The focus on B2B and software sectors vs. consumer startups
– (00:30:32) Defining successful brands and observing founder signals
– (00:32:16) The influence of AI on future startups
– (00:35:00) The role of Scandinavia in the European tech landscape
– (00:37:48) Nurturing personal development and work-life balance
– (00:45:05) Advice that Sophia finds hard to follow herself

🌐 Connect with Sophia Bendz on LinkedIn: [Sophia Bendz LinkedIn](
🌐 Learn more about Cherry Ventures: [Cherry Ventures](

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Stay tuned for valuable insights and inspiring discussions on the Unicorn Bakery podcast! 🦄✨

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[1] Sophia Bendz LinkedIn: [Sophia Bendz LinkedIn](
[2] Cherry Ventures: [Cherry Ventures](

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Anecdotes from Spotify’s founding days, personal growth, and insights into the mindset of a seed investor – Sophia Bendz, ex-founding team Spotify, General Partner at Cherry Ventures.

Sophia Bendz is a general partner at Cherry Ventures. Sophia joined Cherry from Atomico, where she was also a Partner and built the firm’s well-known Angel program. Sophia’s passion is supporting early-stage companies, an interest she has discovered in over 40 angel investments in Europe and North America.

Sophia was also Global Marketing Director at Spotify for seven years, taking the audio platform from a Swedish apartment-based startup to an international player.

We talk about anecdotes from her early days at Spotify, building a global brand in the consumer space, her learnings as an investor, the role of Scandinavia in Europe, founder egos, the part of personal development in your success, and how you figure out what success means to you in the first place.

What you’ll learn:

What are the critical cornerstones for a successful marketing and brand strategy?
How close is the Netflix series “The Playlist” to the real deal in Spotify creation?
How do you make difficult decisions without letting emotions and ego get the upper hand?
What role do personal development and work-life balance play in a successful career?


(00:01:51) How do you make important decisions, and why did you choose the relatively unknown Cherry at the time?
(00:04:52) Who is Cherry Ventures?
(00:05:46) Why was the growth peak at Spotify the right moment for you to leave the company?
(00:07:33) What were the early days at Spotify like? What all was happening at that time?? Can you walk us through those early days?
(00:10:31) How does brand focus fit into a developer-focused team? How did Sophia convince the rest of the group of its relevance?
(00:12:22) When did you feel like you were working on something massive at Spotify?
(00:13:33) How real is the series “The Playlist” on Netflix about the rise of Spotify?
(00:15:11) From your experience: What does a marketing and brand strategy need? What are the fundamental cornerstones?
(00:21:02) How much are the brand strategy and the founder’s vision related?
(00:23:05) What tips do you give “your” founders (that you invest in) regarding ego? How do you make the right decisions?
(00:27:41) How important is trusting your “founding family”?
(00:28:50) Do investors focus too much on the B2B and software sectors and neglect consumer startups? Or is this just a distorted perception?
(00:30:32) What characteristics do you use to define successful brands? What signals do you observe among founders?
(00:32:16) What influence does AI have on future startups?
(00:35:00) What is the role of Scandinavia in Europe?
(00:37:48) How do you live personal development and work-life balance to grow with your challenges?
(00:45:05) What advice do you often give but find hard to follow yourself?

Sophia Bendz

Cherry Vertures:

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