Maria 01 news

A strong start to the year for Maria 01 startups

Written by Hanna Nylund Read time 3 min

Finnish startups have continued to show impressive growth and their potential to both domestic and international investors in spite of the ongoing pandemic. Last year, in 2020, Finnish startups raised almost one billion euros in investments, breaking the half-billion-euro investment record set in the previous two years. With little over a quarter left of 2021, the pace doesn’t seem to be decreasing – at least not for the startups at Maria 01. 

A strong start to the year for Maria 01 startups

Helsinki – one of the most valuable startup hubs in Europe

With the new records set in 2020, there’s no signs of the pace at which Finnish startups continue to raise investment is slowing down. Numerous significant investment rounds have already been announced by startups like Wolt (€440m) and Aiven (€84m) and a recent study published by Helsinki’s new entrepreneurship center NewCo Helsinki, show that the value of Helsinki’s startup ecosystem has tripled in the past six years. While Helsinki currently is the 8th most valuable startup hub in Europe, with the combined value of startup companies exceeding €25 billion, Maria 01 is proud to present itself as the home to over 180 startups contributing to this notable growth.

In 2020, Maria 01 startups raised a total of €348 million in funding, with the real estate startup Kodit.io leading the way by raising €100 million in a combination of equity and debt, led by leading Nordic real estate investor NREP. While it still seems hard to predict what the long-term effect of the ongoing global pandemic will be for startups around the world, this year has gotten off to a promising start for the startups at Maria 01.

Close to €30 million secured in June alone

The Finnish FinTech innovator, Calqulate, founded and a Maria 01 member since 2019, kicked off the year by announcing a €1.5 million investment round led by Maki.vc. Calqulate, who helps other startups use advanced financial forecasting models to secure easier access to funding, has already become an active member of the Maria 01 Community, helping fellow startup members understand their current and future business performance to achieve faster growth through their financial analytics platform.

While the spring continued with a range of impressive funding announcements from the Maria 01 Community, like the cooking app for kids Carrot Kitchen closing a €0.5 million round led by Paulig’s venture arm PINC and the B2B Saas company Swarmia securing an impressive €5.7 million Seed round, the month of June seems to be the all-time record month so far. The game studio Quicksave Interactive, who expanded out of the Maria 01 Campus in the end of spring 2021, secured just over €1 million in an investment round led by Konvoy Ventures, followed by the CleanTech company Geyser Batteries announcing completing a €1.1 million bridge financing round led by Butterfly Ventures.

The good news doesn’t end here. The networking-focused hybrid event platform Brella, successfully closed a $10 million Series A funding round led by Connected Capital. The startup is one of Maria 01’s oldest community members and with over 50 employees, on its way to becoming one of the biggest one as well. A more recent member to open up an office at the Maria 01 Campus is the institutional digital asset lending company Tesseract. The startup should however, no longer be a stranger to anyone in the Finnish startup ecosystem, having raised a solid $25 million in its Series A funding round led by Augmentum Fintech.

Food and gaming topping the charts

The gaming industry has seen enormous growth in Helsinki over the past years and Helsinki has now reached a place as the third most important gaming industry ecosystem in Europe. The number of gaming startups at Maria 01 has also been growing steadily and with a whole building fully dedicated to gaming, Maria 01 is currently the home to 8 gaming startups.

While the gaming industry has acquired a strong presence in the Helsinki startup ecosystem, it’s the food and enterprise software startups that, however, collect the most financing. Looking at the verticals represented by the startups at Maria 01, 16,6% of all startups belonged to the enterprise software industry in 2020, making it the largest startup vertical in the community. However, while the amount of funding raised by startups in the food industry seems to have been growing steadily in the past years, Carrot Kitchen is still one of the few members representing this particular vertical at Maria 01. In 2020, only 3,3% of all startups belonged to this vertical, making it one of the smallest of the community.