Case: Asmo Charger

ASMO Chrome Ring 2There are hundreds of millions of mobile phone and tablet chargers sold each year. At the moment the idle chargers that are left plugged-in use several nuclear plants worth of energy even when there’s now device connected. Furthermore they present fire hazard, there are numerous fires started by faulty idle chargers each year. Patented Asmo Charger solves these problems. It’s a charger that consumes zero energy when there’s no device connected. Yet at the same time it offers the same convenience than traditional chargers, by turning itself on automatically whenever a device is connected to it.

Asmo Charger comes in a stylish package, consumes zero energy when idle and prevents the fire hazard related faulty idle chargers.

Asmo Charger comes in a stylish package, consumes zero energy when idle and prevents the fire hazard related faulty idle chargers.

Prior to Butterfly’s investment Asmo had completed the fully functional prototype of the charger as well as filed in several patent application related to IP around the technology and confirmed the end user traction. Furthermore they had successfully attracted interest of several device vendors.

“There is over 7 Billion mobile phones with charger which consumes power all the time when plugged to wall. Those chargers consume ridiculous amount of electricity for nothing. We’re going to change that, our charger do not consume any stand-by power and is being used exactly like the old chargers. We have discussed with Butterfly from very beginning. We needed expertise especially on IP and licensing issues, where Butterfly is particularly strong. I also appreciate the fact that they’re good guys, open and helpful. They feel almost like an extension of the original founder team.” (Asmo Saloranta, CEO of Asmo Charger)

Butterfly invested into Asmo Charger because of their simple, well protected, solution to a very well defined problem that has a global scale. Butterfly’s investment will be used for manufacturing the first few patches of chargers, further protecting the IP as well as sales and marketing of the charger and negotiating the licensing deals with major device vendors.

Case: Augumenta

augumenta-logo-27.10.2014Augmented reality (AR) might sound like a science fiction, yet there are many industrial applications where AR is being deployed already today, for instance in warehousing and service operations. Typically AR brings in loads of information in meaningful way to the task at hand that speeds up the work and reduces the number of errors. However AR hasn’t been very interactive, thus limiting the power and uses of it. AR represents paradigm shift in device user interaction and requires reliable advanced means of interaction such as hand gestures. Augumenta is forerunner here, delivering fast, reliable and energy efficient gesture detection and virtual inputs for AR interaction as an easy to integrate SDK for application and device vendors.

There are wide variety of industrial applications where AR becomes handy, like identifying the right pipe and operating field automation on the spot.

There are wide variety of industrial applications where AR becomes handy, like identifying the right pipe and operating field automation on the spot.

Prior to Butterfly’s investment Augumenta had finished the minimum viable product and secured two industrial system integrators, who are now evaluating the package. Furthermore they have one granted patent and two more filed, securing the related IP.

“Augumenta was founded with a clear mission: to make wearable devices convenient and easy to use. Smartglass is a powerful tool for enterprises, and when equipped with our interaction solutions, they enhance productivity at workplace, resulting in significant cost savings. We focus on bringing our technology to different industry verticals, while expanding our product offering and patent portfolio. Wearable devices are a dynamic, fast-developing market with some unique challenges. We are delighted to have Butterfly as our investor; their vast experience in business strategies and IPR management is a great asset for taking Augumenta to the next level.” (Tero Aaltonen, CEO of Augumenta)

Butterfly invested into Augumenta because of their innovative market approach that allows them to jump ahead before the consumer mass adoption of AR. Their product offers easy path of AR integration, way smoother gesture detection and AR interaction as well as substantially longer battery life than competing products. Another key driver for the investment was the highly professional PhD level founder team with years of relevant industry experience. Butterfly’s investment will be used for confirming the product market fit and securing the first few major customers.

Case: Ceruus

Ceruus logo, white bgCeruus has created a reliable, low-cost and easy to implement service platform for internet of things products and services creation. The platform has a flexible data synchronization which operates reliably also in environments where there is no fixed internet gateway, i.e. when an end user device, such as smart phone is used as a gateway. This provides plenty of flexibility for products and business models. Their mass production ready reference implementation includes low cost standalone Bluetooth based internet of things hardware module that records temp / motion data and provides control when integrated to other hardware. Internet of things is one of the billion dollar megatrends and Ceruus addresses some of the key competitive factors, i.e. reliability, power consumption, ease of implementation, mobility and flexibility.

Ceruus allows easy access to such information such as energy consumption and temperature at home.

Ceruus allows easy access to such information such as energy consumption and temperature at home.

Prior to Butterfly’s investment Ceruus had developed the first mass production ready product version as well as secured the first pilot customers from Finland, Germany and Taiwan.

“Internet of Things will reshape the life in the same way as the Internet has done so far. Services accessible from the web and mobile will for instance replace ordinary home instruments, like temperature gauges and room thermostats, and automate business work processes. Among other things Ceruus technology will decrease the cost of implementation and add flexibility due the fact that any smart device, such as mobile phone or tablet, can be used as a router. We’re particularly happy that Butterfly invested into us. While money is obviously important, even more important is the fact that they bring in their business insight and challenge us to see what we do from a fresh angle.” (Matti Verkasalo, CEO of Ceruus)

Butterfly invested into Ceruus because their product allows easy access to multiple internet of things business. Furthermore they have secured multiple interesting pilot customers. Ceruus team also has a very strong experience of industrial scale productisation, especially what comes to low power consumption products. Butterfly’s investment will be used for completing the second round of customer product pilots as well as business model testing and verification.

Case: Alpakka Media

alpakka_media_logoAlpakka Media, was born from love for stories and urge to serve the needs of the demanding audience of children. During the last few years Alpakka Media has been producing children’s games and animated television series in co-operation with Finnish Broadcasting Company channel 2. In fact their games are the most popular children’s content in TV2 with over 50M playing sessions so far. Now they’re going to leverage this huge content storage and launch series of children’s mobile games internationally.

Prior to Butterfly’s investment Alpakka Media has produced years of animated TV-series, secured the production contract for TV2 till 2019, 22 web & mobile games, 12 children’s books.

“We’ve been creating the content children in Finland love. Now we’re able to bring Hertta and our other characters to the fingertips of a global audience. We’re super excited of this opportunity. Picking the right investor is not just about money, at best it’s a co-operative relationship. Furthermore, Butterfly team has strong expertise in metrics and test marketing, both exactly the kind of knowledge that’s required in games business.” (Niina Tuikkala, CEO of Alpakka Media)

Butterfly invested into Alpakka Media because their highly popular content is ready for localization and has proven traction among children. This allows substantially easier market entry. Alpakka Media team has years of experience amongst the children’s content. Butterfly’s investment will be used for localization and test market launch of the Alpakka’s first few international games.

Four new investments by Butterfly Ventures – Strong portfolio presence in Slush

Four of Butterfly’s portfolio companies have been selected to appear among the best companies at Slush. Connexbird, Fourdeg and NaturVention were selected into TOP100 early stage companies list and Kyynel into TOP50 growth companies list. Meanwhile, Butterfly has been active also on the investment front. The new investments are Ceruus, Augumenta, Alpakka Media and Asmo Charger.

”It was nice to notice that four of our portfolio companies were selected among the best of Slush. Selection is a real achievement as selections were made from a group of over thousand international startups and only 10% of them are among this elite group.” tells Juho Risku, who leads the startup development at Butterfly, ”Our portfolio seems to be performing a lot better than average also from this respect, as half of our portfolio companies who were available for selection were also picked.”

Butterfly has invested so far 2.7 million euro in investment rounds totaling up to 7.2 million euro. In less than two years Butterfly has found 21 companies into its portfolio and completed over 41 investment rounds into those companies. Companies have been selected from the analyzed 500 companies, out of which 25% have been looked at more closely as investment targets. During the first half of 2014 every seventh early stage venture capital investment in Finland were Butterfly’s.

”Our portfolio has been growing even a bit faster than expected. In a short period of time we have been able to achieve a significant position within the early stage venture capital in Finland.” says CEO of Butterfly Ventures, Matti Kanninen, ”I am most delighted that more and more often the founder team has consciously wanted us in particular as their investor and coaching partner. It is thus likely that by the end of the year the number of our portfolio companies will grow further by at least two or three companies.”

Enquiries and additional information:

Matti Kanninen, managing partner
Phone: +358 (40) 5455877
Email: matti@butterfly.vc

Butterfly Ventures

Butterfly Ventures is an early stage focused startup development and venture fund management company located in Oulu, Finland. Behind the company are Matti Kanninen, Ville Heikkinen and Juho Risku as well as Board members Antti Kosunen, Jukka Mäkinen and Jari Pasanen. Butterfly Ventures has offices in Oulu and Helsinki.

Web: http://butterfly.vc

Northern Startup Funds – Leverage from the EU

Northern Startup Fund is a venture capital fund managed by Butterfly Ventures that invests into early stage startups. It is the first asymmetric fund in Finland. In the case of Northern Startup Funds the asymmetry means that the public investor, which benefits also in a form of tax income, lowers the risk of a private investor by offering a possibility for returning the invested capital and profit share before the public investor. From the private investors’ point of view this improves the risk – return expectation ratio significantly. The public investors in the Northern Startup Funds are the City of Oulu and the European Regional Development Fund (the Northern Ostrobothnia Centre for Economic Development, the European Union). The investment capital of Northern Startup Fund is at the moment 10 million euro.

Resources

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Case: Kyynel

Kyynel logoKyynel will change the way data is being transferred in remote areas. They are able to provide global coverage and offer similar or better quality of service than satellite communication does, without the cost of operating satellites. Kyynel’s solution requires only a low-cost radio system to provide global connectivity. This bestows huge value for e.g. shipping industry, which is currently heavily dependent on satellites. The satellite data communications is an industry worth of billions. Kyynel’s market opportunity lies in taking over the vast majority of it.

Prior to Butterfly’s investment Kyynel has developed and protected a huge technology base around the field necessary for the service. They also have developed the initial product versions required and secured a couple of significant pilot customers.

“Early days of radio relied mainly on longer wavelengths which allow to cover longer distances. However, there have been several data density and reliability issues when transferring data using traditional radio systems, making most commercial users change to satcom and other systems. In Kyynel we have been able to solve the usability problems of traditional radio systems, making it possible to offer a global connectivity that is reliable, secure and always online. We have been discussing with Butterfly for over a year and have strong confidence in their ability to help while going international. Now that it’s time to launch we felt it was also the right time to take them on board to help to do it successfully”, (Toni Lindén, CEO of Kyynel)

Butterfly invested into Kyynel because of the unique market opportunity and Kyynel’s extraordinarily deep knowledge of the field. In addition there is a strong IPR portfolio, existing industry with ongoing budgets, business model with a steep monetization curve and technology that allows to go around most critical mass challenges faced by other similar exercises. Butterfly’s investment will be used for further development of the commercial product, launching the service and securing the first few international customers.

Case: Pint Please

Pint Please logoMicrobrewery phenomena has opened ever expanding number of options for beer drinkers, but how to choose what to drink and where to go to? Pint Please is a mobile application that makes it easy, it recommends the beer based on ones’ taste and shows the availability on pubs. In essence, Pint Please is leveraging the long tail phenomena, where people’s tastes are dividing into smaller segments and at the same time creating a need for personally tailored information. Beer industry, including the pubs, is a huge industry involving hundreds of millions consumers and xx of marketing money. While Pint please offers a convenient marketing channel for beer industry and pubs, it also allows the consumers easily find what they like. It’s a true win-win for both.

Pint-Please-3-in-one

Pint Please makes it easy to find the beer you like and the venues selling it. Pint Please recommends the beer according to your previous taste.

Prior to Butterfly’s investment Pint Please had made a test launch in Finland with promising metrics, acquired several paying customers and secured the key partnerships for UK launch.

“We love the beer and Pint Please is in the heart of one of the biggest trends in the world, the long tail. Traditional marketing has been just push, push, push -type, whereas Pint Please is really about the ones taste and allowing pubs and breweries to meet the taste. Everyone wins; we, beer lovers get better beer, breweries will know what kind of beer they should brew and pubs know what they should offer. At the same time, it’s a hundred million market opportunity. We’ve kept the Butterfly guys in the loop from the very beginning. The ongoing dialogue with them has helped us along the way a lot for instance with the business model. It seemed just natural to bring them in, when we had initial market proof and felt we’re ready for going international.” (Juha Karppinen, CEO of Pint Please)

Butterfly invested into Pint Please because of very promising business model with huge market that has shown to be able to generate significant revenue early on, already without millions of users they’re aiming at. This type of monetization capability is very rare among mobile applications. Furthermore the team represents excellent mix of technological and marketing talent as well as enthusiasm towards beer. The communication and co-operation has been easy. Butterfly’s investment will be used for UK launch and further development of the application as well as securing the first major international customers.

Case: NaturVention

NaturVention logoNaturVention has developed a fully automated living green wall that cleans the indoor air from multitude of harmful substances exactly the way nature does, by using living plants. Even more so, they’ve come up a way to make the process 100 fold more efficient. Furthermore the system naturalizes indoor air breaking harmful chemicals, increasing the amount of natural chemicals and oxygen in the air and ensuring healthier humidity levels. By doing this they have been able to eliminate many of the indoor air quality related problems, for instance reducing sick leaves in many occasions, not to mention the improved quality of life for people involved. The market opportunity is simply put huge, there are billions of people suffering of bad quality indoor air on daily bases, especially in Asia.

Greenwall in a lobby

Greenwall naturalizes the indoor air using living plants. It does it by breaking harmful chemicals, increasing the amount of natural chemicals and oxygen in the air and ensuring healthier humidity levels.

Prior to Butterfly’s investment NaturVention had developed the first product with over 98 % test to purchase conversion and >500k€ worth of revenue. Their customer base is very satisfied. They had also filed international patent application for the key parts of the technology involved.

“According to WHO unhealthy indoor air is one of the biggest health challenges of the world today. While the original idea of plants purifying air in enclosed ecosystems is based on NASAs research from 1970s, we took the initial ideas to the next level, and were able to solve a bunch of technological challenges that made the actual active green wall possible. We wanted Butterfly along, as they have great international networks, action-oriented way of operating as well as plenty of needed knowledge of scale-up and marketing. Furthermore they had an excellent reputation among their portfolio companies.” (Aki Soudunsaari, Co-Founder & COO of Naturvention)

Butterfly invested into NaturVention because of their ability to solve a problem with huge, tens of billions, market opportunity. The team has done excellent job while addressing many of the challenges related into such complex product combining living plants, mechanics, hardware and software as well securing the first satisfied customers. Furthermore Butterfly saw a clear opportunity to bring in added value to the case in the areas of marketing, market requirements, business models and international networks. Butterfly’s investment will be used for releasing a more scalable product version, as well as preparing for international scale-up.

Case: Sapotech

Sapotech logoMonitoring super-hot processes, like casting steel, has traditionally been problematic. Due the extreme heat and constant motion one cannot actually see what’s happening inside the processes and traditional camera-systems just can’t take it either. Yet whenever there’s a problem undetected it may cost hundreds of thousands or even millions to a steel mill. Sapotech has invented a laser based imaging solution that allows one to see with unprecedented detail into hot processes. More importantly, due their novel hardware, industrial internet software platform and SAAS -based business model, they’re able to install the system as well as prove the value for the steel mill within days. The approach makes sales cycles extremely short. It’s revolutionary concept in traditionally slow moving industrial automation industry.

Reveal Cast screen capture

The SAAS based software platform provides excellent ease of use for operator. It makes it easy to identify the defects and react early on when ever needed.

Prior to Butterfly’s investment Sapotech had launched their first product, secured multiple pilot customers in the Nordics and several hundred thousands of revenue, as well as filed patent applications for the key technologies.

“For some reason industrial automation and modern service based business models generally haven’t yet met. We’ve been able to marry a few things, unique hardware, our own industrial internet software platform and steel industry expertise into a world class service offering. These ingredients allow us to execute a rapid scale-up into a market that’s worth of billions. Butterfly brings in not just money now and networks needed for follow-on financing later, but also business model expertise, knowledge of IPRs and experience on scaling up businesses internationally. Their support while facing the challenges of ramping up global service business is truly valuable.” (Saku Kaukonen, CEO of Sapotech)

Butterfly invested into Sapotech because of proven customer traction and industry disruptive business model with market potential of billions. The product is mature, fast to deploy and provides instant value to the customer. Furthermore the founder team has very deep knowledge and networks within steel industry as well as rare combination of expertise required; industrial internet, machine vision and user experience. Butterfly’s investment will be used to further confirm the business model, ramping up the customer acquisition as well as developing follow-on products that leverage the existing software platform.

Case: Sarokal Test Systems

Sarokal Test Systems logoWith traditional testing equipment every product generation has required new set of testing equipment as well, costing hundreds of thousands or even millions for network equipment manufacturers. Sarokal has created a new kind of testing equipment platform to test network interfaces where software plays a major role, therefore requiring only minimal hardware update. This novel approach doesn’t just save money between product generations, but also enables multiple uses of same equipment within organization as well as totally new use cases for testing. For instance hardware testing as a part of ongoing embedded software development has often been just too expensive. There’s a hundred million dollar market for equipment like this and Sarokal’s software oriented approach makes them very cost efficient as well as allows faster than usual scale-up due these additional use cases within organization.

Sarokal Tester

Sarokal provides maximum performance and feature set for network interface testing with easily upgradeable hardware and software.

Prior to Butterfly’s investment Sarokal had finalized the first product version, acquired their first major telecommunications customer and secured multiple pilot customers.

“Most of the testing equipment manufacturers for telecommunications industry has been very traditional, hardware oriented and extremely expensive. Every new product generation also requires new set of testers. Our products do most of the stuff with software and therefore offer better functionality, lower cost and a possibility to upgrade with minimum hardware changes. There’s also an added benefit. Our system can be scaled up easily and cost efficiently, thus making more extensive hardware testing along the ongoing software development possible, which hasn’t been previously possible. Butterfly will bring in needed resources for scaling up the business.” (Harri Valasma, CEO of Sarokal Test Systems)

Butterfly invested into Sarokal because their target market is large and the early indicators of customer traction they have. Sarokal has also been able to develop a very complicated product into launch ready stage with novel software based approach. Furthermore, team has the right background for tapping into testing equipment market, both from business as well as tech point of view. Butterfly’s investment will be used to confirm the business model by acquiring additional key customers and development of next product version.