Finland-based software technology company Unikie has raised €12M from CapMan Growth and Tesi for its international expansion.
The raised capital will help Unikie to strengthen its international sales and marketing. Besides, it will also help to develop product management and the company’s product range to support the current technology platforms.
“We prepared this investment round for two years and went through serious considerations of how we want to do it. Our negotiation with CapMan took a year and a half. During this time, we got to know each other and were able to create a growth strategy that suits us both. A strong, Finnish consortium will also enable additional funding in the future and ensures a strong growth basis for the company,” says Esko Mertsalmi, Unikie’s CEO and founding partner, explaining the grounds for choosing CapMan and Tesi.
Founded in 2015 by Esko Mertsalmi, Unikie is a technology company specialised in demanding device-edge-cloud-based software. Its key focus areas are the car industry, smart machinery, industry 4.0, and telecommunications.
It claims to provide all services for integrations, application development, embedded software, and IT systems testing. It has also developed ready-made solutions utilising artificial intelligence, machine learning, and machine vision, e.g. environmental awareness and information flow monitoring in business-critical integrations.
The company offers a comprehensive automatic driving (AD) solution called the Unikie AI Vision that can be scaled to the global market. It has operations in Finland, Sweden, Germany, Poland, and the United States and employs over 300 skilled software engineers.
In 2019, the company’s turnover was €26.9M and the estimated turnover for the current year is €35M – about one-third of its turnover comes from international markets. Unikie’s next goal is to achieve a turnover of €100M based on its expertise and the strong demand for technology solutions.
Its clients include brands such as Sandvik, Nokia, and Valmet.
Shedding light on the company’s future plans, Esko Mertsalmi, Unikie’s CEO and founding partner said, “We believe that the company is in a good situation, and it has all the necessary prerequisites to build a truly international and notable software technology hub of the vehicle industry and telecommunications sector in Finland. This funding helps us ensure our positive international development and enables our strategy to materialise.”
The company recently announced that Mertsalmi will step down as the CEO, and Dr. Sc. (Tech.) Seppo Kuula will take up the leadership role in early 2021. Mertsalmi will focus on developing Unikie’s business operations through his new role on the company’s board.
According to Mertsalmi, building Unikie’s future from here on out requires a more systematic approach to operative management, and he thinks Kuula has proven experience of building and scaling business in growth companies of new technology as well as agile culture guidance of large, international operations.
The company has invested over €10M in its own technology platforms and plans to make another investment of a similar size in the near future.
“The company’s growth rate and, on the other hand, the attraction of international markets are natural grounds for raising capital. To maintain our international growth, we are looking for a high-quality financier to ensure the annual growth of over 30% also in the future, both through increased capital and additional competence,” says Mertsalmi.
Image credit: Unikie