InSpire Ventures

InSpire AS (Ventures) is a private equity company created as a co-investment vehicle for seed projects such as Optinose and Move About.

InSpire AS (Ventures) is a “double-dividend” private equity company set up by Prof. Willums in 2000 as a co-investment vehicle for a group of friends that had participated with him earlier in launching successful technology ventures. This included founding, jointly with DNV, the first artificial intelligence IT company in Scandinavia (Computas, today a leading entity in the field in Europe), creation of Avenir that became the largest Norwegian-owned software house (now part of Ementor), and founding of Solenergy, a Photovoltaic company that merged with other sister companies to become REC, the solar company that had the most successful IPO in the history of the Oslo stock exchange in 2006.

InSpire AS (Ventures) and its partners have in more recent time been seed investor in companies like OptiNose and Move About. OptiNose is a medical device company, that has more than quadrupled in value over the last five years, and several younger Norwegian high-tech companies with an international potential such as Move About. The Norwegian car sharing company that has the ambition of creating the most environmentally friendly vehicle service for corporations in Europe.

Move About

InSpire was the seed financier of Move About, a car sharing concept that spun out of Think,producer at the time of the first fully EU approved electric vehicles .

Move About is today active with over 100 vehicles in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany, specialized in Corporate Mobility on demand..


inSpire was the seed capital investor in OptiNose, a research and development company founded in 2000 with the purpose of developing innovative devices for nasal delivery of vaccines and drugs (liquid and powder). This is what the medical profession calls topical or systemic action. The uniqueness of the concept has made OptiNose a pioneer as the technology has opened up a new dimension into how drugs can be delivered. Nasal delivery provides a fast, cost-effective and user-friendly alternative to injections, and offers additional local immune protection for many vaccines.

OptiNose won the 2000 Venture Cup Prize, an annual competition originally managed by McKinsey in Norway for good business ideas that are likely to achieve commercialization. This Prize was in part made possible by Professor Jan-Olaf Willums, from inSpire Invest, who as part of the jury, liked the professionalism of the founding team headed by Dr. Per Djupesland, a medical researcher at the University Hospital in Oslo.

The original research by Dr. Per Djupesland on how drugs were absorbed through the mucous tissue lead to the discovery of how one could dramatically improve the absorption of medication when applied through the nasal mucous if a patient simultaneously exhales through the mouth. This lead to a simple invention of a small hand-held device that would allow drugs to be administered by blowing into the device which in turn directs the flow medication through the nose.

inSpire introduced later the Dutch investor Andromeda (Brenninkmeijer Family) to become co-investor with InSpire in OptiNose. Today, Andromeda is the largest shareholder, while a US venture investor holds the second-largest share position after the owners. inSpire holds around 7% of the outstanding shares. The company has established a UK subsidiary and has completed the first phase of clinical trials of the product based on its technology.

Who nose how far
Optionose article

From the blog

Our latest posts