Despite the turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the quick response required from businesses, Finland has remained an attractive destination for investments. Finnish startups and growth companies raised a record high amount of funding in the first half of 2020, with the second half looking fruitful as well.
Aside from the five companies we have listed below, there were numerous companies that closed significant funding rounds that must have put a smile on their faces. These include VR startup Varjo, which raised 54 million US dollars; online marketplace for refurbished smartphones Swappie, which pulled in 40 million US dollars; cloud technology startup Aiven, which also secured 40 million US dollars; developer of data management and analysis tools for marketers Supermetrics, which closed a 40 million-euro funding round; and circular economy company Ductor, with 28 million euros raised.
The following quintet, however, found themselves at the top of the heap by year’s end.
HMD Global – USD 230 million
In August, the company behind Nokia-branded smartphones and feature phones announced the closing of a 230 million-US dollar funding round led by its top global strategic partners. It was reported to be one of the largest amounts of growth financing raised in Europe in 2020.
HMD Global said it will use the funding to support the launch of its 5G devices worldwide, further the transition to digital-first offerings as part of “a new post-COVID reality”, expand its presence in key growth markets, such as Brazil, India and Africa, and transfer its business from hardware to holistic mobile services.
“Security, reliability and dependability are the cornerstones of our offering, and we will ensure we are using these funds to deliver the best experiences people have come to expect from a Nokia phone,” commented CEO Florian Seiche. “With the support of our heavyweight partners, I am truly excited for the next chapter of Nokia phones.”
Wolt – EUR 107.5 million
Less than a year after securing 137 million euros, the fast-growing food delivery startup in May wrapped up a 100 million-euro round of funding from a range of previous and new investors. With the capital injection, Wolt intended to prepare for the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic and for a potential economic downturn.
“Without the global crisis and a possible recession ahead, we would not have been raising a round, but it’s our responsibility to do everything we can to be there for our employees and partners,” explained CEO and co-founder Miki Kuusi.
Additionally, in October, Wolt received a 7.5 million-euro investment from Lukasz Gadowski, an experienced serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Delivery Hero. For Wolt, which is now active in 23 countries and over 100 cities across the world, the investment is not so much about the money as it is about getting onboard one of the most prominent experts in the industry.
Kodit.io – EUR 100 million
In October, the real estate startup aiming to facilitate sales in the housing market with the help of AI and technology received a financial boost of 100 million euros in a round led by acclaimed Nordic real estate investor NREP.
As Europe’s leading instant home buyer startup operating in Finland, Spain and Poland, Kodit.io is planning to use the capital to finance new home purchases for its real estate portfolio, as well as to scale its reach in its current markets and expand to new geographies.
“We have grown to a level where it is possible for institutional real estate investors to get involved in our operations,” said founder and CEO Kalle Salmi. “I could not imagine a better partner for us than NREP. They are true pioneers and innovators in the real estate industry.”
ICEYE – EUR 74 million
On a mission to disrupt traditional Earth imaging with its synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) microsatellites, space tech startup ICEYE has taken its total funding to 152 million US dollars after receiving 87 million US dollars (approx. 74 million euros) in September. The series-C funding round was led by return investor True Ventures, with a significant additional investment from OTB Ventures.
According to ICEYE, the round was significantly larger than originally planned, suggesting the financial community has trust in the startup’s business and operating model and its potential to grow as a global leader in the sector.
“Our team has built a reputation of delivering results to our customers with unmatched timelines and quality of service. We are proud of that reputation, and we intend to maintain it,” assured CEO and co-founder Rafal Modrzewski. “This round of investment ensures our SAR satellite constellation will reach a size of at least 12 satellites in 2021, guaranteeing a four-times-a-day revisit rate globally.”
IQM – EUR 59 million
2020 has been a big year for quantum computing technologies in Finland, with Espoo-based IQM one of the key players in the field. The company in June revealed it received over 20 million euros in grants and equity investments for commercialising its technology by means of co-design of quantum computing hardware and applications.
Moreover, IQM recently raised 39 million euros in a series-A funding round led by MIG Fonds, with participation from existing and new investors. With the funds, IQM will accelerate its technological growth and attract more top global talent to its industrial quantum hardware team, which is already the largest in Europe and one of the largest in the world.
“I am extremely pleased with the confidence our investors have shown in our vision, team, product, and ability to execute and commercialise quantum computers,” said CEO Jan Goetz. “This investment also shows their continued belief in building the future of quantum technologies. This is a significant recognition for our fantastic team that has achieved all our key milestones from the previous round. We’re just getting started.”