October 15, 2020
DAILY BRIEF: Films, quantum innovation, funding, e-bikes and attracting talent
Teemu Nikki's comedy Nimby sees small town politics gone berserk.
It's Alive Films
All the daily Finnish business news that works: Films, Greater Helsinki, Wolt, Revonte, Rappta Therapeutics, Sofi Filtration and Finland’s foreign labour policies make headlines.
Greater Helsinki wins the first-ever InnoVision Award, Wolt gets an influential backer, Revonte sets up a company in Germany, Rappta Theraupeutics and Sofi Filtration raise coin, Finnish films screen at international film festivals, and GNF explores Finland’s need for work-based immigration.
Greater Helsinki has been chosen as the most innovative ecosystem in the world at the first-ever InnoVision Ecosystem Awards. Selected by the Helsinki Business Hub, the capital’s winning theme was quantum technology. The global awards celebrate innovative ecosystems worldwide and, in their first year, included 50 contenders from 41 countries. Finland is a forerunner in quantum computing, with world-leading skills and capabilities found at startups and the research facilities of Aalto University and the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) in Greater Helsinki.
Helsinki Business Hub
Finnish food delivery service Wolt has received a 7.5 million-euro investment from Lukasz Gadowski, a co-founder of Delivery Hero. As Wolt has raised a total of 267 million euros to date, the investment is not so much about money as it is about bringing onboard the experienced serial entrepreneur, who comes packed with first-hand industry knowledge. Lukasz was looking to invest in a delivery service operating in Germany, a marketplace for Wolt since August. Founded six years ago, the Finnish company has expanded to 23 countries and today operates in over 100 cities.
Finnish maker of smart drive systems for e-bikes Revonte has opened a subsidiary in Germany. The subsidiary will focus on sales and support operations, and serve customers in Central Europe. Revonte has also added to its staff a valuable member in Leon Westenberg, an experienced sales manager with a long history in the Dutch bike industry, who will support e-bike manufacturers in integrating the drive systems into their bikes.
Rappta Therapeutics, a Finland-based company focused on developing first-in-class anti-cancer drugs that activate the protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), has raised nine million euros in series-A financing. The round was co-led by Novartis Venture Fund and Novo Holdings, with participation from Advent Life Sciences and a family office. The company has also received funding from Finnish public innovation funding agency Business Finland. PP2A is a critical enzyme regulating protein de-phosphorylation and a key tumour suppressor that has been very difficult to target pharmaceutically. Rappta has developed proprietary tools and a deep understanding of the protein, allowing it to therapeutically reactivate the protein.
Finnish startup Sofi Filtration has closed a three million-euro funding round led by Emerald Technology Ventures, with participation from investors including Loudspring. Sofi Filtration designs and develops state-of-the-art liquid filtration technology, and its team has vast experience in water treatment processes in heavy industries such as minerals processing. The company has developed an efficient water treatment system called Sofi Filter.
Four Finnish feature-length films will be screened at the São Paulo International Film Festival held online this year, while one Finn has made it to the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film (DOK Leipzig), which has taken a hybrid approach with cinema and online screenings in Germany. Jenni Kivistö and Jussi Rastas’ Colombia in My Arms, a film that follows the peace process in Colombia, was selected for Sao Paulo’s New Directors Competition. The Perspectiva Internacional section features the three other Finnish films: Teemu Nikki’s comedy Nimby, Markku and Johannes Lehmuskallio’s narrative film Anerca, Breath of Life, and Arthur Franck’s Olliver Hawk. Hanna Hovitie’s experimental documentary To Weather, to Wither will take part in DOK Leipzig’s international short-film competition.
The financial pressures induced by the coronavirus pandemic have added to the urgency of injecting talent from other parts of the world to the Finnish labour market, supporting enterprise growth and renewal and safeguarding the future of the welfare state. Read our full feature article by clicking the headline. Read our full feature article by clicking the headline.
Good News from Finland is published by Finnfacts, which is part of Business Finland.
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