Aboa Advest

Aboa Advest is a family-owned investment company focusing on startups and other growth companies. Founded in 2015, 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 growth companies. We revised our investment strategy in January 2020: our primary focus is to invest in Venture Capital funds. To date we have invested in two buyout funds and five VC funds, with a particular focus on DeepTech startups.

Our investment strategy is based on a long-term perspective: we expect a significant return on our investments in 10 years time.

Investment Criteria

Our investments focus mainly on DeepTech i.e. science-based ventures and ecological products & services based on sustainable business.

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. The ability to create a valuable network will speed up the process from ideation towards profitable growth; the building of the network can be actively boosted by angel investors, advisors and Board members.

Our key investment criteria in a startup are:

  1. Team – a dedicated and multi-talented team is the key to success. When going global it’s good to have a cross-cultural team.
  2. Idea – the idea does not have to be unique, but it must be implemented better than the competition.
  3. Timing – are consumers ready to adopt the product and service. Product-market fit must be validated.
  4. IPR – Intellectual Property Rights, a patented product.
  5. Scalable Business Model – a global market.
  6. 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. The principles for responsible investment also apply to our engagement in VC funds.

Education and services

Our passion is to help startups grow profitably. Our services include advisory work and personal coaching. Our Founder Timo Ketonen is a Certified Board Member (CBM). He is an active guest lecturer at the CBM courses at the Chamber of Commerce.

We assist our portfolio companies in marketing and communication, as well as service design together with our partners. The best customer experience is based on 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, branding, communications, financial administration and growth finance.

Entrepreneurship is about resilience

This we do know from our own experience, as an entrepreneur and investor in several startups and as shareholders in a more than 100-year old family business. We have also studied what it takes to become a successful startup entrepreneur. Below are some of our observations:

Motivation – the desire to create a successful concept to go from Zero to One; a systematic and results orientated way of working.

Empathy – it will help you to understand customer needs and to lead the team.

Passion – a real desire to win.

Resilience – the capacity to learn and recover quickly from difficulties.

Hence we wish to share two quotes from the book ‘Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future´(Peter Thiel, Blake Masters, 2014). Resilience also goes for investors; there are no quick gains in Venture Capital.

“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.