Curiosity, an Amsterdam-based VC fund focused on early-stage investments, announced that it has invested €1.7M, in collaboration with Helen Ventures, in Finnish proptech startup Freesi.
The funds will enable the company to accelerate its development and international expansion.
Beyond funding, Helen Venture and Curiosity will support Freesi in strategy development, operational scaling, recruiting, and finance.
“We are thrilled to have such international interest in our company. I’m confident that our team combined with the expertise and networks from our investor syndicate Helen and Curiosity ensures our international growth and enables Freesi to become the number one solution for property portfolio leaders to fulfil their indoor climate-related ESG targets. The funding will be used to accelerate our product development and our international expansion,” says Samu Niska, CEO, and co-founder of Freesi.
Freesi: What you need to know
Founded in 2017 by Samu Niska and Antti-Jaakko Alanko, Freesi specialises in indoor climate development in large building portfolios.
Powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), the platform offers property owners and managers tools to monitor, analyse and improve the indoor climate of buildings with automated alerts and recommendations.
Freesi says its solution increases the cost-effectiveness of buildings and ensures that energy-saving measures are conducted without compromising the indoor climate conditions. This enables compliance with new regulations regarding air quality for properties such as schools and hospitals.
Freesi claims that its solution is currently employed in commercial properties, public sector, and construction segments, in over 2,000,000 m2 of property surface.
The Espoo-headquartered company also won a tender to provide its solution to a large international real estate investor, managing more than 1,000 buildings worldwide.
Curiosity: What you need to know
Founded in 2021 by Herman Kienhuis, former managing director of KPN Ventures, and Maurice Beckand Verwee, founder of startup investor Crosspring, Curiosity is an Amsterdam-based venture capital fund focused on early-stage investments in AI startups in the Benelux, Nordics, and Baltics.
The fund specifically targets early-stage investments in tech companies in growing fields such as Enterprise software, Marketing/E-commerce, FinTech, Cyber Security, LegalTech, and PropTech.
The Dutch VC has a unique community-driven approach and aims to grow towards a fund size of €50M to invest in 20 software companies.
“Boosted by the Covid pandemic, there’s increased attention for the air quality within buildings and creating healthy work environments. This development goes hand in hand with the global aim to optimise the energy consumption of buildings to reduce CO2 emissions. Based on their extended expertise in this field, Freesi’s team has developed a data-driven solution that enables property owners to improve the indoor climate in their buildings while boosting efficiency at the same time. Big international customers are discovering the value of Freesi’s software as we speak, which offers enormous growth potential,” says Herman Kienhuis, managing partner of Curiosity.
In addition, the founders have gathered a group of experienced advisors to join the community, including established names such as Daniel Gebler (Picnic), Ulla Kruhse-Lehtonen (DAIN Studios), Patrick de Laive (TNW), Jan Kees de Jager (Easygenerator), Aik Deveneijns (Levelup), and Christina Caljé (Autheos).
In March, the VC invested €723K in Alpha AR, an Estonian AI-powered automatic 3D content creation platform. In January, the VC firm launched its early-stage fund by announcing a €0.8M investment in the Dutch ‘explainable AI’ startup Deeploy, a startup developing software for transparency, explainability, and traceable accountability for the use of AI.