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Sandro Mina: Search Fund Pioneer

VIA INC.COM March 15, 2000


Word of the sale reached Alessandro Mina. A gentle native of Sweden who’d lived in Italy, Switzerland, and France, the multilingual entrepreneur came to the United States in 1989, at the age of 27. While working on his M.B.A. at Stanford, he embarked on an investment project with two fellow European students.

In 1993 the trio founded Sverica International, an investment fund designed to help transform old-fashioned companies into aggressive-growth companies and often into Web-based businesses, and rounded up contributors.

“[Camera World] fit all our criteria…It was profitable. Sales were stagnant, but there was growth opportunity. The owner was retiring, and there was a successful mail-order business in place. It had a huge database of happy customers who came to Camera World in the same way people go to Amazon…They go there pretty much knowing what they want. I held the view that Internet and mail-order sales are basically the same that way, so I thought it had all the ingredients for a great Web business.”

SANDRO MINA,, March 15, 2000

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