Aboa Advest is a family-owned investment company focusing on startups and other growth companies. Founded in 2015, we specialise in Business Model development and service concepts for startups. We assist in financing growth through our know-how and extensive network of partners. Since the very start of our company we have been particularly interested in impact investing: Impact investing generates a beneficial social or environmental impact, as well as a financial return. (*)
We are an active investor in Finnish startups and growth companies. Our younger partners became shareholders in Aboa Advest in 2016: they bring their respective competencies to our team and add valuable perspectives to our analysis of investment proposals.
Our investments focus mainly on Design and FoodTech, as well as ecological products and services based on sustainable business. We have invested in a good number of Finnish startups and growth companies in accordance with our criteria.
In any startup the core team is the most important asset. A good idea is a start, but its implementation and timing are crucial to success. The key characteristics of a winning team are agility and resilience.
Our key investment criteria in a startup are:
- Team – a dedicated and multi-talented team is the key to success. When going global it’s good to have a cross-cultural team.
- Idea – the idea does not have to be unique, but it must be implemented better than the competition.
- Timing – are consumers ready to adopt the product and service. Product-market fit must be validated.
- IPR – Intellectual Property Rights, a patented product.
- Scalable Business Model – a global market.
- Go2Market Strategy – is it feasible with the resources in hand. Sales & Marketing skills are of essence. A global network is a real asset in entering new markets.
Our investment process includes these criteria and scoring points for the ecological and social dimensions, as well as the valuation of the company.
Services and method
Our passion is to help startups grow profitably. We specialise in Business Model development and Go2Market strategy for startups. Our services include advisory work and personal coaching. We help with marketing and communication, as well as service design together with our partners. Best customer experience requires true customer insight and co-design of the product with potential customers and users of the service. We also co-operate with the best experts in business law, financial administration and growth finance.
We apply the Lean Startup method (build-measure-learn): “The Lean Startup method builds capital-efficient companies because it allows startups to recognize that it’s time to pivot sooner, creating less waste of time and money.” (The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, 2011).
The hardest part in growing a startup is going from Zero to One: “Leanness is a methodology, not a goal. Making small changes to things that already exist might lead you to a local maximum, but it won’t help you find the global maximum. You could build the best version of an app… but iteration without a bold plan won’t take you from 0 to 1.”
Entrepreneurship is about resilience. This we do know from our own experience, as an entrepreneur, as an investor in several startups and as a shareholder in a 100-year old family business. Hence we wish to share two more quotes from the same book (Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future: Peter Thiel, Blake Masters, 2014):
- “Most of a tech company’s value will come at least 10 to 15 years in the future.”
- “A startup is the largest endeavor over which you can have definite mastery. You can have agency not just over your own life, but over a small and important part of the world. It begins by rejecting the unjust tyranny of Chance. You are not a lottery ticket.”
(*) Source: Sitra, a fund operating directly under the Finnish Parliament, with focus on sustainable development.