April 16, 2020
DAILY BRIEF: Young help for the elderly, electric vehicles, energy and health
Gubbe's young companions take care of the elderly, even during these challenging times.
All the daily Finnish business news that works: Virta, Gubbe, Medicortex, Brainlit Oy, and the University of Vaasa make headlines.
Virta finds a significant partner outside Europe, the University of Vaasa joins the DERlab network, BrainLit establishes a subsidiary in Finland, Medicortex secures a new patent, and Gubbe raises pre-seed funding.
Finnish e-mobility platform Virta has secured a significant new investment from JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation that will strengthen both companies’ position in the electric vehicle (EV) segment. Currently the fastest growing electric vehicle charging platform in Europe according to the Financial Times, Virta expects its partnership with the Japanese company will allow it to launch operations in Asia, with Japan as the spearhead. More than 300 charging network owners with over 50 different brands from 28 countries are presently operating on the Virta EV charging platform.
The University of Vaasa’s FREESI smart grid laboratory will join DERlab, a European network of leading research laboratories focusing on distributed energy resources (DER). The accession will allow the university and local enterprises to broaden their research activities amid a shift towards more decentralised and flexible energy production. In addition to the University of Vaasa, the network has 36 members that include universities and research institutions in Europe and elsewhere. The network functions as a test bed and consultancy for distributed energy resources and supports the transition towards more decentralised power systems.
Swedish company BrainLit has established a subsidiary in Helsinki to support its ambition to make its biocentric lighting available globally. BrainLit’s patented concept mimics natural daylight to benefit health and wellbeing. The company’s first client in Finland is Innovation House, a progressive Finnish business offering co-working spaces and homes for startups and companies in Finland, Singapore and Los Angeles. Its co-working facilities in Helsinki will serve as a showroom for biocentric lighting, as BrainLit taps into the potential market in Finland. On a global scale, BrainLit will target especially the sports segment to improve athletes’ performance with the innovative lighting.
Finnish company Medicortex has secured a patent from the European Patent Office for its new rapid diagnostics kit for the detection of concussion and mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) from urine or saliva. The technology is based on specific biomarkers that the company has discovered from body fluids following brain injury. The test improves the detection of especially mild brain injuries, which are potentially harmful but difficult to diagnose with contemporary methods.
Finnish startup Gubbe has raised 300 000 euros in a pre-seed round and changed its business model for the duration of the coronavirus outbreak. In normal times, Gubbe finds trustworthy companions who assist elderly people with their chores, keep them company and go on outings with them. But in the new challenging circumstances, Gubbe has had to reinvent itself and is now bringing groceries to the front doors of the elderly across Finland. Part of the startup’s mission is also to provide meaningful work for young people, and it has so far engaged nearly 3 000 people.
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