Local insurance company as a springboard for international growth

Consumer targeting company Oikian Solutions Ltd from Oulu, Finland has received a substantial investment for an international expansion project from LocalTapiola Mutual Insurance Company. Other investors in the project are, among others, company’s previous investor Vision Plus as well as the company’s current shareholders. Investment will launch Oikian’s business to the international level, enabling the expansion of sales and marketing, both in Finland and abroad, and it allows Oikian to open a sales office in Spain.

However, all started very locally. A year ago, LocalTapiola North organized in innovation sprint to get new, innovative players to come up with new and better ways to safeguard and improve the quality of life of the customer of the insurance company. LocalTapiola rewarded Oikian for a good idea to activate and serve people with accurately targeted notifications to mobile phones. ”The innovation sprint was very successful and we got many more good concrete ideas than we thought originally,” LocalTapiola North Vice President Ilkka Herva says and continues, ”We went ahead immediately with the solutions from Oikian and it gave us practical customer experience for development of a tool, which will enable us to provide tips to our customers for safeguarding and enhancing their lives at the right time and the right place. And at the same time, we have been able to showcase activities of a local growth company more clearly.” When Oikian and LocalTapiola had begun their cooperation, discussions revealed Oikian’s international business growth opportunities, as well as LocalTapiola’s intent to investment in various Finnish companies. “We were surprised when LocalTapiola, as a large nationwide company was interested to invest in a small local growth company. This shows how exceptionally well LocalTapiola, as a locally operating nationwide insurance company, can understand and support the local players”, says Mikko Lietsalmi, CEO of Oikian Solutions Ltd. LocalTapiola’s Chief Investment Officer Juha Malm continues, “In recent years we have made investments increasingly in Finnish growth companies and have funded Finnish companies. Oikian’s project for strong international growth appeared as an excellent investment opportunity and because also the LocalTapiola North was very pleased with Oikian, we decided to make an investment in the project.” As LocalTapiola and Vision Plus, that had already previously invested in Oikian, had decided to invest in the growth initiative and also the company’s current shareholders were involved in the project, the funding round began to fill fast, now approaching the objective of the financing round of EUR 1,000,000.

“You could say that so far we have competed in a regional league but, through the growth project enabled by the investment, we will jump directly to the international league. In recent years, we have done market studies and pilot projects in England and Spain. Now we can increase the sales and marketing operations to a level where it should be for an international growth company. Without LocalTapiola’s investment this would not be possible,” Mikko Lietsalmi of Oikian tells. Oikian has already started recruitment of sales staff and this year it will also open a sales office in Spain. During the growth project Oikian will expand its partner network and improve its support functions. ”In two years, we will be a significant European mobile marketing and targeting system supplier and our turnover has increased in many fold,” says Mikko Lietsalmi about the company’s goals.

“We gladly contribute to helping and supporting the internationalization of Finnish companies,” Juha Malm of LocalTapiola says and continues, “In this way, for our part, we are helping in improving the competitiveness and prosperity of Finland.”

Additional information

Mikko Lietsalmi, CEO, Oikian Solutions Oy, tel. +358 40 501 3804

Juha Malm, Chief Investment Officer, LocalTapiola General Mutual Insurance Company, tel. +358 50 594 3473

Ilkka Herva, Business Area Director, LocalTapiola North, tel. +358 40 587 7467

LocalTapiola media telephone, Tel. +358 40 183 5806 (Mon-Fri 9-16)

 

About Oikian

Founded in 2011, Oikian Solutions Ltd is an international thought leader on mobile marketing business and technologies. Oikian provides a mobile marketing platform that offers turnkey solutions to consumer targeting. Oikian empowers retailers and media companies to build loyalty and engage their consumers through personalised and targeted ads, which increases conversions and footfall.