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Helsinki-based startups now worth a combined EUR 25.2 billion

Helsinki’s active startup scene plays an important role in the city’s goal to be the most functional city in the world.

Jussi Hellsten

The Helsinki startup ecosystem has tripled in value since 2015 and is now growing faster in venture-capital (VC) investment than London and Paris.

According to a recent report on startups founded after 2000 from NewCo Helsinki and Dealroom, Helsinki is the eighth most valuable startup hub in Europe at over 25 billion euros.

The number eight also figures prominently in another pair of statistics surrounding the startup scene in Finland’s capital. Helsinki ranks eighth in Europe for the number of unicorns created with four billion-dollar tech companies. Furthermore, there are eight high-growth startups on the unicorn track in the Greater Helsinki Area, currently valued 250 million to one billion US dollars.

This active startup scene plays an important role in Helsinki’s aim to be the most functional city in the world.

“We want to promote entrepreneurship and growth in every way possible,” said Marja-Leena Rinkineva, director of economic development at the City of Helsinki. “We are delighted how well the companies have dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Helsinki startup ecosystem has an unbelievable can-do attitude and nothing holds us back.”

Virta raised 30 million euros in funding for broadening the reach of its electric vehicle charging platform. Image: Virta

After a bumper year in 2020, VC investment in Helsinki is on track for another record in 2021. Wolt’s 482 million-euro late-VC round, Aiven’s 91 million-euro series-C round and Virta’s 30 million-euro early-VC round have been the most significant so far. Helsinki is currently the fourth fastest growing European ecosystem for VC investment and is growing faster than London and Paris.

“A strong sense of community is one of the cornerstones in the Helsinki startup ecosystem success,” said Tommo Koivusalo, head of unit at NewCo Helsinki. “Even if we have been successful in attracting VC investment, there is an increasing need and demand for more. It is critical for Helsinki to attract foreign talent and startups in order to be successful. Collaboration is the key.”

By: James O’Sullivan