A new network of design
Altor has invested in Photowall and String Furniture, to build the foundation for Network of Design (NOD), a network of design companies with strong brands. NOD will be led by the former CEO of NetEnt, Therese Hillman.
NOD will gather companies well positioned for the ongoing shift to online sales in the consumer industry. The company will help the brands take the next step in their international growth journey.
“By establishing NOD we have started our work in forming the leading network for ambitious entrepreneurs in the affordable luxury design space” says Andreas Källström, Partner at Altor. “NOD will have a dedicated management team that will help the group companies deliver on their strategies and bring in additional companies in the partnership. As an owner Altor will also support the team with capital, expertise and experience both in value creation and acquisitions”.
“I feel excited about what NOD is and what it can become. We will bring together a unique set of design brands undergoing rapid growth. We partner with the founders, who continue to be co-owners, and create a design ecosystem where NOD supports in all aspects of their journey”, says Therese Hillman, CEO of the newly established NOD.
The current NOD Group had a turnover in 2020 surpassing 500 MSEK with a strong growth momentum. Photowall is headquartered in Stockholm and offers a wide range of custom wallpapers and prints through its own production facilities since 2006. String Furniture is headquartered in Malmö and offers shelving and storage solutions including Nils and Kajsa Strinning’s iconic design “String”.
The history behind the company was that the Swedish publishing house Bonnier realized that the majority of Swedish homes were not furnished with a focus on bookshelves, which made it quite difficult for them to sell books. In 1949 they announced a competition where they asked all contributors to submit a design for a shelf with a few criteria. The shelf needed to be affordable, easy to ship and equally easy to assemble. String ticked all the boxes and was announced winner that same year. Naturally, String became a very common furniture in the Swedish homes during the 1950s. The 1950s and 1960s were eventful years for String® who was generously mounted in the offices of the UN Headquarters in New York, gold medal winner at the Milan Triennale, part of the exhibition at H55 which was the start of the design movement Swedish design, and String System also became the best-selling Scandinavian furniture piece in Germany.
Now String is part of NOD.
“We are thrilled to join NOD and together build a leading design powerhouse. We are convinced that in an ecosystem with other design brands, being able to share expertise, capabilities, and plan together, NOD will lift the potential of each partner company. Together we will revolutionize the industry”, says Pär Josefsson, co-founder of String Furniture.
Photowall is a younger company: The idea behind the company was born in 2006 by the brothers Niklas and Charlie Johansson, who thought that the range of personal wall art was quite limited. With a technical background and a great interest in design, they decided to try something new: to print wallpaper digitally. Without any experience in printing technology, the brothers bought their very first printing press in 2006 – and Photowall was created. A company where the focus was on quality, creative design and tailor-made products. Today, Photowall is a well-established company with its own factory and office in Skarpnäck, Stockholm. But just like at the start, we are still driven by the desire to create and to constantly test new ideas.
NOD has appointed a seasoned Board representing collective experience ranging from design to e-commerce to support the group on its growth journey. Susanna Campbell, former CEO of Ratos and active board professional with deep E-Commerce experience, will be Chair of the Board. In addition, Mirkku Kullberg, CEO of Glasshouse Helsinki and former CEO of Artek, Paul Fischbein, active e-commerce entrepreneur, former CEO of Qliro Group and founder of tretti.se, and Magnus Dimert, e-commerce advisor and former CEO of Adlibris, will join the board.