Archive - 2011
FinEst Startup Development Programme to encourage entrepreneurship in Estonia and Southern-Finland
FinEst Startup Development Programme to encourage entrepreneurship in Estonia and Southern-Finland.
Estonian Development Fund together with Aalto University School of Economics Small Business Center (Finland), Enterprise Estonia, BDA Consulting and Technopolis Ülemiste launched Finnish-Estonian cross-border cooperation project “FinEst Startup Development Programme” to encourage entrepreneurship in the region.
The project targets entrepreneurial-minded people and startups in areas such as IT & mobile, biotechnology, energy and environment and creative industries, offering them a range of practical seminars, workshops and mentoring and networking opportunities.
Project partners play an active part in developing the startup ecosystem in the region and have joined forces in order to increase the impact of the planned activities.
Estonian Development Fund, the state venture fund, has during the past 4 years, played a substantial role in the development of Estonian startups by offering them venture financing. BDA is the organizer of Estonia’s most prominent business plan contest “Ajujaht”, Enterprise Estonia offers financial support measures for businesses, Technopol Ülemiste is a technology and business incubator and Aalto University School of Economics Small Business Center is one of the biggest and active business centers in Southern Finland.
During the next two years, 13 larger seminars and training events shall be held concentrating on different aspects of building new business e.g. business modeling, team composition, market entry etc. Additionally, monthly networking events shall be held.
The project kick-off seminar shall take place on December 1-2 in Tallinn. More information available soon at www.fineststartups.eu and www.arengufond.ee.
Project is co-funded from EU Regional Development Fund Central Baltic INTERREG IVA programme.
Mari-Liis Lind, Project coordinator, mariliis.lind[A]arengufond.ee
Estonian Development Fund sparks discussion of Estonia’s future relations with Asia
The Estonian Development Fund and the Foreign Affairs Committee of Riigikogu, the Estonian Parliament, jointly held a future strategy seminar titled „Rise of Asia: Impact and Strategic Choices for Estonia“on September 30th, 2011. The seminar led to a discussion paper on choices of how Estonia could deepen its economic and commercial ties with key Asian economies, and this paper is now open for global consultation.
„The ’Rise of Asia’ is possibly the biggest megatrend affecting the world economy and the global political landscape in the future,“ Ott Pärna, CEO of Estonian Development Fund, said when opening the seminar. „If we will not orient ourselves towards this region, we will risk losing out on a great deal of future growth opportunities.“
Marko Mihkelson, Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee of Riigikogu, also emphasized in his speech that time has come to carefully consider and set aim for Asia-opportunities. „Unless we make the decision today and prioritize this direction, Estonia can miss the train that is already moving and fast,“ he said. The Foreign Affairs Committee of Riigikogu is holding a year-long series of briefings and consultations on possible national ’Asia strategy’. The results of this enquiry will be compiled in a report to be presented in spring 2012.
The seminar participants were a cross-sectoral group of 30 decision-makers and opinion-leaders drawn from parliament, governmental institutions, universities and private sector. They jointly elaborated on three possible alternatives of Estonia’s future economic engagement with Asia, considering relevant impacts and courses of action.
One option could be ’accelerated engagement’, a rapid build-up of activities across a range of countries and sectors; another option could be ‘cautious engagement’ of gradual build-up of relations focusing on a few key countries and sectors. Third alternative could be ‘no engagement’, when focus would be retained purely on Estonian relations with European neighbours and there would be only reactive responding as ad hoc opportunities come from Asia to Estonia.
The summary of these discussions have been compiled into a consultation paper to spark ideas and encourage wider debate on Estonia’s options for engagement with Asia, going beyond the seminar. The paper can be found at: http://www.arengufond.ee/upload/Editor/aasia/EDF_Asia_seminar_summary_30sept2011.pdf.
Estonian Development Fund will maintain this document as an open discussion paper, and welcomes all comments and reactions to the ideas raised in it to e-mail siim.sikkut[A]arengufond.ee.
The seminar was led and facilitated by global futurist and Asia strategy expert Rohit Talwar, CEO of Fast Future Research. Mr Talwar and his team also prepared a set of four possible scenarios for Asia’s development over the next decade to inform the discussion. These scenarios are included in the discussion paper. To discuss the scenarios, feel free to contact Rohit Talwar at rohit[A]fastfuture.com.
A videocast of Rohit’s presentation at the seminar and the slides can be viewed at http://www.arengufond.ee/eng/videocasts/videocast2054.
Further information: Siim Sikkut, Economic Expert at Estonian Development Fund, siim.sikkut[a]arengufond.ee
Estonian Development Fund is a foresight think-tank and venture capital fund established by Riigikogu with the aim of opening up future opportunities for the Estonian economy and investing into innovative and ambitious Estonian technology companies. Future of economic relations between Estonian and Asia is one of the foresight topics for Estonian Development Fund in 2011.
Ott Pärna: A good time to change the league
Ott Pärna, CEO of the Estonian Development Fund, writes that Estonia is in a sufficiently good state to break free from the role of Scandinavia’s small brother. We could become an important international hub around the Baltic sea and Scandinavia and for that purpose we have to find our own growth areas like the film industry in Hollywood and the design industry in South Korea.
We are currently in an interesting situation in Estonia in regard to setting new meaningful objectives. On the one hand, we are located in the periphery of the European Union and next to Russia; on the other hand, we are part of the Nordic region, a region where most of the newest technologies in Europe are developed, where financial discipline is good and which is likely to become for example together with Germany and Holland a new growth hub in Europe. It is ours to decide how important a role Estonia will play in all this.
We have overcome the crisis but still remain as “South Finland”. Currently, the highest level of our economy is to be a good service provider for Scandinavia but not an equal partner. However, we do not want to remain Scandinavia’s little brother. There are several countries in the world where almost half of their population of working age earn their living abroad and where the local economy enlivens once a year during the time of year-end celebrations when they come home to visit.
We are like a three-pronged fork: we have ambitious economic and social objectives, and we have good macroeconomic and budgetary policies, strong institutions, low levels of corruption and a state functioning based on the rule of law; at the same time, the complexity, strategic role and internationality of our businesses is very low. For example, the productivity of our exporting electronics industry is ten per cent of that in Sweden, the monthly average wages in our processing industry is considerably – below one thousand euro – and the largest portion of our exports is generated by around one hundred companies of which two thirds are controlled by foreign investors. Although the latter is not a bad thing, the complexity of the work they perform here is not decided here and it depends on how good the people we have here are.
How we emerge from this situation is one of the most important future issues for Estonia. A universal model does not exist on what to apply. OECD has made a very appropriate proposal in connection with state governance in Estonia in this year’s report, saying that Estonia has to tailor its development solutions itself.
To become a partner that is taken seriously in Scandinavia, we have to become a place where interesting and globally important things happen. The synonym for characterising hubs is energy and the key word is a fostering social and physical infrastructure. It is easier to become a hub for historic trading centres (e.g. London, Amsterdam and Hong Kong) or culturally and enterprisingly active regions (San Francisco, Copenhagen and Mumbai).
Hubs are attractive to a wide range of ambitious doers and world citizens. They include students and professors, businessmen and investors, persons involved in culture, physicians and scientists, architects and developers, professionals and bankers, conference and business tourists, but also marathon runners, shoppers and back-packers. Surveys have shown that a majority of very mobile employees choose their place of employment by the location, not the organisation or company. This is why modern-wise businesses choose their location by the region where their future employees would like to live. So, the film industry is concentrated in Hollywood, the design industry of the East and Southeast Asia in South Korea, etc. In this way, Estonia in future should become a hub for its own growth areas.
Now then, the area around the Baltic Sea needs a much more global and differently thinking hub but this will not develop by itself. Tallinn is a unique city where the largest cruise ships land almost in the centre of the city bringing tens of thousands of affluent clients to us every week without any special invitation. Presently, the height of our capacity is to sell them amber in the harbour kiosks. In ten, but why not already in five years, tourists from faraway countries should disembark their ship to go straight into a musical theatre, opera theatre, conference centre, top hotel, department store or casino. We have the clients today but as a country or a city we do not make a good sale, if expressed in the words of a businessman.
There are five perspectives from which to develop more specific solutions that can be highlighted based on the world’s experience, expert opinions and foresight of the Estonian Development Fund.
Firstly, there is experimental economic policy where for example instead of following a precise recipe the private and public sectors learn and experiment together. In order to find solutions for the exports of financial intermediation services for Estonia, we have launched FinanceEstonia.eu as a cooperative effort together with the private sector. This is a cooperative and voluntary platform of the private and public sector with more than 20 members to date, the objective of which is to introduce Estonian financial services and related support services to the international arena, to attract more international headquarters into Estonia, etc. The financial intermediation sector in Estonia accounts for around four per cent of the GDP of domestic market, which is quite optimal. We have still enough space for growth in this relatively high added value sector in regard to export markets, i.e. supporting our own companies in their effort to go to the world and developing it as a separate economic sector. We are about to launch a similar initiative called MedicineEstonia with the aim of developing the export of medical services, products and technologies.
There are several business areas in Estonia where by combining the knowledge and ambitions of the private and public sectors new competitive advantages can be found and very specific things can be made happen. The mentioned sector may be green economy, international trade and logistics but also agriculture and processing industry, to mention more traditional sectors. No matter in which area we want to become an important doer in the Baltic Sea region, we need a circle of partners from more distant markets. We have to be able to bring new quality and cooperative relations into this area.
Secondly, strategic growth areas. The general business environment has been quite well tuned in Estonia, meaning that it is hard to offer new universal arguments. In this respect, an effort to help a small country to the top resembles the task of the clocksmith who has to deal with a whole system comprising small details that have to function together. I mainly consider these details to be human capital, education and science, negotiation time of countries top leaders and state’s cooperative relations.
I have been often asked whether Estonia should set black and white sector focuses. My general opinion is still that it should not. Estonia is too small and the number of companies involved in one sector is too small to set very important educational and other priorities.
I also doubt the wisdom of prioritising the development of a narrow selection of basic technologies because it is very unlikely that we are able, according to the probability theory, to surpass countries that are 10, 100 and 1,000 times larger than we are in that our solution would make a scientific and business breakthrough in the world. This does not mean that we should not deal with basic technologies because this is the basis of world level science and higher education, and there are also some technologies witch are cross-disciplinary like ICT.
The growth areas in this respect are a symbiosis of the global demand and megatrends, the technological capacity of the country, the economic realities and ambitions at individual, company and state level. One example from the world is the clean tech and sustainable energy that have become one of the main investment targets of venture capitalists. The green industry offers growth opportunities for the processing industry, service industry and IT business in Estonia.
Similar opportunities are born from the wellness and health care economy that offer challenges that call for solutions in almost every sector of the economy. In principle, more than a half of Europeans are presently ready to consume health care services in a foreign country whereas only four per cent have actually done so. By 2050, more than half of the population of Finland and Sweden will be older than 65 years who in addition to medical services are active participants in the employment market and are sufficiently prosperous to use wellness and health care services. Why should Estonia not become a regional health care centre, or so-called HUB, which was one of the most ambitious visions that was developed from the export foresight projects of health care services by the Estonian Development Fund.
The third perspective involves the structural changes policy, which is in essence a set of different steps serving a common objective of updating the economy and moving towards business areas and functions that produce higher added value. The structural changes policy has four facets that all need attention: firstly, modern businesses are becoming more complex in the value chain; secondly, modern businesses move into more intricate sectors based on their experience (e.g. from oil shale to oil shale chemistry, from wood to forest machinery and forest chemistry); thirdly, the import of business areas and companies that provide higher added value through foreign investments; fourthly, the development of new and globally ambitious start-up companies from scratch, which is the function of the Development Fund today as a venture capital fund and in which Estonia has quite good success stories from all over the world to tell.
In the latter case the key issue for us is to figure out what to do to provide an environment where such companies could grow in Estonia and to ensure that their number is five or ten times larger than today. To that end, on the one hand, we need more business angles and capitalised venture capital funds; on the other hand, our smallness causes us to take a look abroad and attract strong start-up companies from there. Estonia already has a set of arguments to become the Start-Up Nation in this region but this requires at least ten years of continuous work – it has taken more than 50 years to build Silicon Valley.
The above introduces the fourth important topic, which is the cross-sectorial talent policy. The development trends in the world force us to believe that the global competition for quality employees – the war for talents – will become even more intensive. In such a situation, the educational system is not the sole place where one can seek solutions for the lack of labour force because faster and more flexible ways, such as the application of selective immigration policy, must be found.
The Estonian Development Fund came to similar conclusions in connection with the foresight of the usage of IT in increasing the competitiveness of the economy. We lack about 20,000 IT specialists on the employment market compared to the Nordic countries if we want to have a similar proportion to them in each sector of economy as in the Nordic countries. However fact is that less than four hundred students of IT specialities graduate every year.
We have to increase the volume, internalization and in certain areas the quality of IT education. Secondly, international interdisciplinary programmes must be initiated in the most important application areas of IT, such as energy, healthcare, logistics, etc., where around half of the students and professors participating are from outside Estonia. In the name of the new academic generations, we have to send our best students to the world’s leading IT universities and programmes to study. Fourthly, we have to find a way to solve the lack of IT specialists with selective immigration.
In order for our companies to develop and to ensure that we do not lose in the global talent rally, we need an integrated talent policy across policies areas and better-targeted talent pool management. We promise that the talent foresight launched by the Estonian Development Fund will prove necessary background information for Estonian national talent policy.
The fifth important topic is the understanding of the world’s development trends. Our success in the world directly depends on how much we know about the world. How well we understand the inevitable processes taking place in the world. I dare say that regardless of the bleak backdrop of the world economy and the future of the euro area there are many bright colours or trends in the world that are both challenges and great opportunities for fast companies and smart countries. In order to offer all Estonians a more structured overview of the plethora of opportunities in the world, the foresight team of the Estonian Development Fund leads the trends blog www.fututuba.ee. The blog introduces fresh surveys and stories on future workplaces, sprouting business opportunities, the future of energy sector, green economy, aging, distant markets, urbanisation, novel governance methods, foreign investments, consumption, migration, and more.
Now, the moment for Estonia has arrived and we just have to seize it. The world and Europe are experiencing several systemic crises and have to resolve many erroneous calculations and mistakes made in the past. Estonia on the contrary is in a quite good state to make a determined change of the league in the vortex of the changing world.
Article was published in newspaper "Postimees" (in Estonian) on 23-rd of September, 2011 and it is based on the speech given by Ott Pärna to the Estonian Parliament (22-nd of September, 2011).
FinanceEstonia hakkab edendama finantsteenuste eksporti
Täna asutatud avaliku – ja erasektori huve ühendav koostööprojekt FinanceEstonia, mille eesmärgiks on ühiselt edendada finantsteenuste, sellega seotud tugiteenuste ja tehnoloogiate eksporti Eestis.
FinanceEstonia ühe asutajaliikme, Arengufondi juhi Ott Pärna sõnul tegutsetakse selle nimel, et Eesti oleks tulevikus regiooni usaldusväärseim ja Euroopa Liidu jurisdiktsiooni piires innovatiivseim ärikeskkond rahvusvahelistel turgudel tegutsevatele finantsteenuste ning tugiteenuste ettevõtetele. “FinanceEstonia laiemaks ambitsiooniks on Eesti ärikeskkonna senisest sihipärasem ja aktiivsem turundamine rahvusvaheliste väike- ja suurettevõtete peakorteritele,” lisas Pärna.
FinanceEstonia asutajad, keda on kokku 19, lähtuvad arusaamast, et finants- ja sellega seotud äriteenuste rahvusvahelisemaks muutumine Eestis on eelduseks majanduse rahvusvahelistumisele tervikuna. Tugev ja rahvusvaheliselt sidus finantssektor tõstab Eesti ärikeskkonna konkurentsivõimet, toetab majanduse teiste teadmismahukate valdkondade arengut ning suurendab kokkuvõttes Eesti elanikkonna elatustaset.
Idee üks eestvedaja, Teenusmajanduse Koda, näeb Eesti finantsteenuste ekspordis ühte majanduskasvu vedurit. Teenusmajanduse Koja juhatuse esimehe Viljar Arakase arvates on Eestile heaks eeskujuks meie rikkamad, Skandinaavia naabrid. „Peame Skandinaaviamaade kõrval ise oma konkurentsieelised välja töötama ja me arvame, et Eestil on oluliselt rohkem potentsiaali kui olla lihtne allhankemaa. Finantsteenuste järele on järjest suurenev vajadus ja Eesti võiks olla üks vajaduse tagaja."
MTÜ-l FinanceEstonia on 19 asutajaliiget: Teenusmajanduse Koda, Eesti Arengufond, Eesti Fondihaldurite Liit, AS BaltCap, Cofi AS, Advokaadibüroo GLIMSTEDT OÜ, Aktsiaselts KIT Finance Europe, KPMG Baltics OÜ, NASDAQ OMX Tallinn Aktsiaselts, Optilogo OÜ, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Raidla Lejins & Norcous Advokaadibüroo OÜ, Rimess OÜ,
Advokaadibüroo SORAINEN, Advokaadibüroo VARUL AS, Ernst & Young Baltic AS, Advokaadibüroo Tamme Otsmann Ruus Vabamets OÜ, UniCredit Bank Eesti, Itella Info AS
MTÜ on avatud ka toetajaliikmetele, kes jagavad FinanceEstonia visiooni ja soovivad selle realiseerimisse panuse anda.
Toetajaliikmeks hakkamise soovi on juba avaldanud Eesti Pangaliit.
FinanceEstonia tekkimisele on pinnast ette valmistanud Teenusmajanduse Koja, riigiasutuste, Tallinna linna ja Targa Eesti Mõttekoja initsiatiivid ning Arengufonid seire Finantsteenused 2018.
Imre Mürk Arengufondi teenusemajanduse ekspert tel 5690 7627 imre.myrk[A]arengufond.ee
Mechanical Engineering Marketplace GrabCAD Raises $1.1M
TerchCrunch: Mechanical engineering community GrabCAD is announcing $1.1 million in seed funding today, from Matrix Partners, Atlas Venture, Next View Ventures and angels John McEleney, Alex Ott, Angus Davis and Jon Stevenson.
Founded in 2009, GrabCAD is like an oDesk or an eLance specifically for mechanical engineers, with the added benefit of offering a free CAD model library. Boston-based and with a development team in Estonia, the platform helps connect over 7,500 mechanical engineers with the manufacturers and product development companies that need them. The company has tripled the number of engineers in its community in the past month.
Co-founder Hardi Meybaum plans on using the money for expansion and hiring, ” Our plan is to be the biggest mechanical engineering team in the world.”
CrabCAD develops internet environment for CAD-engineers, designers and manufacturers to find and trade 3D engineering degines. GrabCAD grew from the Development Fund’s international business incubator SeedBooster.
Arengufond investeerib väike-tuulegeneraatorite arendajasse my!WIND
Eesti Arengufond ja kaasinvestor Sibo Invest OÜ tegid väiketarbijaile mõeldud tuulegeneraatorite arendajasse my!WIND OÜ-sse seemneinvesteeringu 34000 EUR.
Tegu on tuulegeneraatoriga, mis sobib hästi suvilatesse või maakohtadesse, kus põhivõrguga liitumine võib osutuda kalliks. Esimene my!WINDi mudel on nominaalvõimsusega 5 kW, plaanis on juba ka järgmised mudelid, võimaliku võimsusega 2 kW ja 10 kW.
17-20. märtsil 2011 demonstreeris my!WIND OÜ oma generaatorit Saksamaal Husumis toimunud New Energy messil, kus potentsiaalsetelt klientidelt ja edasimüüjatelt saadud vastukaja oli positiivne. Klientidele imponeeris my!WIND OÜ lahenduse originaalne, kuid lihtne konstruktsioon, kerge kaal ja ülimalt konkurentsivõimeline hind. Aprillis on my!WIND OÜ generaator esitlusel Eesti ettevõtete ühisstendil Hannoveri tehnoloogiamessil.
my!WIND OÜ on asutatud Arengufondi investeerimisportfelli kuuluva suurklientidele suunatud ettevõtte Goliath Wind tegevjuhi Lars Mach’i eestvedamisel, et täita ka jaeklientide niši nagu suvilate ja maakodude omanikud. My!WIND generaatori eelis paljude seni turul saadaolevate väikegeneraatorite ees on originaalne konstruktsioon, mille tõttu on generaator lihtsama ehitusega, vastupidav, minimaalse hooldusvajadusega ja väga konkurentsivõimelise hinnaga.
Professor Ed Spooneri (Durhami ülikool, UK) loodud ja TTÜ doktorand Ants Kallaste edasiarendatud originaalset elektromagneetilist lahendust kasutades disainis esimese my!WIND OÜ generaatori insener Ott Pabut. Generaatori laboritestid viidi läbi TTÜ teadlaste poolt. Lars Mach’i kinnitusel loodetkase juba 2011 suvel loodetakse esimesed my!WIND OÜ turbiinid välitestimiseks püsti panna ning seejärel käivitada seeriatootmine.
Arengufondi investeeringute eksperdi Indrek Kelderi sõnul on my!WIND OÜ Arengufondi portfellis erandlik ettevõte. “Ei juhtu just sageli, et ettevõtte asutamisest kuni tootmisküpse ja konkurentsivõimelise prototüübini liigutakse niivõrd kiiresti. Parimaks kinnituseks ettevõtte potentsiaalile on mitmed reaalsed ostusoovid nii messilt kui ka ettevõttest mujalt kuulnud inimestelt – kusjuures ettevõte pole täiemahulise turundus- ja reklaamikampaaniaga veel alustanudki,” on Indrek Kelder my!WINDi edus kindel. Eesti
Arengufond on ellu kutsutud Riigikogu poolt, et teostada tulevikuseiret ja investeerida uut moodi mõtlevatesse ambitsioonikatesse Eesti ettevõtetesse. Kohaliku riskikapitalituru elavdamiseks otsib Arengufond projektidesse alati ühe või mitu kaasinvestorit, kellega investeeritakse ettevõtetesse võrdsetel tingimustel.
Indrek Kelder, Eesti Arengufondi investeerimisekspert, tel 616 1083, indrek.kelder[A]arengufond.ee
The Estonian Development Fund calls on entrepreneurs, decision-makers and universities to discover business opportunities in India
The Estonian Development Fund and the Embassy of India in Helsinki have launched a background study to find out Estonian-Indian business opportunities and develop a contact network that could facilitate further cooperation between public and private organizations of the two countries.
The ascent of Asia in world economy is apparent. However, the meaning of this megatrend for Estonia has not been fully acknowledged. The aim of the yearlong foresight project is to generate India-related knowledge and create a discussion-platform through relevant forums and seminars for Estonian entrepreneurs, decision-makers and experts from public sector that would help them to gain deeper insight into Indian economy.
Mrs Kitty Kubo, the Head of Foresight Division of the Estonian Development Fund: “In Estonia, knowledge about the development of the Indian economy and the opportunities it offers is random and fragmented. I am certain that India holds considerably more to agile Estonian entrepreneurs, than has been realized today. In order to take part in the growth opportunities that distant markets with high growth present, it is about time to learn more about them.”
The project also works the other way around by building the rationale for Indian businesses to choose Estonia as a partner and investment opportunity in Europe. “Indian growing investments in Nordic IT-companies indicate that Indian global firms have a pretty good understanding of the region. Now we also need to place Estonia in that picture,” Kitty Kubo explained the importance of the project.
Hence, the Development Fund calls on those who are interested to discover new opportunities in India, or who already have an experience with doing business in India, to let us know. The Estonian-Indian background study also contributes to achieving the Estonian government’s Asia-related goals.
The official Estonian exports and foreign investments action plan - Made in Estonia – points to the necessity to gain and develop more expertise concerning rapidly growing Asian economies. In the same vein, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications is working on a long-term Asia strategy.
The current foresight project should also provide decision-makers in foreign ministry and Enterprise Estonia with arguments to make decisions on representing Estonia’s economic interests in India.
Estonian Development Fund, Head of Foresight Division, Kitty Kubo, phone +372 6161 100, kitty.kubo[A]arengufond.ee
Indian Embassy in Helsinki: Ambassador Shri Aladiyan Manickam, amb.helsinki[A]mea.gov.in
Development Fund invests in the mobile payment solution business
Estonian Development Fund together with private co-investors invest 1.5 million EUR in the Estonian firm NOW! Innovations Ltd., which develops mobile payment solutions.
NOW! Innovations has developed a payment platform for parking and other purposes, already operational in a number of countries. The company’s main market is the United States, where the ParkNOW! mobile parking service is among the market leaders. The largest client is Montgomery County in Greater Washington D.C., which is also with more then 14 000 parking spaces the second largest mobile parking installation anywhere in the U.S. New installations are pending in a number of other markets, including Russia, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Mexico, and Singapore.
According to Heidi Kakko, Head of Investment Division at the Estonian Development Fund, the mobile parking market is still in the early development stages in most markets, unlike in Estonia and a few other European countries, where up to 90% of all parking sessions are paid with a mobile phone. “We believe that the markets will be divided during the next five years. The biggest winners will be the companies with experience, offering a Solution as a Service. We bet on NOW! Innovations with its top quality platform and experience to become the market leader in the U.S. market. The size of the parking market in North America and Europe only is estimated at 65 billion dollars.”
Kalju Rüütli, CEO and one of the founders of NOW! Innovations, adds “The ParkNOW! platform was built based on years of experience of providing IT services to large telecommunications companies and working together with major international parking operators. The platform is highly modular and flexible, thanks to which it was for example very smooth to adapt it to NFC technology.”
NOW! Innovations was established in 2003, and it specializes on solutions for issuing mobile permits and tickets. It is among the five leading providers of mobile parking solutions in Europe and America. Last year it was selected the 13th most outstanding company in the world by Guidewire Group, a global market intelligence and advisory firm
Estonian Development Fund has been established by the Estonian Parliament for promoting foresighted projects and investing in innovative ambitious Estonian technology enterprises. NOW! Innovations is the 12th investment in their portfolio.
Kalju Rüütli NOW! Innovations, CEO, phone +372 5505 724, kalju.ruutli[A]nowinnovations.com
Heidi Kakko Estonian Development Fund, Head of Investments, + 372 5624 9959, heidi.kakko[A]arengufond.ee