Finland is famously a happy nation. It’s consistently ranked as one of the best places to live, the reasons being its fantastic quality of life and a commitment to the environment that gives the country exceptionally clean air, and of course, the magical landscapes that include lakes, mountains and the Aurora Borealis.
Finland and the capital Helsinki, are regarded as Nordic hubs for innovation – indeed, Finland brought us Nokia, Angry Birds and Wolt. The Finnish spirit and advocacy for collaboration is a potent combination – creating new ways of thinking and fresh ideas. The Nordic wonderland was even voted as the most digitally advanced nation in 2019 by the European Union. With events such as Slush bringing Europe’s best and brightest in the startup ecosystem together to share ideas and inspiration, it’s a vibrant country developing the tech that influences tomorrow.
We scoured this high-flying hub to find early-stage startups that we think are going to take off this year. We narrowed down this list to just 10 (not an easy task!) startups that were all founded after 2019.
Onego Bio – Biotech startup Onego Bio is producing animal-free egg white through precision fermentation and began 2022 with a big €10 million funding boost. The company which launched this year is a VTT spin-off on a mission to use tech to produce bioalbumen with cellular agriculture means, offering a safe, sustainable and cost-effective alternative to egg protein. It is forecasted that food production based on cellular agriculture will lead to a disruptive change in the entire food system. The technology will not just have a positive impact on environmental issues but also reduce exposure to antibiotics, and contribute to global health. Onego Bio aims to market the product as a food ingredient for the bakery and confectionary industry, as well as a protein supplement for fitness products and later enter the consumer market.
Yahaha – Founded in Helsinki in 2020, Yahaha is a startup offering a no-code creation platform for 3D interactive content, creating immersive virtual world experiences. Created by a team of Unity veterans, it offers a modular set of services for game development, including art assets. Developers of varying experience levels can create or monetize games within Yahaha Studio’s editing tool. Virtual experiences are the trend of the year in content consumption and creation, and Yahaha is leading the way in creating interactive social scenarios for users to create real-world immersive “ReadyPlayerOne” experiences. The startup has raised a mighty €78 million and with growing interest in all-things virtual and meta, are sure to continue this upward growth trajectory. Yahaha also has a social aspect in that users can share their games on multiple platforms.
Flowrite – Founded in 2020, Flowrite is supercharging daily communication by turning words into ready-to-send emails and messages. Communications tech is a growing sector, and one Flowrite has the potential to establish itself in – already having professional clients who work with the likes of Stripe, Google and Meta. Ever opened an email or message and had your mind go blank? Struggle to know how to put things into words, with the right tone? Or maybe you’re not so confident about your grammar? Flowrite is offering a solution. After writing a couple of short sentences that give a basis of what you want to say, Flowrite automatically generates a unique email or message that is ready-to-send, saving time for users and providing confidence. Based in the Finnish capital Helsinki, Flowrite has raised about €4.6 million and its team is growing fast.
Adamant Health – Healthtech startup Adamant Health is developing the world’s first combined motion and EMG measurement and analysis service providing home measurements for people with movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease. The measurements are used by medical professionals to determine the status of the disease and the effectiveness of treatment. This unique method is ideal also for academic research teams and pharmaceutical companies developing new treatments or medications for various movement disorders. The Kuopio-based startup is therefore offering a pioneering innovation in the healthtech space that truly will provide tangible benefits to people’s lives.
Algorithmiq – On a mission to help solve problems in the life sciences, Algorithmiq is a Helsinki-based startup using quantum computing to develop advanced algorithms that will revolutionize the sector. Founded in 2020, the startup has now raised about €3.6 million and is growing fast. Combining expertise in quantum information, complex systems and computational physics to develop algorithms, Algorithmiq is able to contribute to molecular structure prediction, drug development and materials design. The overarching mission is to accelerate drug discovery, in a way that means medicines can be developed quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively. The startup, therefore, aims to tangibly contribute to society and have a real-world impact with its tech.
Nordic Umami Company – Described as a sustainable foodtech startup, Nordic Umami Company is developing natural umami in a closed-loop ecosystem from circular ingredients. Founded in 2021, the company currently creates Umami products for home cooks, food service and industrial use made of food industry by-products, offering a carbon-negative and closed-loop system. In a move to prevent food insecurity for a global generation, as well as improve the climate impact of the food industry, more sustainable and closed-loop innovations need to take off. Another issue in the food industry is waste – by using by-products in the production stage, Nordic Umami Company is tackling multiple issues at once. With products expected to hit the shelves in the coming months, the startup has already raised about €700k.
Quanscient – Founded in 2021, Quanscient is building a next-generation Simulation-as-a-Service platform utilizing quantum computing and state-of-the-art algorithms. Essentially, the startup offers physics simulations to speed up R&D. Quanscient is using computer algorithms to move simulations away from just dedicated hardware, to cloud-based platforms, helping customers get their products to market more efficiently. Quantum computing is believed to become a reality very soon and a defining part of next-generation tech. Quanscient already has the algorithms ready to tap into this market, offering excellent scalability opportunities for users.
Veri – Founded in 2019, Veri is helping people improve their metabolic health through an app and wearable tech that provides actionable insights and recommendations on nutrition and lifestyle habits. The startup’s aim is to help people feel better in their bodies through a better understanding of what they put into them every day. With the harsh truth that across the globe our metabolic health is suffering, Veri wants to empower us to make a change. Diabetes, obesity and insulin resistance are three illnesses all on the rise, that, through health misinformation, are not going anywhere. Too often, people are mis-sold and misled on how to have better health – told to focus on calories rather than the quality of food. The Veri mobile app, combined with a wearable glucose sensor, means users can make more informed food choices and directly improve their health.
Pixieray – Based in Espoo, Pixieray is modernizing traditional eyeglass optics by introducing a pioneering adaptive solution giving anyone perfect vision. By combining optics, hardware and software with human vision, the startup emerged from stealth in 2021 and has raised about €4 million. A traditional eyeglass lens is a mechanical and optical compromise, with fixed focal points. Pixieray’s adaptive solution delivers unmatched optical performance by constantly adjusting the focal point and applying the ideal correction. This reduces eye strain and substantially increases user comfort.
Unie – Helsinki-based Unie is on a mission to elevate events. The startup helps event organizers understand and visualize the potential of an event and optimize the use of tech to make it happen. Founded in 2020, Unie acts as a strategic partner, addressing skills gaps to help create next-level events. The company provides multidimensional and participatory events, which are known to be superior in building engagement, effectiveness and experience, a streaming service that can be embedded directly into a website, as well as data and event management processes. Virtual and hybrid events are continuing to remain popular in the post-pandemic space, given the rise of remote working and increasing internationalization.
By the way: If you’re a corporate or investor looking for exciting startups in a specific market for a potential investment or acquisition, check out our Startup Sourcing Service!