To find out more about Nordea’s partnership with Ropo Capital, write to Maija Rinttilä at maija.rinttila [at] nordea.com.
Since its formation in 2008, Ropo Capital has focused on improving invoicing processes, offering payment-related customer services and making cash flows more efficient. By developing their own technology to increase automisation, Ropo Capital has grown to become a leading financial service provider in the Nordics, now responsible for transferring one in six invoices in Finland. From the beginning, Nordea have been close partners with Ropo, offering both technical and financing support.
Toni Rönkkö, CFO at Ropo Capital, says: “Ropo Capital is an outsourced service provider, offering invoicing lifecycle services and data logistics services. In our invoicing lifecycle service, the customer forms an invoicing file, sends it to us and then we take care of the rest of the process until our corporate customer has been paid by their end customer.”
Ilkka Sammelvuo, CTO at Ropo Capital, adds: “Ropo’s service is based on our own technology, which aims to automate these processes, increasing efficiency for our customers. Cash turnover is important. It’s one thing to send an invoice but you need to get the cash quickly to help your customer. That’s where we excel.”
A partnership supporting growth
Originally a tech start-up, Ropo Capital has experienced a number of years of strong growth, moving from a team of 20 people in 2011 to over 200 today. As Ropo has rapidly grown, Nordea has been able to support the company through each stage of its development.
Ilkka Sammelvuo says: “It’s also been an important journey for us and our partners. For example, we’ve partnered with Nordea right from the start. Our service is heavily based on bank infrastructure and on moving cash between accounts and Nordea’s been a great help. We’ve solved problems together, resulting in better service for our customers. That’s how we’ve achieved growth. We’ve also managed to scale up our business continuously.”
A decade of close partnership between Ropo Capital and Nordea has seen a number of solutions developed and challenges met along the way.
Nordea’s a traditional bank and we’re a start-up that has a new idea. Despite this we’ve a had a positive approach and have found the right solutions.
Ilkka Sammelvuo continues: “It’s been a pleasant journey if I may say so. Nordea’s a traditional bank and we’re a start-up that has a new idea. Despite this we’ve a had a positive approach and have found the right solutions. We’re still growing and we’re still sitting here together, which means that we’re off to a good start!”
Toni Rönkkö adds: “Ropo went through a new ownership arrangement last spring. So currently Nordea offers us technical support for payments and it plays an important role as our financier. We have continuous cooperation on the financing side. In the future, Nordea’s role as a provider of finance will grow, as it should. We want a financier that can adapt to the growth in our business.”
Our business is strongly based on moving cash, but also on a good financing partner. The fact that Nordea has familiar interfaces and infrastructure and multinational operations, makes it easier for us.
Ilkka Sammelvuo notes. “An international partner is important in this case. Our business is strongly based on moving cash, but also on a good financing partner. The fact that Nordea has familiar interfaces and infrastructure and multinational operations, makes it easier for us. It speeds up our growth.”
Open for APIs
The development of new APIs (Application Programme Interfaces) via Nordea’s Open Banking platform also offers the opportunity for changing business models and introducing real-time transactions.
Ilkka Sammelvuo says: “Nowadays we rely on batch transfers, which have certain constraints. But with Open Banking and APIs, which Nordea now offers, we get very close to real-time transfers. Initially it will change our reporting and our internal processes to allow us to quickly access account balances. When money begins to move in real time, our customers won’t have to wait and they’ll get the cash to their account quicker. Transparency, ease of use and reporting, those are the building blocks. We’re eagerly awaiting real-time transactions. Things will progress even faster in the next decade.”
How to succeed
For Ropo Capital, becoming a key player in Nordic invoicing services in only 10 years is a success story based on understanding the needs of customers and having a strong culture of innovation.
We don’t come up with visions that go far into the future unless we’re actually doing what we plan to do. When we decide to do something, we start doing it today.
Ilkka Sammelvuo concludes: “You should always aim to be better today than yesterday. Pay attention to the little details and the bigger stuff then sorts itself out. We don’t come up with visions that go far into the future unless we’re actually doing what we plan to do. When we decide to do something, we start doing it today. We don’t have a neutral gear. When we have to act, we do it with full confidence. We have a sort of sports and entrepreneurship ethos and we always aim to improve.”