Established in 2016, Maria 01's social impact has grown significantly over the years. In the last six years, the amount of funding for start-up campus companies has increased almost tenfold. According to Ville Simola, CEO of Maria 01, the aim is to quadruple the number of companies and people on campus in the coming years.
In the year Maria 01 was established, the start-ups raised a total of just under €26 million in funding. The amount has increased year on year, and last year for the first time it exceeded €200 million. Maria 01's funding pot has also grown steadily, as even the pandemic did not slow down the growth in fundraising. In its history, the campus has hosted just under 400 start-ups.
“Maria 01 has expanded and our start-up portfolio has grown over the years. The increase in total funding also reflects the quality of our member companies and the growing interest in the Finnish startup ecosystem as a whole,” says Ville Simola, CEO of Maria 01.
International venture capitalists' interest in Finnish innovations on the rise
The growth of Maria 01 is also due to the growing interest of international venture capitalists in Finnish innovations. According to the Finnish Venture Capital Association, in 2021 foreign venture capitalists will invest €553 million in Finnish startups. In total, 74% of all venture capital investments came from abroad.
Helsinki's attraction is reflected in, among other things a Startup Genome report, which shows that, in the global ranking of start-up ecosystems, Helsinki is behind only London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam and Stockholm.
The start-up ecosystem is already making a big impact on the Finnish economy, and it could be even bigger in the future. According to the Finnish startup community, Finnish startups will generate €3.4 billion in revenue in 2021, and the current trend forecast suggests that the figure could be as high as €15 billion in 2030.
“Entrepreneurship and its promotion of the future of Finland, and Maria 01 will contribute to the development of this ecosystem. We will further increase our impact as a leading player in growth entrepreneurship and the entire innovation ecosystem in Finland and abroad,” Simola continues.
Last year, the biggest funding round was organised by Maria 01 alumni company, Swappie, an online shop for refurbished phones. The second largest round was organised by real estate technology company Rive and the third largest by customer service AI company Ultimate AI.
The aim of the Helsinki City Strategy is to strengthen the business and innovation environments that support the competitiveness of Helsinki's companies. The key is to ensure that Helsinki remains an attractive place for talent and businesses. The city aims to strengthen and develop its status as one of Europe's best innovative environments, start-up hubs and hotbeds of business opportunity. The Maria 01 start-up campus will continue to play an important role in this work.