Investors like Partech Ventures, Draper Esprit, Initial Capital, Vito Ventures, Inventure Ventures, Sunstone Capital, Sisu Game Ventures and various angel investors have found companies in Tampere, Finland irresistible. Companies like M-Files, Jolla, Wirepas, Piceasoft, Traplight, Kopla Games and Yepzon operating in the Tampere Region are expanding to the global markets with their innovative and in many cases award winning products.
Looking back the last 18 months or so, below you will find some examples on the capital investments that have taken place in the high tech industry in Tampere region, Finland.
M-Files has raised approximately 40 M€ funding during 2013-2016 to take lead in the enterprise content management market. In 2013 M-Files received 6M€ in a funding round led by DFJ Esprit and Finnish Industry Investment. M-Files used the new capital to grow in the US market as well as to boost its sales and enlarge its marketing footprint worldwide.
In 2016 M-Files received 33M€ in funding round led by Partech Ventures, with participation from Finnish Industry Investment and Draper Esprit. The new investment will further accelerate existing sales and marketing activities, as well as, expansion into new markets in North America, EMEA and APAC. The company will also focus on expanding and strengthening its global partner network, which consists of over 450 partners operating in more than 100 countries.
"We have invested in Tampere because the pool of talent is excellent. Not only the universities but Nokia's footprint has been very important. Half of our engineers have come from Nokia." -- Miika Mäkitalo, CEO of M-Files
M-Files continues to experience explosive worldwide growth resulting in six-year compound growth rate of nearly 1,000 percent. M-Files has its headquarters in Tampere, Finland.
Jolla Ltd. has raised in total 12MUSD financing since December 2015 and is extending its licensing business. Powered by its new investments the company is now able to continue further the Sailfish OS development work, proceed with closing the Jolla Tablet project, and extend its licensing partnerships. Jolla is also preparing a new special community program, to be announced in the near future.
Wirepas has raised 3M€ in Series A funding from Vito Ventures and Inventure Ventures (1.5M€ in 2015 and 1.5M€ in 2016). Besides Vito and Inventures, company shareholders include founders, management shareholders and private investors.
"Tampere is a great place to grow a global success story in the Internet of Things" - Teppo Hemiä, CEO of Wirepas
Wirepas is focused on providing the most reliable, optimized, scalable and easy to use device connectivity for its customers. Wirepas Connectivity is a de-centralized radio communications protocol that can be used in any device, with any radio chip and on any radio band. With Wirepas Connectivity there is no need for traditional repeaters because every wireless device is a smart router on the network. The connected devices form the network - easy as that.
Wirepas has its headquarters in Tampere, Finland, and offices in Brazil, France, South Korea and the United States.
Piceasoft has raised in 2013-2015 over 2.2M€ to take part of the emerging mobile device reuse market. Piceasoft has had two investor rounds, the first in 2013 resulting in approximately 1.5M€ investment and the second in 2015 resulting in 750.000€ investment with Finnish investors of various sizes. The investments have enabled Piceasoft to grow internationally, landing major accounts like Telefonica and Swisscom as their customers. Furthermore, the investments have enabled Piceasoft to expand product portfolio to globally scalable consumer services.
Piceasoft has developed a series of products to simplify people's mobile life, including: PiceaServices mobile device lifecycle solution, PiceaSwitch for data transfer, PiceaDiagnostics for repair avoidance, PiceaEraser for data erasure and PiceaReporting web based tool for business follow up.
"The most exciting Finnish ICT technology cluster has been born in Tampere. This has been boosted by ex-Nokia engineers and two high-level universities" - Jyri Roselius, CEO of Piceasoft
Piceasoft with its product portfolio is well positioned to address the emerging global device recycling and reuse market which is esitmated to have global value of 14M€ in year 2017 (source Gartnerhttp://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2986617). Piceasoft is Tampere based company.
Finnish game developer Traplight closes a 1.3M€ funding round in 2015. Initial Capital, Sunstone Capital and Finnvera Venture Capital, together with angel investors Kenrick Drijkoningen and Henric Suuronen have invested 1.3M€ in mobile game studio Traplight. This brings the total investment to the studio to 2M€ since 2014.
"Tampere has a tightly knit game development scene with innovative companies and a good support network of services. As a city, it provides great atmosphere to build a company" - Riku Rakkola, CEO of Traplight
The investments gathered from new and previous investors enable Traplight to publish and further develop their puzzle-racer Big Bang Racing, as well as, to focus on their new game projects based aound community creativity. Big Bang Racing is a grounfbreaking physics-based mobile racing game where all the levels are created by the players.
Finnish game developer Kopla Games raised 800.000€ in 2015-2016. In 2015 Kopla raised it's pre-seed round worth of 100.000€ from Finnish investment commpany Sisu Game Ventures and other investors. In March 2016 Kopla Games finalized a 700.000€ seed investment round. The funding comes from German angel investor and serial entrepreneur Klaas Kersting, who is known for founding online game provider Gameforge and mobile game publisher and developer Flaregames.
“Kopla Games chose to operate in Tampere dueto multiple reasons: Tampere has the second biggest and active game cluster in Finland with open collaboration environment. Tampere is big enough region and centrally located to be internationally attractive; it is the gateway to Finnish game scene, especially for those who consider that there is too much competition for resources in Helsinki. There is also considerable difference in quality of living and cost of living between Tampere and the Helsinki metropolitan area in favor of Tampere.” - Antti Salomaa, VP, Kopla Games
Kopla Games' mission is to introduce action RPGs to everyone. The team's specialty is their systematic approach to quickly discovering what the players are truly interested in, by continuously validating their direction with feedback and metrics, only focusing on what has the potential of becoming the next big thing. Kopla Games' deput title, Nonstop Knight, was launched in June 2016.
Yepzon raised 1M€ through public stock issue in 2015 to address the mobile location services market. Safety technolology company Yepzon Oy had public stock issue in 2015. This round of financing resulted in a new capital from new and old investros to the tune of a million euros. This round of financing resulted in 20 new investors. The capital will be invested in product development and international growth.
Yepzon started out with the Yepzon One locator. This compact GPS locator with a superb battery life has been specifically designed for locating persons, but there is a strong demand for the device in many different leisure segments, too. The Yepzon locator is available withn the EU and the US. Yepzon products have been designed and manufactured in Finland.
Sources: www.m-files.com, www.jolla.com, www.wirepas.com,www.piceasoft.com, www.traplightgames.com, www.koplagames.com,www.yepzon.com
Investors mentioned: www.partechventures.com, www.draperesprit.com,www.initialcapital.com, www.vito.vc, www.inventure.fi, www.sunstone.eu,www.sisugameventures.com
Post published originally in Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/irresistible-growth-companies-attract-investors-petri-nyk%C3%A4nen?trk=prof-post