Finternet-Group is Finland’s answer to Rocket Internet in Germany. The company thrives on establishing already successful business models and importing them around Eastern and Northern Europe.
Finternet was established a year ago and focusses on digitalisation for media companies. In essence Finternet is a startup studio but without the risk of trying out completely new ideas.
“Finternet takes existing and performing business models, replicates the technology in Finland, tests it and then incubates these businesses and distributes them through a series of media partnerships throughout Eastern Europe,” explains Giles Cooper, Finternet’s head of international business.
A startup academy
Finternet hopes to provide media companies, who have been taking major losses in the past 10 years, new digital revenue streams. The company develops partnerships with international media companies and gives them a share in revenue of Finternet startups. In return the media companies give marketing support to the startups.
“Through the marketing support we get nice online campaigns”, says Cooper. “We strongly believe that TV does work: it’s great for brand recognition and people like familiar brands.”
For its startups Finternet provides the resources that are needed to accelerate growth. For example the startups are receiving support from all the departments within Finternet, which allows the startups to run with low levels of staff.
“What we’re trying to do is to establish a runway for startups,” describes Mikael da Costa, Finternet’s founder and head of operations. “What we want is to have a startup academy: you come into our company and start your own startup within Finternet.”
Success lies within the team
Running a startup is not an easy task and failure is sometimes held accountable to the team.
“Teams run into blaming each other,” says da Costa. “Many times it ruins the relationship of the parties and this leads to the ultimate failure of the company.”
According to da Costa the most important aspect of a startup is having a good team:
“In the startups there is not much politics inside the company. The whole team takes the credits for the success and celebrates everyone’s achievements.”
Getting it right
Finternet believes that timing, team and your idea are the most important elements of establishing a successful startup.
“We’re still ahead of bigger and older companies because we are able to grow quicker than they are,” saysTommi Siro, partner and head of sales of Finternet. “We are able to react faster.”
The company aims to perfect the services which it replicates and brings to market. It does this by promoting market research. Finterner is certain that by keeping up to date with the customers’ needs, the startups are able to establish a steady customer base.
The company also believes in scaling the business and not overspending in areas before the market research is complete and a known customer base is targeted.
“You could spend all your initial money building a concept with no customer development and then realise that you’ve done it wrong and you’ll have no money left,” Cooper stresses.