April 27, 2020
DAILY BRIEF: Autonomous shuttle buses, spicy audio, gold mining, acquisitions and investments
Sensible 4's autonomous shuttle bus Gacha will travel to Dubai in the autumn.
All the daily Finnish business news that works: Sensible 4, Genelec, Outotec, Aalto Startup Center, RANIOT Technologies and Icebreaker.vc make headlines.
Genelec provides the sound in a Swedish hotel, Outotec wins an order in Kazakhstan, Sensible 4’s Gacha heads to Dubai, Aalto Startup Center spin-off RANIOT is acquired, and Icebreaker.vc launches its second fund.
Finnish audio company Genelec has provided high-quality sound systems for the newly renovated Quality Hotel The Mill in central Malmö, Sweden. The hotel is part of the Nordic Choice chain, and has completely changed its look before reopening. Genelec secured the order from its Swedish partner Informationsteknik, which fitted the hotel’s 10 conference rooms and gym with its sound systems. The conference rooms are named after spices sold at the nearby Möllevångstorget market, which also lent their colour to the conference rooms and speakers.
Finnish company Outotec has received an order for two grinding mills from Kazakhstan’s largest gold miner, RG Gold. Outotec will deliver the equipment to the Raygorodok gold mine in northern Kazakhstan, which is one of the country’s largest gold deposits with an estimated reserve of six million ounces (approx. 170 000 kilos). The value of the contract has not been disclosed, but one of this type and scope is usually worth around 10 million euros. The deliveries are scheduled for 2021.
Finnish self-driving software startup Sensible 4 will ship its autonomous shuttle bus, Gacha, to Dubai in the autumn for piloting. Pilots in Finland’s capital, Helsinki, are already underway and scheduled to continue until June. Gacha is the world’s first self-driving shuttle bus capable of operating in all weather conditions, something that comes in handy in Finland’s wintry and Dubai’s challenging desert climate. Dubai is seeking to turn a quarter of all its traffic autonomous by 2030, and its interest in Sensible 4 comes after the startup triumphed at the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport.
Finnish IoT software startup RANIOT Technologies has been acquired by American company Skylo Technologies. RANIOT spun off from Aalto University’s Aalto Startup Center in 2018 and has since developed a software-based industrial base station for wireless and scalable communication between the industrial IoT and sensors. The startup has been collaborating with Skylo Technologies almost from the get-go and will now continue as Skylo’s unit in Finland. The deal enables it to ramp up its operations and hire new people, even in the challenging business environment brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Aalto Startup Center
Finnish venture capital firm Icebreaker.vc has launched its second fund with a first close of 50 million euros. Icebreaker backs pre-founders and pre-seed and seed-stage startups in Finland, Sweden and Estonia, typically with investments of around 150–180 000 euros. The firm’s second fund is already significantly larger than its first, which closed at 20 million euros. Icebreaker has been very active in the three countries and invested in some 38 companies over the last three years, according to co-founder Riku Seppälä.
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