Survey results rate Finnish Industry Investment as flexible and professional

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he first survey carried out by the government-owned investment company Finnish Industry Investment Ltd (FII) to evaluate its activities indicates the company's investment policy is professional and flexible. Target companies, investment fund representatives and other stakeholders regard FII operations as professional venture capital activities and view the company as a reliable co-investor.

FII's Board of Directors decided last spring to conduct an evaluation focused on assessing the impacts of the company's operations. The evaluation assessed the impacts of Finnish Industry Investment Ltd's ten years of operation on the development of receiving companies, appraised the implementation and market-orientation of financing, and sounded out customers' opinions about the FII's activities. The results will be used to enhance the company's activities and operations.

The mission of Finnish Industry Investment Ltd, which is administered by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, is to promote the productization and commercialization of innovations by making capital investments in seed and growth stage enterprises, to stimulate the venture capital market, and to facilitate large investments, corporate restructuring and industrial projects through direct investments.

The evaluation indicates that Finnish Industry Investment's role has grown and the company's operations have compensated for market failures, especially in its early seed stage venture capital activities. Finnish Industry Investment's operations are market-based and its financing focuses on corporate activities that viably support profitable growth.

"Projects are not launched purely with government money. FII requires private investors to at least match the funding," stresses Managing Director Juha Marjosola.

"The main message that the evaluation holds for us is that the operating model we have chosen is correct. The Seed Financing programme has been well received. In a year and a half, altogether 82 investment decisions have been made, worth a total of EUR 18.4 million. Co-investors with responsibility for the projects have always been involved."

In its recommendations, the evaluation points out that a future challenge is accurate targeting of further financing for companies, and selecting new companies for the Seed Financing programme. FII also invests in growth-stage companies. If no new funds enter the market, the company can invest directly in companies through financing programmes.

An important objective as FII's operations grow is to strengthen the network of co-investors. Furthermore, the evaluation recommends clarification of the distribution of tasks between public-sector players in early-stage financing.

The steering group for the evaluation comprised Counsellor Pertti Valtonen (Chairman) from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Financial Counsellor Carita Putkonen from the Ministry of Finance, and Hannele Pohjola, Chief Policy Advisor at the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK as well as Finnish Industry Investment Ltd's Managing Director Juha Marjosola, Director Henri Grundstén, Director Kimmo Viertola and Finance Director Marko Häikiö. The evaluation was conducted by Mari Hjelt and Juha Vanhanen, both Doctors of Science (Technology), from the public and private sector consultancy company Gaia Group Oy.

Finnish Industry Investment Ltd (FII)
is a government-owned investment company administered by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Founded in 1995, the company invests the proceeds accrued from the privatization of state-owned companies in promoting the growth and internationalization of Finnish businesses. Finnish Industry Investment Ltd is the leading seed capital investor in Finland. FII's investments and investment commitments amount to almost EUR 300 million. Finnish Industry Investment Ltd offers a wide range of investment services to assist stages of the target company's growth – from seed financing to start-up, through to early-stage growth, growth and internationalization. FII's financing services include Seed Financing, Growth Financing, Change-of-Generation and Corporate Restructuring programmes and a new Spin-Off financing programme.

Further information

Juha Marjosola, Managing Director, Finnish Industry Investment Ltd,
mobile +358-50- 62 636,

Henri Grundstén, Director, Finnish Industry Investment Ltd,
mobile +358-50-431 0840,