This is a feature in our monthly ‘Portfolio insight’ blog series, where we will showcase our portfolio companies and provide insights on their growth journeys.
Cajo Technologies has brought together all the components needed for their success. Business is booming and the company is currently on the verge of rapid growth both in the domestic Finnish market as well as internationally.
In October 2018, Cajo Technologies won Kasvu Open’s ‘start again’ competition series. Niko Karsikka, the companies CEO, believes that this recognition shows that the company is on the right track.
“Finland needs growth entrepreneurs and growth companies. It [Kasvu Open] was a particularly rewarding experience because there were many great growth companies and like-minded growth entrepreneurs with whom to discuss and exchange ideas with”.
Building for growth
Cajo’s business is based on patented marking technology and strong software expertise;
“Our technology enables extremely accurate and durable marking on almost any material in a fast and cost-effective manner. We offer optimized and easy-to-use, complete solutions to industrial production processes for traceability and product marking. We also replace traditional marking methods, such as ink jets, with a very short payback period”.
According to Niko, the company has knowingly been built purposefully;
“We have made significant growth investments in order to enable our current business model, as an international hardware and system supplier. This has included not only technology and product development, but also the ramp-up of production and business facilities, sales and marketing efforts, including the establishment of sales companies for the target market and the introduction of an enterprise resource planning system and ISO 9001 quality system”.
Niko especially emphasises the importance of the team;
“People do growth. We have specifically invested in team building and recruiting the right people as part of our growth story, currently we employ around 30 people”.
Laser marking devices manufactured by Cajo Technologies can be found in more than twenty countries. A range of companies spanning many different sectors use their devices – such as producers of various end products, contract manufacturers, and the cable and wiring harness industry. Currently, their largest customer group is made up of companies within the metal industry.
“In our early stages, we bravely approached major global customers and surveyed their current situation with regard to product marking. On the basis of the information that we collected, we were able to develop our current solutions which are optimized for our customer’s needs“.
How then has Cajo Technologies, which is still quite a small company, been able to acquire customers and partners that are international giants? Niko’s answer is quite simple: to place the customer at your core;
“In our case, customer reception at the marketing stage has been positive as soon as we communicated how our solutions bring significant cost savings and improve the products marking quality and traceability. We have deliberately built up long-term customer relationships and are making every effort to take care of our customers”.
Recently, Cajo signed a major agreement with Anixter, a global US reseller, to sell their products. According to Niko, Cajo’s plan is to enter the market both with its own brand and as a solution apart of other companies’ systems;
“When exporting new technology to the international market, it is important to surround yourself with the right partners and we are actively searching for new value-add distribution partners”.
Niko’s top tips on how to create an effective growth plan
1. Dare to put the bar high enough from the get go
2. Seach and surround yourself with the right people, and take care of them. There is power in teams
3. Focus on what you are best at and constantly develop
4. Make a decision or correction as soon as you feel something is wrong
5. Remember where you came from, and know where you are going
Innovestor has the largest private venture backed startup portfolio in the Nordics, Check it out here!