2014 – The start
Innovestor was founded in 2014 to solve a very tangible problem for technology entrepreneurs: lack of capital for growing the business. At the same time, we had identified an increasing demand among private investors to gain access to promising early-stage technology startups. Our first product, an online co-investment platform, was developed and brought to market to address this opportunity.
The business gained traction, and our community grew. We were able to attract ambitious founders and smart investors to the platform. Meanwhile, we had reached another conclusion: a more impactful way to support founders is by backing the lifecycle of a company, not just a single round of funding. For achieving that at meaningful scale, the most suitable model is a VC fund.
2016 – First VC fund
In the end of 2016, we acquired a large startup portfolio (Vera Ventures) in a secondary transaction, which became our VC fund 1. With the transaction, our team was strengthened by a group of experienced VC professionals from Vera Ventures. A year later, we raised our VC fund 2 for new seed stage investments in technology startups.
2018 – Kasvun Roihu and Real Estate
Acquiring Kasvun Roihu (now Innovestor Ignite / Corporate Venturing services) in 2018 was an important milestone in expanding our unique startup ecosystem. The company offered growth and innovation programs to startups and corporations and operated the inclusive Finnish startup sparring-network Kasvu Open. We were joined by a large and enthusiastic team of new colleagues from Jyväskylä.
In 2018 we also expanded our investment activities to commercial real estate. We launched a distinct investment model for identified commercial real estate assets. The model is based on transparency, alignment of interest, and direct ownership. We were glad to see that the concept was well received by our current and new investors.
2020 – VC fund 3 and Covid-19
We raised our VC fund 3 just before Covid-19 hit in March 2020. As the world self-isolated, we focused on supporting our portfolio companies. Despite the hardship, our portfolio fared well, particularly those operating within online grocery sales / delivery and certain areas of life science & health. Similarly, the real estate assets proved resilient.
The pandemic was also a good time to reflect on the journey so far. Why are we coming to work, or opening MS Teams, every day? It helped to take a step back from the everyday grind, and think about the things that truly matter. In many ways, we came out of the process more focused and united. Still a bit confused though, but on a higher level…
Make Good Money
Through a comprehensive internal process, we started to crystallize the company’s values in 2021. Be your authentic self. Think big, act good. Challenge the norm. Work hard, enjoy the ride.
We hope the values positively reflect the company’s DNA and the culture we aspire to build. It is also useful for founders, investors, partners and other stakeholders to understand where we come from.
We see unlimited potential in Nordic early-stage Technology and Life Science & Health startups. Likewise, functioning commercial real estate is the backbone for enabling businesses and communities to operate.
Through breakthrough innovations, startups drive productivity improvements, job creation, and economic prosperity in society. They develop sustainable solutions for complex problems and contribute to responsible business practices. We are there to back them with capital and competence.
Being entrusted capital comes with responsibility. We view it primarily through the prism of the investment returns we aim to generate, but also the potential other positive and/or negative impact our investment activities might result in. The investment decisions we make can shape a more sustainable, brighter future for us and coming generations. Our mission is to make good money.