Brella, developer of a networking application for business events that was founded in Jyväskylä, Finland, in 2016, has raised €1.2 million in private equity. The lead investor was Vendep Capital together with a team of international angel investors, including from the USA, France and Finland.
The investment will allow Brella to expand its operations in the USA, which is already the conmpany’s most important market. In addition, the company will be able to hire over a dozen product developers, as well as sales and marketing staff, in Finland.
The idea for the service was born when the company’s founders attended numerous business events while studying but generally came away from these events with a lot of marketing material instead of good contacts.
Markus Kauppinen, CEO of Brella, explains: “Events have been the best way to bring together people and ideas for thousands of years, yet until now no one has created a service that could intelligently analyse event visitors and their needs in advance, making it easier to find the best contacts among all the people attending the event.”
Today the service has users in over thirty countries around the world, and its customers include Slush, Samsung, Microsoft and TechCrunch.
The company’s aim is to enable 100 million new business contacts by 2020.
“Networking is valued in the USA even more than it is in Finland. Unlike in Finland, it is often difficult to find the contact information for decision-makers, so events offer a rare opportunity to actually meet them,” says Jyrki Paananen, COO of Brella.
“As the lead investor, we wanted to support a great team and invest in their ambitious growth plan. The market demand for this service was proven by Brella’s tremendous international growth in its first year, when it attracted almost a hundred clients,” says Sakari Pihlava, General Partner, Vendep Capital.
Markus Kauppinen, CEO, Brella
Sakari Pihlava, General Partner, Vendep Capital
Brella is a networking application for business events. The service helps event visitors to grow their business network and meet relevant people by means of an intelligent matchmaking algorithm. The mobile and web application has helped hundreds of thousands of people to find jobs, colleagues, investors, and other business contacts. www.brella.io
Vendep Capital Fund invests primarily in Finnish startups offering software to B2B customers. In April 2017, Vendep Capital launched a new €40 million fund aimed at SaaS startups. The fund was raised from Finnish private and institutional investors such as Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment Ltd) and The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. The fund may make investments alone or as part of a syndicate. www.vendep.com
Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment Ltd) is a venture capital and private equity company that accelerates companies’ success stories by investing in them directly and via funds. Tesi always invests together with other investors, providing them with access to high quality deal flow in Finland. Our investments under management total 1 billion euros and we have altogether 723 companies in portfolio. www.tesi.fi // @TesiFII