Five from Finland
Top funding rounds in 2023
In 2023, innovative Finnish companies continued to draw investors’ attention regardless of the economic turbulence.Adobe
This year saw a number of noteworthy investments in innovative Finnish companies, with expertise ranging from software solutions for the construction and holiday rental industries to EV charging services, maritime technologies and sustainable materials.
According to experts, last year’s record investment activity has declined across Europe in 2023, with Finland no exception. Despite the general tightening of belts, investors have continued to find promising startups and growth companies in Finland, and many believe that greener pastures are already on the horizon.
“It is possible that, in 2024, we will see a correction as investors catch up on missed investments,” said Jussi Sainiemi, deputy managing partner of Voima Ventures. “International crises underscore the need for greater self-sufficiency in energy, food supply and technology, creating opportunities for startups with innovative perspectives.”
With 2023 drawing to a close, take a look at five of the biggest funding deals of the year.
Hostaway’s co-founders have a reason to smile: with 160 million euros in backing from PSG, the company is ready to make groundbreaking advancements in the holiday rental industry.Hostaway
In May, this Helsinki-based provider of an all-in-one holiday rental software and management system secured 164 million euros in what was reported to be the largest funding round in the sector to date. The round was led by PSG Equity, an acclaimed growth equity firm from the US.
Hostaway has experienced a more than tenfold increase in revenue since 2021, and its platform is used by customers to manage over 100 000 properties across more than 100 countries. Following the fundraising, Hostaway is to continue developing its business on all fronts, including by enhancing its platform, expanding its customer portfolio and recruiting more talent.
“We have operated with incredible speed and efficiency, balancing growth with our current strong profitability, and this investment represents a significant milestone in our journey toward global market leadership,” commented Marcus Räder, CEO and co-founder of Hostaway. “We’ve come a long way, but we are just getting started. The opportunities are endless!”
Last spring, the Helsinki-headquartered forerunner in developing smart electric vehicle (EV) charging services received 85 million euros in growth funding from a number of foreign and domestic investors, including Jolt Capital, Finnish Industry Investment (Tesi), Future Energy Ventures and Business Finland.
Currently, more than a thousand clients in over 35 countries are running their charging services on Virta’s digital charging platform, making it one of the largest networks in Europe. With the help of the funding, Virta seeks to cement its leading position in the space by commercialising vehicle-to-grid and other key technologies, and growing its charging transactions more than fivefold in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region by 2025.
“With the new funding, we are now ready to take the global lead in making EVs an integral part of energy flexibility markets,” noted Jussi Palola, CEO of Virta.
As CEO Panu Pasanen revealed, the fresh funding will accelerate One Click LCA on its way toward supporting one million users with the most advanced LCA, EPD and other sustainability software.One Click LCA
The company behind the world-leading software platform for decarbonisation in the construction and manufacturing industries in November wrapped up a 40-million-euro round of funding from the likes of PSG Equity and InfraVia Capital Partners.
ONE CLICK LCA provides efficient life-cycle assessment (LCA), environmental product declaration (EPD) and other sustainability software, used in over 150 countries. The funding injection will enable the company to boost its international growth, research and development, as well as marketing and advertising.
“Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing society,” pointed out Panu Pasanen, CEO of One Click LCA. “With the global building stock set to double in the next 40 years, generating 230 gigatons of embodied carbon, we must critically scale up action to decarbonise construction and manufacturing. We believe our partnership with PSG and InfraVia marks a new phase of growth.”
Both foreign and domestic investors took note of Norsepower's technology, which focuses on decarbonising the maritime industry by harnessing wind power for large ships.Norsepower
The technology company on a mission to decarbonise the global shipping industry with its rotor sails announced in March the closing of a 28-million-euro funding round. The lead investor was Mirova Environment Acceleration Capital from France, with OGCI Climate Investments, the Finnish Climate Fund, the Nordic Environment Finance Corporatio (NEFCO), Finnish Industry Investment (Tesi) and VNT Management also participating in the round.
The investors believe that Norsepower’s patented rotor sail technology has the potential to support the green transition of the marine industry. The innovation has already delivered tangible fuel and emission savings for global shipping operators. The raised capital is being used to scale up production and expand the reach of the technology.
“Our goal is simple – to cut the emissions of large ships by saving fuel with our proven Norsepower Rotor Sails,” said Tuomas Riski, CEO of Norsepower.
“With over 30 000 vessels globally that can benefit from our product, our scale-up ambitions are bold but realistic. It’s a win-win for everyone, including the planet,” he added.
According to CEO Tuomas Mustonen, this year’s growth investment will help Paptic to reach 100 million euros in revenue in 2026 and attain carbon neutrality target by 2030.Paptic
Last autumn, the award-winning sustainable packaging material innovator secured 23 million euros. The funding round drew investments from old and new strategic partners and international equity investors in Europe, Asia and the US, including European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF), ITOCHU and Ecolab. Additionally, Paptic received a non-dilutive capital loan of 10 million euros from the Finnish Climate Fund.
“With this funding, we will improve our market presence, sales network and services to our customers,” commented Tuomas Mustonen, CEO of Paptic. “Additionally, this investment will enable us to further strengthen our sustainability performance and expertise, ensuring that we can exceed the requirements of our customers and tightening regulations.”
Paptic's materials provide a sustainable alternative with the potential to replace fossil-based plastics in a variety of packaging applications, including food packaging. The company’s rapid growth is another appealing factor: Paptic has more than doubled its annual revenue for four consecutive years and is set to hit the 100-million-euro mark in 2026.