5 innovative startups from Finland you should know of

October 3, 2013 6
5 innovative startups from Finland you should know of

Finland is blooming with innovative startups, in fact, it seems that every week we hear about a new startup that is going or trying to disturb something that we never thought needed changing. Most likely you’ve heard of the mobile gaming success of Finnish startups, but there are more startups that are doing more than just gaming (which is awesome, btw). However, the Finns are resilient bunch and they are also very innovative and most importantly, their Government and people support them. There is an abundance of investment available (subjective) and ordinary people seem to realise that, taking risks is good and that it can lead to something excellent. So, it is more than likely that we’ll be seeing lots of interesting startups popping up in the following years from this nation of just 5million habitants (less than the region of Madrid).

Here are 5 innovative and also pretty damn cool, startups from Finlandia!

1)  KIOSKED

$1.2 trillion. That’s roughly how much e-commerce market is globally worth today. That’s a lot of money and I bet that, its enough to buy Madagascar or something similar. M-commerce (Mobile commerce) is expected to grow 15% in 2013, which is incredible, thinking where the smartphones were, just 5 years ago.

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 13.40.02

And Kiosked might bring something entirely new to this market, something brilliant actually. Something that has the realistic potential of delivering value, exposure to some and revenue to others and it can do that today, not far in the future-year, but today.

“Turning advertising into a service everywhere”, that’s the slogan for this innovative ecommerce service and in order to make complete sense of it, you should try to read it again.

Kiosked (founded in 2010) allows users to purchase any item they see from images or videos that appear on websites, and in the other hand the website owners, bloggers, merchants, brands, festival websites or similar, have a fantastic potential of earning an extra income, non-disruptively. It works with images and videos in almost all social networks and they use something called the “visual recognition technology”, which matches a brand that is visible in a picture or in a video, to the brands own purchasing platform. Surely there are many brands that appear in various pictures in your Facebook page? Once you comprehend fully the potential of Kiosked, it will become clear that opportunities can become abundant, and anyone can benefit from it.

Besides an innovative service, Kiosked has one of the best company websites on the Internet. The site has clear information about their service for the brands or publishers, about Kiosked as a company and a clear presentation of the entire technology and its potential benefits. Overall, Kiosked has strong potential of becoming a powerful element to the e-commerce game, which can add additional income revenues to the brands and to the website owners as well as deliver a positively opportunistic user experience for the surfers.

These guys are growing fast, especially after recently securing a $7m second round investment and are a perfect example of a successfully rising startup. Their offices are currently located in Helsinki (HQ), London, New York, LA and Singapore and they are searching for more people to join the fun and it seems that now is the perfect time to join in. Check out their opening positions in our Startup job section!

 

2) UNIQUL

Is trying to change the world of payments by enabling shoppers to purchase with their face. Yes, with your face. This may sound like it’s too far in the future to take it to seriously, but the technology has been around for a while with various military forces and laboratories, therefore providing it as a payment form is only a logical step.

image-uniqul-l

After watching the introductory video below, one could think that this technology is made by the NSA or similar, however, it is made by bunch of dudes in Helsinki and it could be something close to revolution, at least in the payment business.

Uniqul (founded in 2013) wants to install specialized cameras that are capable of identifying your face and charging payment accordingly to the purchase. Essentially this will shorten the queues and increase cashier efficiency and enhance customer security. And no, it is no longer just a concept like those crazy concept cars that they keep bringing up at various car shows, but never get released to the great annoyance of the public, Uniqul is ready for action today. They use military grade algorithms to make sure that the security of the system is impeccable, well thats good to know.

Shoppers will be shown their details on a computer screen. This information will need to be verified along with the purchase, and once confirmed the software will then begin to process the payment, which according to Uniqul, will take 1-5 seconds. The configuration terminal consists of an HD-camera, operating hub and a tablet and is targeted for SME’s (hotels, restaurants, retailers etc.), according to the CEO, Oscar Tuutti.

The costs? This is where Uniqul is very, very different from any other service.

Within 2 km radius from the shoppers chosen point the price will be €0.99 (all prices are per month basis). Then there’s the possibility of using Uniqul in a specific city which will set you back €1.99, the following price option is €2.99 covering large cities and their metropolitan area and then there is the global option that will cost €6.99.

Their website does not correspond to the level of innovation Uniqul is offering, but don’t let that fool you, this technology is trying to disrupt the payment business and it could be that in the near future, you will be using their tech somewhere in the world. So the next time you are in the shop and happened to be naked, but in need of some orange juice, not to worry, just stick your face in front of the Uniqul camera and you are done! Payment achieved, embarrassment avoided and orange juice gained! #winning

 

3) NOSTO

If you have an online store/business, then you should pay a close attention to this startup, because it might make you more successful.

Nosto is an e-commerce specialist that delivers valuable solutions for marketing automation, which has a strong potential to increase customer loyalty. It enables e-commerce sites to provide personalized product recommendations in real time, which means that when a customer is about to purchase something, thanks to Nosto, that customer is able to see other value-adding products that respond to the originally chosen item.

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They specialize in providing their plug & play solution to SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) as it will enhance customer loyalty, boost customer retention and increase conversion. This is done by ensuring the continuation of the e-commerce platforms communication to the customers who dropped off in the middle of a transaction. Nosto can enable e-commerce sites to create personalized recommendations, due to learning the browsing habits and potential purchase history of shoppers.

Nosto can also provide specific analytics and site optimization tools, which could help site owners to adjust according to customer behavior.

This might sound totally foreign if you don’t own an e-commerce site, but for those who do, Nosto could significantly boost up your business and it can do that without charging any upfront fees.

 

4) ELECTRIC RACEABOUT

Created by engineers from the famous Metropolia University, in Finland, along with 60 other partners and some very capable looking engineers in blue ties (pictured here), Electric Raceabout will be shaking some electric car trees in the coming years as Finland, along with the rest of the Nordic countries, invests in development of electric transportation.

electric-raceabout-630-1270137019The car has impressive statistics: 0-100 km/h in just 6 seconds and the range is, at this moment, 200 km. The energy consumption is equivalent to fuel consumption of 2.35L?/100 km (so it uses only 2.35 liters of petrol for traveling 100km) and with a top speed of whopping 200 km/h!

Electric Raceabout (very peculiar name), did the famous Nurnburgring in just 8:42.72 and you can see that (quiet) lap here.

 

5) MOVES

Is possibly one of the smartest apps on the planet. The Moves-app, as its known, impresses the user from the very first use and there are plenty of obvious reasons to that, which we will present below.

Moves app wants to be your personal activity diary, which can track your movements and then present the results in a clear timeline, by the end of each day.

The app will tell you:

  • How many steps you’ve taken during 24hours
  • The distance gone in total
  • The time that it took you
  • The calories burnt
  • The exact location of your movements

Moves on Android 1

The timeline is beautifully laid out, with option to view the weekly activities and total calories burnt for that week.

Lets say that you walk from your home to the Metro station, which is a 5 min walk away, and then take the Metro to work and then the entire thing back. The app will calculate all of your physical activity that is over 30 seconds long and demonstrate any vehicle or motorized transport as transport, in this case Metro, but additionally pinpointing in a map of your exact whereabouts, even while in Metro or other transport. This is very useful to track your steps, in case you were going out all weekend and have no recollection or alternatively, to spy on your kids. You could just use it to track your daily activities, which I promise that is very interesting data. Whatever you may use it for, Moves app will instantly demonstrate its benefits as its so freaking smart.

The app “sits” in the background, which means that it operates without having to open the app separately and initiating it – like a gecko in the corner, it tracks your movements without any gadgetry. Nothing else is needed, other than downloading the free app (!) and initiate the activation of the app and you will be ready to get your moves recorded.

How does all this geniusness work? Witchcraft. That’s it. Fine then, I’ll give you the sexy tech talk, moves uses sensor and location information from your iPhone (and now on Android too) to recognize activities, routes and places. According to the app’s in built-FAQ section, “your data is uploaded to our servers, which do most of the complex processing to produce your daily stats and storyline”. Thats good enough to me. But Obama might know where you are at all times…

In order to allow Moves to track your movement, its sufficient just to carry your smartphone with you, thats the greatest aspect of this app, that its so effortless to allow activity tracking.

Moves will drain the battery a bit, but its way smarter than that, because it has something called lower sample rate, which reduces and sometimes entirely ceases the app from using battery unnecessarily. Smart stuff.

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The app is not perfect and in a very Finnish way, it admits it, however, Moves invites the users to participate in perfecting it. Therefore, users are able to correct the app and it will learn from it…For example, recently I went out roller blading for a total of 52 min, but the app identified that as taking a transport as the roller blading movement doesn’t correspondt to its understand of physical exercise, however, with a simple tap on the app I was allowed to change that “error” to a corresponding exercise, in this case closest match was cycling. Once corrected, the app will then immediately recalculate everything and present you with a new timeline of the day, which is just brilliant!

 

6 Comments »

  1. Rami Sandberg October 3, 2013 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    Great list and easy to read! Well done! There is a startup in Finland called indooratlas that does something very cool! you should include it in your next list

  2. web site October 7, 2013 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    I really like what you guys arre usually up too.

    Such clever work and exposure! Keep up the very good works guys I’ve added you guys to my personal blogroll.

  3. J-ho October 10, 2013 at 11:44 am - Reply

    Seems like Finland is doing even worse I thought. If this is the top-5, we are in trouble.

  4. Markk P October 11, 2013 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    Cool list! How about one about Sweden’s innovative startups?
    @J-ho: the title of the article is “5 innovative startups from Finland” – NOT Top 5 startups from Finland…nor top 5 of anything..

  5. Thomee January 7, 2014 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    Hi guys.

    Have to admit that your blog is fantastic due to it’s progressive way of presenting thing. Editor must be on top of his game because the articles are written in relaxed, yet informative way. Pure pleasure to read!

    I would add to this list a Finnish company called ZenRobotics. I’m not sure if they are a start up anymore because they have already found substantial investments, but still I wanted to present it to you if you haven’t heard of it.

    http://www.zenrobotics.com/product/

    They operate in the waste management business and I think this company will hit it big…

    • Kayvan Nikjou January 12, 2014 at 11:32 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the comment and the tip!

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