10 Helsinki-based startups to watch out for in 2020 and beyond

What do Nokia, Supercell and Rovio have in common? They are born and bred in Helsinki, Finland, whose ecosystem is highly supportive of entrepreneurship and innovation, and is often listed among the best in the world.  A number of factors contribute to their reputation, such as world-class universities, strong support from the national government, pool of talent etc. Supported by Slush, one of the largest startup events in the world and Maria 01, the Nordics’ leading startup campus, it is safe to say that Helsinki has a lot to offer. The 10 startups below have profited from this flourishing environment and no doubt we will be hearing a lot from them in the upcoming period. 

Glue Collaboration – Glue Collaboration is a provider of a cloud-based VR/AR collaboration platform, which helps teams around the world to collaborate remotely in more productive and sustainable ways. Participants come together in a three-dimensional virtual space optimized for collaborative work, instead of lengthy flights or outdated video calling systems. The startup, founded in 2018, has raised over €3.5 million so far to challenge the future of teamwork.

Happeo – Happeo, founded in 2016, is a completely new digital ecosystem for communication, productivity, and collaboration among employees. Functioning as an all-in-one digital workplace platform, it is fully integrated with G Suite and Slack, and enables employees not only to connect and collaborate in new ways, but also to work more efficiently. The best part: it keeps everyone connected on the go, so it makes your workforce independent of location and device. Rovio, BMW and Randstad have already signed up. 

GetJenny – If you ever wondered how Slush manages their customer queries for its event, then you should turn to GetJenny. GetJenny, founded in 2016, is an AI-powered customer support chatbot designed to enhance the effectiveness of customer support teams. The idea is that Jenny handles routine and repeated tasks, allowing the human agents to utilise their time efficiently and focus on other, more complex tasks that require in-depth expertise and a human touch. At the beginning of 2019, the startup raised €2 million to support for their further international expansion.

Solar Foods – The inventor of the food of the future – a climate-friendly, protein-rich food made from electricity, air and water, laced with bacteria – Solar Foods is revolutionizing the food industry. According to them, the Solein protein powder is “free from agricultural limitations and the boundaries of imagination”. Founded in 2017 and set for commercial launch in 2021, Solar Foods’s protein can be used in a wide variety of food products, and across multiple industries. 

Sulapac – Sulapac has developed an innovative material which responds to consumers’ growing desire to find environmentally friendly products or packaging, made of wood chips and naturally degradable adhesives. Developed by two academics-turned-entrepreneurs, Suvi Haimi and Laura Kyllönen, the material is currently sold as a raw material or in the form of straw and packaging boxes for cosmetics and jewellery. The multi-awarded startup, founded in 2016, is currently backed by the French fashion powerhouse Chanel, Horizon2020 and private investors. 

Freska – Four years after its establishment, Freska is known as the fastest growing home services technology company in the Nordics. The on-demand subscription home cleaning service matches carefully selected and trained cleaning professionals with customers through a booking platform, optimizing the cleaning gig in the most efficient way possible. The startup was founded in 2015 and has since expanded into both Norway and Sweden, having completed 270,000 cleanings, and achieved an average satisfaction rating of 4.7 out of 5. 

Infinited Fiber – Infinited Fiber, founded in 2016, is bringing a change to the textile industry by developing a process technology that can turn cotton-rich textile waste, paper and cardboard waste into new, cotton-like fibres. After use, the fiber can be recycled via the same process time and time again, 100% preserving quality. Hence the name: eternal fiber. The company has so far raised more than €3.3 million to close the loop for cotton, infinitely.

Varjo – Described as virtual reality with a new level of precision, Varjo offers the world’s highest definition industrial-use VR / XR hardware and software. The Bionic Display, which lets you see VR in human-eye resolution is the first step in the process. The startup, launched in 2016, has raised a whopping €40.8 million so far, received the Entertainment Technology Lumiere Award and signed Airbus, Audi, Lilium, Saab, Sellen, Volkswagen and Volvo as clients.

Ultimate.AI – If you want to know how Finnair (founded in 2017) handles customer service queries, turn to UltimateAI. Since Finnair introduced Ultimate.AI’s multilingual customer service automation it has managed to give 30% faster responses, as UltimateAI uses deep learning to intelligently cluster and classify millions of lines of unstructured conversations. As a result, customer experience is significantly improved and agent productivity is boosted.

Aito.AI – Aito.ai is a predictive database with machine learning abilities. It aims to replace the currently used machine learning tools used to find correlations and relevant insights, which are often difficult to learn and built for a specific task. Founded in 2018, the startup has raised €3.1 million so far and signed IKEA as a client.

By the way: If you’re a corporate or investor looking for the top promising startups in a specific vertical for a potential investment or acquisition, check out our Startup Sourcing Service!

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