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.

The investment volume of Butterfly Ventures tripled from last year

Butterfly Ventures continues investment activities at a high pace. During the first half of 2014 its total investment volume tripled. Butterfly has now invested, together with its co-investors, 6M euro in total. Compared to the whole year 2013, the growth is more than 4.5M euro. New portfolio companies during the first half of 2014 are: Realsource, Naturvention, Sapotech, Sarokal Test Systems, Pint Please and Kyynel. One of the cases will remain un-published at this stage.

”We have reached a good pace in our investment activities. Our efficiency is based on the due diligence investment model we’ve developed. It allows us to invest into startups with high return expectations swiftly and cost-efficiently already very early on. It also mitigates the risks associated with a single investee company.” says CEO of Butterfly Ventures, Matti Kanninen, “The quality of startups in our dealflow has been a positive surprise. I trust we can further increase our investment volume next year. The progress of our portfolio companies also creates opportunities for follow-on investments including larger rounds. We will make additional 4-5 first time investments as well as several follow-on investments into our portfolio before the end of this year. Our own investment volume thereby increases to some three million euro.”

Currently, the portfolio of Butterfly consists of 17 companies. They have been selected from the analyzed 450 companies, out of which 25% have been looked at more closely as investment targets. At the time of Butterfly’s first investment, 20% of the portfolio companies had revenue. Approximately 6 months thereafter, roughly 80% of them had revenue. Butterfly’s portfolio companies employ approximately 100 people in total.

”The due diligence investment model has worked very well, so far there hasn’t been any really serious setbacks. Of course some of those are expected as well. Otherwise we would probably have taken too little risk.” says Juho Risku, who leads the startup development at Butterfly, “We are actively discussing with international investors and it seems that our portfolio companies gather also wider interest. In some cases we already have to even think who will fit into investment round.”

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

Download PDF: EN, FI

Case: Realsource

Realsource logoRealsource is a commercial real estate marketplace. It is an online service for investors to find commercial real estate and a very efficient way of selling commercial real estates for sellers. For the investor Realsource gives all the information the investor needs to decide to commit to a bidding process. On the other hand it helps the seller find as many potential investors as possible thus helping to get better selling price. The total annual transaction volume in commercial real estate sector was between 30-35 billion USD in the Nordics and appr. 200 billion USD in 2013 in the EMEA, the trend being rising. Based on current agreements Realsource will get 0.2% of transaction volume. This results 70M revenue potential in Nordics alone and 400M in Europe.

Realsource scenario calculator

For buyer Realsource provides advanced tools for comparing the commercial properties and making smart purchase decisions.

Prior to Butterfly’s investment Realsource had developed fully functional beta site and secured a major Finish property owner as a customer for the first year.

“Internet has transformed almost every line of business, including most of real estate sector. For some reason, however, commercial real estate sector is still mostly relying on traditional ways of doing business. We’re going to disrupt that. One of Butterfly’s strengths is their knowledge of online businesses, that’s exactly what we need. We also liked their agile approach to business development as well as international networks.” (Markku Aho, Founder of Realsource)

Butterfly invested into Realsource because of balanced team with both excellent technological skills and experience as well as extraordinarily deep understanding of commercial property market. The product has very mature feel with unique set of features not seen yet in online commercial property trade. Furthermore Realsource had first significant customer signed in and there’s market opportunity worth at least hundreds of millions. Butterfly’s investment will be used to further develop the product, attract property inventory as well as validate the business model and value proposition.

Butterfly Ventures invites a new partner into the team

Butterfly Ventures continues to grow and invites Mr. Ville Heikkinen to join as a Partner to develop its early stage focused venture funds and portfolio companies. Mr. Heikkinen was previously a commercial lawyer in Finland and USA specializing on technology transactions and venture capital. In addition, Mr. Heikkinen has had a strong role in the development of Finnish startup ecosystem.

”Butterfly has within a short period of time developed a successful model to invest into the most dynamic market segment, early stage companies. I am very excited in the opportunity of creating new Finnish success stories as a member of this team and bringing effectiveness into early stage investments.” says Heikkinen.

”From the investor’s point of view, the number and quality of Finnish startups is very good at the moment. Having Ville in our team enables us to respond better to the market opportunity. We are well prepared to manage the vast deal flow, increase our investment volume, and speed up the development of our portfolio companies even better than earlier.” added Mr. Matti Kanninen, the CEO of Butterfly Ventures.

Mr. Heikkinen strengthens the already versatile team of Butterfly and focuses especially on increasing the investment activity and commercializing products and services of the portfolio 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, Antti Kosunen and Juho Risku as well as Board members 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

Download PDF: EN, FI

Ten new investments in year 2013, equity under management grows into ten million euro

Butterfly Ventures continues investment activities at high pace. During its first year of operations 2013 it has completed its own target of ten new first time investments. The newest investments are: CreateTrips, Laturi Corporation and Conexbird. Furthermore, with the agreement signed today Butterfly Ventures has increased the amount of equity under management by five million euro, totaling now ten million euro.

“Butterfly has started really well also from the City of Oulu’s point of view. The investments have been made in particular into early stage startups, and the positive effects of Northern Startup Fund are already evident.” told Juha Ala-Mursula from Business Oulu. “At the time of investment two of the startups had revenue, now eight of them have. Also the fact that the number of employees after the investment in these companies has already increased nearly 30% is great news for Oulu.” he added.

Based on the actual realized figures, the fund size of ten million euro adds up to some twenty million euro worth of equity financing in total.

”We’re very happy for the increase of funds under our management at this particular moment, as the prospects for new first time investments are great. This is good news also for our portfolio companies. Several of them are approaching a stage where their business model has been validated and therefore follow-on investments are becoming current. Butterfly is now better equipped to support its portfolio companies through this rapid growth phase, which brings stability for the companies and further accelerates their growth.” said Matti Kanninen, CEO of Butterfly Ventures.

So far, Butterfly has invested together with other investors in total of 1.4M euro into ten portfolio companies. Of this amount Butterfly has invested 600 000 euro. In addition to local investors, also US angel investors have participated in the financing rounds. The portfolio companies were selected from the deal flow of 300 companies. Butterfly aims to do ten new first time investments also during 2014. In addition, the annual volume of investments is planned to grow into 1-3 million euro.

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, Antti Kosunen and Juho Risku as well as Board members 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

Download PDF: EN, FI

Case: Conexbird

Conexbird logo Conexbird logo[/caption]Containers do over 135 million overseas trips per year. During every fifth of those trips something goes wrong, for instance due to container condition, accumulating over 7 billion in damages annually. Conexbird has invented a method to inspect the changes in container condition and its contents within a few seconds while lifting the container simply by touching it. There is no heavy investment required for checking equipment and no interruption nor changes required to handling and logistic chain. Furthermore the cost per check is just a fraction compared to any other method currently available. This represents true quantum leap within container transportation business, not just cost of container maintenance point of view, but also what comes to costs related to smuggling and container security.

Prior to Butterfly’s investment Conexbird has filed the key patent and signed the first pilot customer agreement.

“Our container inspection methodology fits into logistics chain like glove, it will integrate there seamlessly. Furthermore, the investment and inspection costs are only fraction of other methods. Therefore we see Conexbird as an integral part of all container logistics, a market opportunity of several billion dollars. Butterfly will bring us international contact networks that we need and such a unique level of agile business development expertise that’s very hard to find elsewhere.” (Teuvo Heikkilä, Founder of Conexbird).

Butterfly invested into Conexbird because of their clear cost saving value proposition, advanced business model, customer traction and technologically unique solution with strong intellectual property that fits extremely well into existing container logistic processes. Furthermore there’s market opportunity worth of hundreds of millions as well as excellent team with great international contact network. Butterfly’s investment will be used to validate the technology, business model and value proposition with first pilot customers.

Just another day as a VC

Image

Vesa and Juho after swim

We were swimming in ice together with the team of one of our portfolio companies, Laturi. Here’s Vesa and Juho after the swim.

One of the most interesting aspects of working in a VC company is the variety of things one get to see, learn and experience. During the first operational year we’ve looked through about 300 companies, including their business plans, flew around the world, prepared patent papers, crafted viral metrics, simulated business models, recruited and negotiated deals for our portfolio companies and met literally thousands of people. Yes, it’s about doing, it’s about learning, it’s about learning fast. Pretty much the same stuff our portfolio companies do – though from a different perspective.

Anyways, here’s an example of a day (today) with some stranger end of things we had a chance to experience; first some email, meetings, the normal stuff. Then an interview with Kauppalehti + swimming in the ice with the team of one of our portfolio companies, Laturi. They’re preparing for Polar Bear Pitching you see… and this sort of strange things happen pretty often.

Case: Laturi

Laturi logoThe first step for a Personal Trainer with a new client is always to start with a fitness assessment. Traditionally this time consuming process requiring heavy and expensive equipment limits the number of clients personal trainers can serve. Laturi has designed a way to carry out fitness assessment quickly and efficiently. With the Energy Test, one personal trainer is able to test up to 400 people in just a week, the improvement is several folds compared to traditional means. The web based Energy Service and the Energy Test equipment is easy to carry, inexpensive and highly mobile. As a result of the Energy Test person gets an Energy Index, which tells the time that peak energy output can be experienced, whether at work, performing routine chores or engaging in recreational activities. Energy Index tells the benefit of being fit in such a way that gets people excited about taking care of their well being.

Laturi's web application tells in very understandable and motivating way about your fitness. In addition to Energy Index itself, it also breaks the results into sub-categories that visually show your strengths and help pinpoint the possible problem areas.

Laturi’s web application tells in very understandable and motivating way about your fitness. In addition to Energy Index itself, it also breaks the results into sub-categories that visually show your strengths and help pinpoint the possible problem areas.

Prior to Butterfly’s investment Laturi has filed methodology patent, launched the service, sold the Energy Test to over 20 businesses providing fitness assessments and as a result gathered validation for their business model.

“Realizing the benefits of improved employee’s fitness, American businesses invest over 20 Billion dollars annually in their efforts to help employees increase their level of physical activity. We have been seeking for an investor who shares our belief in the growing health and fitness market and can provide support for our plans to create a scalable international business. We are truly excited that we get to work with Butterfly and get concrete and committed support along the way.” (Vesa Tornberg, Founder of Laturi)

Butterfly invested into Laturi because of the extremely positive user experience of the service, Laturi’s strong and committed team with superlative industry expertise and balanced skill set. There is a fast growing market worth of hundreds of millions for Laturi’s product and Laturi has a solid plan for the distribution model. Furthermore the business model already has validation. Butterfly’s investment will be used for international growth, enhance the business model and establish the required metrics to leverage the valuation up for follow-on financing rounds.