New year, new name! We are proud to announce the renaming of our company from watAgame ApS to Momio ApS. We are running a series introducing our employees, and now it is time to get to know Mikael, our CEO.
Mikael, what is your background?
I was born in Aarhus, Denmark, but I have lived in Vejle and Tokyo during my childhood.
I lived in Tokyo when I was between 11 and 14 years of age. It was at the time when Sony launched the Sony Walkman and Nintendo launched Donkey Kong, the Game & Watch handheld electronic game device for casual gaming and Mario Bros. I remember we brought the newest gear to our friends and family in Denmark when we came back on holiday, and everyone was just so fascinated by it since it wasn’t available in Denmark at the time. Since then I’ve been very interested in music, entertainment, communication and digital services.
I have a Master’s degree in Economics & Business Administration from Aarhus University (Aarhus School of Business) and Penn State University. I started my career at Unilever in Copenhagen. Between 2001 and 2009 I worked for TDC in several roles from business development roles, over operational and marketing roles to strategic and corporate roles. After the Telecoms experience, I worked as consultant and partner of The Futures Agency within digital business development in primarily Africa and Asia and as COO at Refunite, a nonprofit tech organization, whose mission is to reconnect refugee families across the globe with missing loved ones via a safe mobile search tool. The on-ground activities were primarily focused on the Middle East and East Africa.
From end 2011 I have been working at Momio (previously called watAgame). When I came to Momio, focus was on developing and operating goSupermodel, a girls only web-based community for teenage girls. In the beginning of 2012 we started to discuss whether we should continue developing on the current product or we should start from scratch and launch a mobile first social network for younger kids. We chose the latter, and launched Momio (called Skymo at launch) in November 2013 in Denmark, and in March 2014 in SE, NO, FI and NL. In June 2015 we launched Momio in DE, AT, CH and PL.
What are your tasks at Momio?
I have had several roles here over the last five years. I’ve been CCO, COO and since January 2016 I’ve been CEO of Momio. I therefore have focus on developing our business, our partnerships, the Momio-team and work closely with our board and investors.
Why do you like working at Momio?
From feedback from our users, but also from parents, teachers and academics, I can see that there is a real need for a service like ours. We are filling a gap that no-one else is filling. We can observe that kids all the way down to 7 – 8 years of age want to be on social media. But all the global social media, like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc. are all for kids aged 13+. So there is a clear need for a free, safe and playful mobile social media offering for kids. This need has been unfulfilled until Momio was launched as a dedicated mobile based social network for kids.
When I was living in Tokyo as a kid, it wasn’t possible to keep in touch with family or friends back home by other means than snail mail and an occasional and very expensive long distance phone call. Today, kids can be on Momio and keep in touch, whenever they want on any device of choice. They can chat, write posts, watch and share videos, play games, listen to music, follow brands and celebrities and be creative together. Just by having a mobile phone, data access and the Momio app installed on their phone.
It is a pleasure, but also challenging to have kids and teens as primary target group for our services. It is here, the development within digital services’ first pick-up, so you have to keep being on your toes as a company to stay relevant. I am married to a Swede, and we have four kids at 5, 13, 14 and 18 years of age. I therefore in my daily life have direct access to observe how kids and teens communicate and play using digital services. It is an invaluable input to my work here at Momio, where we are working on further developing the kids’ first mobile social network.
I enjoy that we have Momio live in nine European countries, and we therefore get to work with many different nationalities but also many leading partners within the entertainment and communication space.
Lastly I just want to say that I love the entrepreneurial spirit at Momio and I can’t wait to grow the company further in 2017 and beyond with this great team of dedicated people.