14-06-2021 12:56

"Eight different investors wanted to meet us”

“There are a lot of similarities between looking for the right romantic partner and looking for the right investor: it’s hard work!,” says entrepreneur Joonas Tomperi. But thanks to Nordea’s investor speed dating, open to startups from all over the Nordics, his long search for the right partner may soon be successful.

businessman-video-conferencing-with-team

It is a well-known story: startup meets investor, violins start playing, and the first baby-steps towards growth are taken. But what if the pair never meet?

Joonas Tomperi, CEO and co-founder of the startup “enable:Banking” knows all about the tough search for investor love.

“Finding the right investor is hard. It’s very time consuming – and for every minute I spend looking for investors, I have one less to use on our customers,” says the CEO of the small fintech startup, which has five employees, but ambitions to grow.

“You need to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince”

And Joonas Tomperi is not alone, says Vesa Riihimäki, Head of Startup & Growth Finland.

“The startups’ networks are often extremely limited. They simply don’t know any business angels or venture capital funds – or who to contact,” he says.

For the investors it is hard work as well:

“If the investors are in contact with 100 startups, they might be interested in investing in just one of them. For both investors and startups, you could say you need to kiss a lot of frogs in order to find your prince!,” Vesa Riihimäki concludes.

If the investors are in contact with 100 startups, they might be interested in investing in just one of them. For both investors and startups, you could say you need to kiss a lot of frogs in order to find your prince!

Vesa Riihimäki, Head of the Finnish Startup and Growth

 
head-of-startupgrowth-finland-vesa-riihimaki

Speed dating open to Nordic startups and investors worldwide

This is where Nordea comes into the picture. With access to startups all over the Nordics and many global investors, Nordea has created a series of online speed-dating events, where the two parties can meet each other quickly and efficiently.

Before the speed-dating event, Nordea’s Startup & Growth teams in the four Nordic countries carefully handpick the startups that show the best investment potential. The investors then get to read about the selected companies, so they can choose exactly who they would like to see for a 20-minute meeting.

And it works!

“At our latest event we had 200 meetings – and our most popular startup company had 18 meetings,” Vesa Riihimäki tells.

What does Joonas Tomperi’s startup do?

enable:Banking” makes “open banking” APIs for the financial sector and connected businesses, connecting, for example, ERP systems and solutions for credit scoring, accounting, invoicing and cash forecasting to banks.

APIs are programs which enable different systems to exchange information with one another. They could, for instance, allow customers to check their account in one bank through the mobile app of another bank or another business.

When Joonas Tomperi and “enable:Banking” participated for the first time, Nordea had arranged eight speed dates.

“We were so surprised and happy. We’d been trying to find more investors for quite some time, and suddenly eight different investors wanted to meet us! I had to call in my co-founder because we were so busy taking all the meetings,” Joonas tells.

Joonas Tomperi is still in dialogue with four of the potential investors and hopes to close a deal within weeks.

 “It really is very similar to finding a romantic partner… We need to be sure. It has to be somebody who shares our values and understands our customer focus – and we’re looking for a lifetime partner, not a short-term relationship!,” he says.

“The good thing about Nordea’s matchmaking is that you only get in touch with investors who are really interested in meeting YOU. They’ve already swiped right,” he says with a laugh.

Nordea’s online events attract huge investors

Nordea’s highly efficient “frog-kissing factory” has been spreading investor and startup love all over the Nordics since 2018, and has grown to attract some very large, global investors.

“Of the ten largest and most active global venture capital funds, seven have now attended the speed-dating events,” says Vesa Riihimäki .

Are you, or do you know, a startup, business angel or venture company who could benefit from Nordea’s speed dating?

The speed-dating events are open to startups from all over the Nordics – and investors from all over the world.

Write to: 
Teija Nousilainen, Deal Flow Manager, Startup & Growth Finland
E-mail: teija.nousiainen [at] nordea.com

Vesa Riihimäki, Head of Startup & Growth Finland
E-mail: Vesa.Riihimaki [at] nordea.fi

Mikkel Rørvig, Head of Startup & Growth Denmark
E-mail: mikkel.rorvig [at] nordea.com

Håvard Lindtvedt, Head of Startup & Growth Norway
E-mail: havard.lindtvedt [at] nordea.com

Oskar Kihlmark, Head of Startup & Growth Sweden
E-mail: oskar.kihlmark [at] nordea.se

News Topic
Entrepreneurship
Business growth
Fintech