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Weekend Wrap

Uber sleigh rides, symphonic metal ABBA and EUR 23 million funding round

For limited time, travellers in Rovaniemi can use Uber to book a two-hour sleigh ride.


Holidays are definitely coming. Uber offers reindeer rides, and a symphonic metal ABBA tribute album comes with festive flavours. In addition, we cover packaging innovations, major funding rounds and more. Click on the links below to take a detailed look at recent creativity from Finland.

“Genuinely invigorating and refreshing” is how Limelight describes a new Sibelius recording from Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali. The magazine gave it five stars and noted Rouvali “heads up three orchestras, is a percussionist by training, conducts with balletic gestures, hunts his own food in the forests and likes to unwind with a sauna”.

Marco Borggreve

Lumene was recognised at the Sustainable Beauty Awards. The Finnish cosmetics brand's compact powder pack received the runner-up award in the sustainable packaging category. The pack is recyclable, reusable and made from recycled materials, the company writes.


Finnish actor Joonas Suotamo is best known as Chewbacca in the latest Star Wars films. But his next role is far removed from this beloved character. The 211-centimetre ex-basketball player plays the beastly, muscular baddie Scourge in the new series Willow. Suotamo talked with Lucasfilm.com about the experience and about spending two to three hours in the make-up chair every morning. 

Facebook / Joonas Suotamo

Rive has closed a whopping 23 million-euro funding round. The Helsinki-based company has built an AI-powered real estate platform to simplify the property buying and selling process. According to EU-Startups, the platform offers tools for both house buyers and real estate agents.


Love coffee pods but hate the waste? Now there is a compostable option. Nestlé and consumer packaging specialist Huhtamäki have developed paper-based, home-compostable coffee capsules for the former’s Nespresso brand. According to Packaging Europe, the capsules will be piloted in France and Switzerland in spring 2023 before a wider release.


Should there be a symphonic metal version of ABBA? Definitely, if you ask Finnish band Amberian Dawn. The metal group has just released a new album, Take a Chance – A Metal Tribute to ABBA. The New European describes it as a potentially ideal soundtrack for this festive season. It writes that the metal band is “just loads of fun, the dramatic grandiosity of their sound matching the Swedes' pop pomp, as well as being as camp as Christmas”.

Karri Harju

Fashion and McDonald's may sound like an unlikely pair. But the fast food giant has teamed up with Finnish streetwear brand VAIN to transform its standard uniforms into a collection of upcycled clothes. The collection’s 27 pieces, including dresses, hoodies and mini skirts, will only be available to McDonald's employees in Finland, reports CNN

Sofia Okkonen

John Storgårds has been named the BBC Philharmonic’s new chief conductor, The Violin Channel writes. The Finnish conductor takes on the role after a long history with the orchestra as he first conducted them in 2010 and has been their chief guest conductor for the past five years. 

Marco Borggreve

More funding news. Smart energy storage developer Cactos has raised 2.5 million euros to provide a new lease of life for electric vehicle batteries. The Finnish startup says it can restore them to a fully operational and safe condition. Currently, the company uses spent Tesla batteries as its primary material source, writes Tech EU.


Here is a new kind of Uber. The company is ramping up the Christmas spirit with Uber Sleigh, a new service offering free reindeer rides in Lapland, Finland. You need to be quick as the rides are only available during two time slots in December. Travel and Leisure has the news. 



The EU has awarded seven million euros to a Helsinki University Hospital-led consortium for implementing value-based cancer care. The consortium focuses on improving the collection of real-world data in European cancer hospitals. This data, in turn, will “support the implementation of safer, more efficient, and personalised novel cancer therapies”.

Helsinki University Hospital
By: Eeva Haaramo