December 13, 2019

Five for Friday: 2019’s biggest investment rounds

It’s been a great year for Finnish companies attracting significant investments.
Julia Bushueva

For yet another year, Finland has proved itself an attractive investment target, with local companies closing remarkable funding rounds.

With its booming startup scene, Finland is the current European leader in venture capital investments relative to GDP. Last year, Finnish startups raised a record-breaking 479 million euros in investments, of which venture capital investments accounted for 203 million euros

2019 saw some massive investments in international projects with multiple partners involved. In March, the Finest Bay Area development project to build a high-speed railway tunnel under the Baltic Sea to connect Finland and Estonia secured 15 billion euros in funding from Chinese-owned Touchstone Capital Partners.

To continue on a large scale, tech giant Google announced in September an additional 600 million-euro investment in the Hamina data centre, bringing its total investment in the site to almost two billion euros.

Now, here’s a look at five other significant investment rounds for Finnish companies from 2019.

RELEX – USD 200 million

The Helsinki-based startup that provides AI-powered unified retail planning solutions to forecast, restock and manage workforce was boosted by a whopping 200 million-US dollar investment from Technology Crossover Ventures.

The investor took note of RELEX’s potential to grow to dominate global markets in its sector. Determined to change retail and supply chain planning, the Finnish company has been growing at a rate of 50 per cent annually.

“We are already off to a good start,” commented CEO Mikko Kärkkäinen. “Now we will increase our speed by accelerating our product development ambitions, hiring more tech talent and investing further in the development of our organisation, as well as further expanding our retail-specific machine learning and AI capabilities that complement our core data processing platform.”

Wolt – EUR 137 million

Last summer, the food delivery service provider that has been growing at a tremendous pace since its foundation in 2014 raised 110 million euros in a funding round led by the prestigious ICONIQ Capital and announced an earlier capital injection of 27 million euros.

Wolt is planning to use the funding for fuelling its international growth and hiring 1 000 new employees by the end of 2020 to boost all areas of the business.

“The funding we’ve raised is a small testament to what we’ve been able to accomplish this far, but even more than that it’s meant for the road ahead,” the company wrote in a blog post when the news was announced.

AlphaSense – USD 50 million

In July, the tech company behind an AI-based search engine for market analysis and business intelligence received 50 million US dollars in Series B funding to accelerate its product development.

The round was led by Innovation Endeavors, founded by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, with participation from existing investors, including Soros Fund Management.

“This new round of funding recognises the years of user-focused tech innovation, determination, grit and uncompromising quality we have committed to building a transformative technology platform,” stressed CEO Jaakko (Jack) Kokko. “It’s also a testament to the team and culture we have created here, with all of us sharing the same deep passion and excitement for our product and company.”

MaaS Global – EUR 29.5 million

The Finnish mobility-as-a-service pioneer, known for its mobility application Whim, had taken its total funding to 53.7 million euros after its most recent investment round worth 29.5 million euros.

The funding round included contributions from the Helsinki-based startup’s old and new investors, such as BP Ventures, Mitsui Fudosan, Mitsubishi Corporation and Nordic Ninja.

“We are thrilled to have acquired further expertise on board. With this large-scale experience and vision, we have all it takes to conquer the world,” said CEO and founder Sampo Hietanen. “The new investments will help us continue scaling the business to new continents.”

HappyOrNot – USD 25 million

The leading global provider of real-time customer and employee satisfaction feedback systems raised 25 million US dollars in a growth financing round that was led by Northern European growth capital firm Verdane.

The Tampere-headquartered company, whose customer portfolio includes such big names as McDonald’s, London Heathrow Airport and the NHS, has a solid plan for how to use the fresh capital to further consolidate its position in the market.

“In addition to investing in the core business, we will continue to innovate alongside our customers and create an even more advanced suite of analytics and insights solutions that help them to make better-informed decisions that improve numerous aspects of their business,” explained CEO and co-founder Heikki Väänänen.

Text: Zhanna Koiviola

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