11.06.2018

Global Business Partner creates interest

 

Media release 11 June 2018 at 10 a.m.

 

Global business partner creates interest

Plantui raises funding of €1.4 million

 

Plantui, a Finnish developer of smart gardens, has successfully completed a funding round.  Existing shareholders participated in the round, as did notable private investors such as Supercell co-founder Mikko Kodisoja, Board professional and Leino Group CEO Liisa Leino, CEO of Harvia Tapio Pajuharju and angel investors Anne and Jukka Laiterä and their family. The new investors were attracted by the OEM contract Plantui signed with a global business partner in May.

 

Plantui has signed an OEM contract with a global business partner which is also one of the world’s leading home appliance manufacturers.

 

“A year ago, we set ourselves the goal of finding a global business partner to boost our distribution, sales and marketing. Our efforts have been rewarded and we have found a partner for Plantui – the best possible industrial partner, in fact,” says Chairman of the Plantui Board Timo Ketonen.

 

Plantui and its new partner are currently focusing on product development and will present the results at the IFA trade fair in Berlin on 31 August 2018. Plantui continues to grow its business globally: the company’s retail network has already expanded to 22 countries in Europe, Asia, and North America.

 

 

More resources for product development and globalization

 

The collaboration with a global partner inspired both existing and new investors. The two share issues raised €923,010. Part of the funding is a bank loan of €0.5 m, bringing the total funding to over €1.4 m.

 

“Right now, home farming and food tech are growing fast globally,” says CEO of Plantui René Österman. “The profits from the funding round will be targeted at sales and marketing, with special investment in improving digital marketing and e-commerce. In addition, we’ll continue research and development of the vertical farming concept for professional users.”

 

The funding round got off to a flying start thanks to the investment made by Mikko Kodisoja,co-founder of Supercell, via KEM Ventures.

 

“Indoor gardening is a rapidly growing trend globally. I’m impressed by the functionality and quality of Plantui products. Growing your own fresh herbs and salads also supports local, natural food production, which is in harmony with our sustainable investing philosophy,” Kodisoja says.

 

 

 A strong shareholder network

Plantui has over 200 shareholders in 15 countries. All of them are part of Plantui’s growing global network. In addition to Kodisoja, many other notable Finnish business influencers made an investment, among them metal industry professional and Leino Group CEO Liisa Leino, Tapio Pajuharju, and Anne and Jukka Laiterä and their family. The company’s biggest shareholders are Timo Ketonen and his family via two investment companies, Kari Heinistö via Högen Oy, Sean Lim, Ojala & Saari Oy, Luka Holding Oy, Aura Pääomasijoitus Oy, LocalTapiola Mutual Life Insurance Company, angel investor Leena Niemistö, Eficaz Capital Oy, Timo Nykänen, Hopaltans Oy, Possidentes Oy, UMO Capital and Thomas Gylling via two investment companies. Key Plantui personnel also took part in the share issue.

 

 

 

 For further information, please contact:

René Österman, CEO, Plantui Oy, tel. +358 500 506 636, rene.osterman@plantui.com

Timo Ketonen, Chairman of the Board, Plantui Oy, tel. +358 400 831 205, timo.ketonen@plantui.com

 

Plantuiis a Finnish company specializing in the development and manufacturing of smart hydroponic gardens. Plantui products make it easy for everyone to grow fresh, delicious, clean and healthy salads and herbs anywhere, anytime – green thumb or not. All Plantui products are designed and partly manufactured in Finland.The Plantui platform won the Red Dot Design Award in 2015. www.plantui.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21.03.2018

Letter of intent with an international partner: Plantui to make breakthrough thank to indoor gardening boom

Media release

For release on 21 March 2018 at 7.00 a.m.

Plantui Oy continued to grow strongly last year. This year, the company has signed a letter of intent and started a joint R&D project with a global business partner. The project results will be launched at the IFA trade fair in Berlin on 31 August. Plantui aims to become an international market leader in smart gardens by 2020. The company has also further strengthened the expertise of its board of directors by appointing a new board member, the digital business expert Ville Hurnonen.

Plantui, a company specialising in the development and manufacturing of smart gardens, is growing strongly. In 2017, its turnover was approximately EUR 562,000, a 27% increase on 2016. The Plantui smart garden plant capsules and accessories account for approximately 30% of the company’s sales. Launched in 2014, more than 15,000 Plantui smart gardens have been sold to date. Exports make up for approximately 80% of the company’s sales.

This year, Plantui aims to at least double its turnover. The company’s outlook is very positive, having signed a letter of intent with a major global business partner in February.

“Our long-term efforts to build the Plantui brand and invest in high-quality research and development are yielding positive results. Based on this letter of intent, we have also started a joint R&D project with a global partner. The results of the project will be launched at the IFA trade fair in Berlin in August. Our goal is to continue generating top-line growth and developing new, high-quality Plantui products,” says Plantui CEO René Österman.

Plantui has a network of retailers in 22 European and Asian countries. In addition to Plantui’s own recently updated online shop, Plantui products are sold on more than 15 international shopping sites. In 2018, the new partnership agreement will expand the retail network significantly. The agreement will be published later in the spring.

The global rise in indoor gardening supports Plantui’s success: in 2025, the home farming market, including vertical farming, is estimated to be worth approximately USD 10 billion.


Digital business expert joins board

All members of the current board of directors will continue in their positions. To strengthen the team, Plantui’s general meeting appointed Ville Hurnonen a new member of the board. With his extensive expertise in digital business and service design, Hurnonen will make a valuable contribution, particularly to the development of Plantui’s digital service processes.

“Plantui’s products respond to numerous global megatrends, such as environmental awareness and urbanisation, which will lead to denser living. Indoor gardening combines smart technologies, nutritional values, eco-friendliness and cleanness. With my experience, I can support digital service design at Plantui,” Hurnonen says.

All three other members, Harri Yrjö-Koskinen, Riia Sandström and Myron Tay, will continue serving on the board. The board is chaired by Timo Ketonen.

“The first five years have been quite a roller coaster for Plantui, like for many start-ups. We will continue to make consistent progress on the international market in accordance with the new strategy we prepared in 2017. Having found a major global partner, we are confident about making a breakthrough,” says Timo Ketonen, chairman of the board and experienced angel investor.

 

For further information, please contact:

René Österman, CEO, Plantui Oy, tel. +358 500 506 636, rene.osterman@plantui.com

Timo Ketonen, Chairman of the Board, Plantui Oy, tel. +358 400 831 205, timo.ketonen@plantui.com

Ville Hurnonen, Board Member, Plantui Oy, tel. +358 50 433 5944, ville.hurnonen@gmail.com

 

Plantui is a Finnish company specialising in the development and manufacturing of smart hydroponic gardens. Plantui products make it easy for everyone to grow fresh, delicious, clean and healthy salads and herbs anywhere, anytime – green thumb or not. All Plantui products are designed and partly manufactured in Finland. The Plantui platform won the Red Dot Design Award in 2015. www.plantui.com

 

 

 

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08.03.2018

Saari Partners announces a new EUR 40 million fund for growing service SMEs through marketing and digitalisation

The fund will make majority investments in small and mid-sized service companies with the aim of growing them into sector leaders through focused development of their branding, marketing and digitalisation.

Saari Partners Oy raised EUR 40 million in commitments to the new Saari I Ky fund in the first closing. The fund will make majority investments in small and mid-sized service companies with the aim of growing them into sector leaders through focused development of their branding, marketing and digitalisation. A promising investee company has committed entrepreneurs who aim to raise the company to the next level. It has a positive cash flow, an established foothold in its chosen sector and generates net sales of some EUR 4-7 million. During the investment period, the fund will invest in a base of 4-6 companies and grow them both organically and through consolidation.

“Finland has plenty of SMEs doing great work that have excellent growth potential. However, they do not have all the resources they need to pursue growth,” explains Saari’s CEO Ben Wrede. “We want to be a competent and capable partner to such companies, and help them take the next successful step on their growth path,” he continues.

The founding partners of the Saari I Ky fund are Mikael Lönnroth, Pirjo Kiiski, Mia Sirkiä and Ben Wrede.
Mikael Lönnroth was previously IT director at Turvatiimi and Oral Hammaslääkärit. Pirjo Kiiski, formerly Lumene’s CFO, is also joining the fund. Mia Sirkiä, formerly a partner at advertising agency Hasan & Partners, comes from a brand-building background. Ben Wrede was previously Atine Group’s CEO.

The largest investors in the fund are Tesi, KRR III, Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company, Elo Mutual Pension Insurance Company, AI-Partners Oy, Elo Mutual Pension Insurance Company and The Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors JHL.

“We are delighted to get a new entrant in Finland’s investment market, especially a player of such a diversified composition and background. The new fund’s investment focus encompasses plenty of potential investee companies with businesses that would benefit greatly from digitalisation,” says Tesi’s Investment Director Riitta Jääskeläinen.

Saari I Ky started operating on 31 January 2018, and its second and final round of fund-raising will close on 31 January 2019 at the latest.

For more information:

Ben Wrede, CEO, Saari Partners Oy,
 tel. +358-40-5105940, ben.wrede@saaripartners.fi

Riitta Jääskeläinen, Investment Director, Tesi, tel. +358-50-3092733, riitta.jaaskelainen@tesi.fi

 

Saari flourishes on the strengths of its community. On capability, experience and commitment. The companies in our portfolio are our partners who will benefit the most from our competence and experience. By providing the required resources and complementing the company’s strengths we serve as pilots over the next critical phase of the company’s growth. Saari creates the framework for strengthening a company and piloting it to the next level of success. For more information: www.saaripartners.fi

Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment Ltd) is a venture capital and private equity company that accelerates companies’ success stories by investing in them directly and via funds. Tesi always invests together with other investors, providing them with access to high quality deal-flow in Finland. Our investments under management total €1.2 billion and we have altogether 700 companies in portfolio. www.tesi.fi / @TesiFII

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