Star Arcade Is The Gaming Community For "The Next Billion"

Star Arcade, launching today, is a new gaming community from Finland, aimed at the next billion mobile phone users. Star Arcade's primary markets are around the world, in India, South America, Far East and Africa. The company has been founded by Harri Myllylä and Jonne Castrén. Harri Myllylä was one of the founders behind Openbit Oy, a company marketing and developing mobile payment and DRM solution. The company was sold to a publicly listed Indian company in 2008. Jonne Castrén is one of the founders of 3D Arts Oy, a creator of mobile games.

Read more »

Analysis Into The Deloitte 50 List (Finland)

Last Friday I announced the fastest growing company in Finland according to Deloitte and I decided to dig a little more into these companies in terms of finances. So the breakdown is as follows: Company rank on the Deloitte list (2008), company name, growth percentage (from 2003 to 2007), turnover in 2007 (000's €), turnover in 2003 (000's €).

1. Futurice, 2885%, 3313, 111.
2. Openbit, 2521%, (not reported), 391.
3. Nomovok Oy, 2367%, 2319, 59.
4. Endero Oy, 1775%, 10029, 312.
5. Directa Oy, 1734%, (not reported), 166.
6. Heeros Systems Oy, 1566%, 1233, (not reported).
7. Vilant Systems Oy, 1238%, 1258, 94.
8. Bluegiga Technologies Oy, 1192%, 4340, 336.
9. Reaktor Innovations Oy, 1102%, 9255, 770.
10. Nebula Oy, 1016%, 9310, 848.

If you look at this list, the companies in general are still very small by international standards. Growing your company over a 5 year period from under a 100k to a few million should be on everyone's list and with a proper team executing it - very doable. I'm gonna get hammered here again, but I do believe that it's not that difficult up to a certain point. The real difficulty begins when you think of these companies growing from the 5-to-10 million revenues into 100-200 million revenues. How is that done? Now that's a bigger and tougher question.

I was unable to find any comparative figures for other Baltic countries nor the Nordics, but the first company from this geographical setting in the Central European list is Webmedia group from Estonia with a growth percentage of 770.

Read more »

A Few Quick Facts For The Weekend From Finland

The week's been way too busy and apologies for the lack of writing from me. However, I've been following the scene and been meeting people over lunch from the startup scene. I've heard a few interesting facts this week that I'd like to share with the readers here.

  • NewsToScreen has been growing fast despite my earlier bashing. NewsToScreen is an aggregator of different feeds and activities that can be used to transmit information to large crowds. They now have 80 000 members and transmit 5-10% of Finnish online video and approximately 66% of Finnish commercial video. I also talked to their founder and CEO Marko Parkkinen about the usage of the product and he confirmed that they have slightly shifted the focus and are taking different approaches in capitalising it.

  • RunToShop, the social shopping recommendation service, now has over 400 partners. We previously wrote about 150 partners in their network so the growth has been nice. Despite still having a long way to go to successfully integrate the service with these partners I'm glad to see companies also focusing on the commercialisation of their innovation.

  • The Deloitte Fast 50/500 Finland list for 2008 is out. A familiar company is topping the list with a growth percentage of close to 3000% - Futurice. Futurice is a web and mobile production powerhouse located in Helsinki, Finland. Second on the list is OpenBit, a mobile payment provider we have covered previously as well.

I'll do some more digging into the Deloitte's list as there are a lot of interesting companies that need to be uncovered in terms of interviews.

Read more »

Tanla Solutions acquires a majority stake of Openbit with valution of EUR 12M

OpenbitOpenbit, a Finnish Tampere based provider of on-device payment and DRM solutions for mobile applications, and Tanla Solutions, Indian telecommunications software and services provider have announced today that Tanla buys 85 % of Openbit for $US 15.81M / EUR 10.2M in cash. The valuation is therefore at EUR 12M, 23.5 times Openbit's EBITDA (EUR 0.51M) from the fiscal year 2007.

The remaining 15% is still owned by the management and will be acquired by Tanla in two parts, 5% after the first year and 10% after the second. Openbit has been one of the fastest growing companies in Finland in terms of revenue growth, ranking third in the Deloitte’s Finnish Technology Fast 50 list of 2007.

Seems like a potentially very good match for both companies. Openbit should be able to expand their channels and partners faster in Asia and North America, and Tanla gets extensive foothold in Europe.
Congrats to Openbit for the work well done so far!

See Tanla's press release (PDF) for more information.

Read more »