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Finnish firms are finding new tools for finance

Finland has been one of the trailblazers of digital finance, with cashless, mobile and real-time payments already well-established parts of everyday life.

Karolina Grabowska / Pexels

Finnish solutions for payments, corporate analysis, digital receipts, expert management and financial decision-making have received major boosts of late, be it in the form of new funding or partners.

Zevoy in April reported that it has raised 15 million euros in an equity funding round led by Blossom Capital.

The Espoo-based startup is on a mission to shake up the expense management space with a tool that combines smart payment cards with efficient expense management software to save companies time and money and improve employee satisfaction. The all-in-one business card, available in both virtual and physical form, makes it possible to scan receipts, match purchases with receipts and manage and forward expenses into accounting, according to CEO Christoffer Rosqvist.

“Expense management is a big pain point for many companies and their employees: It’s time-consuming and the processes are often frustrating,” he said.

The funding will enable the startup to establish a presence in eight new markets by mid-2022.

Zevoy links smart payment cards to efficient expense management software. Image: Zevoy

Zevoy has been on quite a run since its establishment in August 2020. It has secured approvals from the Financial Supervisory Authority, become a principal member of Visa and launched an all-in-one card on its ecosystem. It has also introduced a credit option alongside the more commonly available prepaid option and expects to secure a credit institution licence by year-end.

The planned foray into banking will also trigger the hiring of 100 new employees, according to Talouselämä.

“By offering credit and prepaid debit, as well as an easy-to-use and intuitive expense management system, Zevoy can serve any business, small or large,” estimated Ophelia Brown of Blossom Capital.

Rosqvist said Zevoy has been adding clients at a monthly pace of over 100 in Finland and Sweden. “We feel confident that we have what it takes to replicate our secret sauce on eight new markets this upcoming quarter only,” he stated.

ZirooPay, a developer of point-of-sale solutions based in Lagos, Nigeria, and Espoo, Finland, revealed last month that it has closed an equity funding round worth 11.4 million US dollars with the backing of Zrosk Investment Management.

ZirooPay’s portable card reader fits in the palm of a hand, making it ideal for sales on the go even when internet data connection is down. Image: ZirooPay

The funding, it added, will enable it to enhance its infrastructure and expand its team to a higher number of regions.

The platform allows vendors to accept and process payments even in circumstances where internet connectivity is poor or non-existent by automatically routing transactions through a pre-configured and secure basic GSM channel. It thereby has the potential to result in an increase in sales and customer satisfaction.

Comparables.ai, a Helsinki-based provider of corporate analysis solutions, in March announced it has wrapped up its maiden funding round, securing 700 000 US dollars from an international group of investors including Sweden’s Nidoco AB.

The startup said it intends to invest in developing the usability of its artificial intelligence and broaden the scope of data users can utilise on its platform as it continues to build a truly next-generation company search and recommendation tool that eliminates the widespread inefficiencies in the financing and consulting industries.

The funding, it envisioned, will enable a growing number of financial professionals to identify and analyse similarities between companies quickly and intelligently.

Comparables.ai’s AI-powered analysis platform is currently in beta testing. Image: Comparables.ai

“Our product has found its market well. We are excited by the global support the beta version has received so far. Our platform is already being adopted by professionals in hundreds of organisations in over 40 countries,” said a spokesperson at Comparables.ai.

“We can’t wait to work even closer with our users towards the planned public launch during 2022.”

Comparables.ai last summer forged a partnership with Morningstar, a leading provider of independent investment research. The partnership guarantees it access to data that makes it possible to analyse more than 50 000 publicly traded companies around the globe.

Few of many

The Finnish financial technology sector comprises around 200 companies dedicated to digitising, modernising and improving all sorts of financial services, according to accounting by Business Finland. The sector incorporates solutions ranging from blockchain and cryptocurrencies to insurance; payments; wealth management; data and analytics; security and compliance; and customers services and acquisition.

The trending sector generated roughly 1.2 billion euros in revenue and attracted 600 million euros in investment in 2020.

Cutting back on paper receipts

ReceiptHero, a Tampere-based provider of end-to-end payment and commerce solutions, has expanded its partnership with Verifone. The objective of the long-standing partnership is to create and satisfy demand for more convenient and sustainable digital receipt solutions across Denmark, Finland Norway and Sweden.

Chris Moore, chief operating officer at ReceiptHero, said the startup is excited to start supporting the shift toward truly digital and more sustainable receipts by enabling its services in Norway.

With Verifone supporting not only as a core technology partner but also in public consultations linked to the adoption of digital receipts, ReceiptHero has added more than 3 000 Finnish merchants to its platform since the start of the partnership in 2018. It has also already secured its first major merchant client in Norway.

The Tampere-based startup said earlier this spring its digital receipts are now available at the service stations of Neste.

After partnering with ReceiptHero, Neste made digital receipts available and free of charge for its consumers. Image: Neste

“It is estimated that an average of 1.7 billion paper receipts are printed annually in Finland alone. It takes more than 30 000 cut trees to produce them,” highlightedJoel Ojala, CEO of ReceiptHero.

Estonia’s Income in April said it has supplemented its peer-to-peer lending service with the artificial intelligence-driven action recommendation software of ResultElf, an Espoo-based startup helping the financial industry to optimise decisions on efficiency and capital allocation.

Called Elf Engine, the software enables lending partners to optimise their credit originations and issue credit more quickly and to the best candidates.

“We are excited to start the co-operation with ResultElf,” saidKimmo Rytkönen, chief executive of Income.

“Their data service capabilities will benefit our fintech lending partners, allowing them to issue credit and drive financial inclusion more efficiently in their select markets. Income is well positioned in the centre of fintech lending, and we continue leveraging the position through special partnerships such as this.”

By: Aleksi Teivainen