Nordic Ninja invests in Lithuanian urban logistics platform Ziticity

NordicNinja VC has made a seed investment in Ziticity, Lithuanian last-mile delivery service. The investment was made together with Superhero Capital VC (FIN), Practica Capital (LT) and Superangel VC (EE) to fund Ziticity’s expansion in Europe.

Founded in 2017, Ziticity empowers local business owners to compete with Amazon dominance by providing the platform for affordable same-day deliveries. With an on-demand solution, local e-shops and restaurants can optimize and distribute deliveries in real-time without usual distribution centers and paying high commission fees to shipping companies or food delivery platforms.

According to Ziticity’s data, 60% of last-mile deliveries are within a five-kilometer radius from pickup to the drop-off location. Short delivery distances widen the possibility for couriers to use any means of transportation including cars, bicycles, e-scooters, etc.

Since its launch, Ziticity has been a success in France and the Baltics, used by over 220 companies like Telia, Tele2, Pizza Hut, and Euroapotheca pharmacies’ network. Thanks to urban batching logic, the reached average delivery time is 42 minutes and couriers are able to complete 4-6 deliveries per hour. This keeps prices affordable to the shopper, while couriers are able to earn +15% more per hour than in competing platforms.

The company has been steadily growing 22% month over month ever since the launch with a sharp 44% revenue increase during COVID-19.

“Local e-commerce cannot compete on product price with Amazon and Alibaba. To have a fighting chance with global tech giants that are building monopolies in e-commerce and restaurant delivery space, we have been able to build a direct service for local merchants to compete locally,” says Laimonas Noreika, the founder and CEO of ZITICITY who built the company out of personal frustration.

“The delivery industry is expected to increase dramatically and 2.1 billion people are expected to buy goods online by 2021. On top of that, current global pandemic changes people’s behavior and habits – how they buy, sell and eat – at an unprecedented rate of change. We believe that Zitycity’s solution is a kind of silver lining approach for the industry and end-users which need to adjust for new normal,” added Tomosaku Sohara, Managing Partner at NordicNinja VC.

After successful piloting, Ziticity is preparing for entering several countries in Europe.

About Ziticity
Ziticity helps local merchants to compete with Amazon and Alibaba dominance by providing affordable same-day deliveries. Zitycity connects their e-commerce stores with urban hubs, optimizes routes and distributes heavy-batched deliveries to on-demand couriers for maximum efficiency. www.ziticity.com

About NordicNinja VC
NordicNinja VC is an official auxiliary name of JB Nordic Ventures Oy, which is a Helsinki-based joint venture by JBIC IG Partners and BaltCap. JB Nordic Ventures provides investment advisory to JB Nordic Fund I SCSp.

NordicNinja VC invests in Logmore


NordicNinja VC together with Icebreaker VC (FIN), Trind Ventures (EST), Tekton Ventures (USA), and Jaakkoo-Taara (FIN) has made a series A investment in Logmore, the Finnish data logging pioneer. 150+ quality management teams across food, pharma, and electronics industries use Logmore’s groundbreaking data logging service to monitor and control quality of goods in their supply chains.

Since the launch in March 2019, Logmore has quickly been adapted by 150+ enterprises’ quality management teams with an increasing demand. The fresh capital injection will allow Logmore to scale up operations and meet the strong demand for its services in North America, Asia, and Europe. Logmore had previously raised €1.3 million in funding for developing their innovative subscription-based service.

“It wasn’t long ago since Logmore was just a lone woodchopper’s idea. After launching the service, we’ve been working hard to make critical shipment condition monitoring such as temperature monitoring of food and pharmaceuticals easy, efficient, and reliable. We are very excited to bring transparency and security into the global supply chains,” says Janne Juhala, the co-founder and CEO of Logmore.

Shipment condition monitoring such as temperature monitoring of food and pharmaceuticals is crucial for global logistics. Logmore ensures the quality of goods with a seamless cloud service built around the novel dynamic QR code tags. The tags measure temperature, humidity, light, shocks, and tilt. Each new measurement refreshes the QR code to embed the data into it. The service allows quality management teams to monitor their shipments all the way to the users, which is especially useful for home deliveries. Logmore is used by variety of enterprises from industries including logistics, pharmaceuticals, electronics, and food industries.

“QR technology was invented in Japan and has been used for contactless payment for years. Logmore has taken this technology to the next level to ensure the quality of deliveries,” said Tomosaku Sohara, Managing Partner of NordicNinja VC. “We’re looking forward to supporting the company as they scale up globally.”

Data is retrieved by simply reading the QR code with any smart devices. Data is automatically saved to the Logmore cloud platform which allows managing and monitoring quality of fleets of all sizes. Unlike the competing Bluetooth / USB solutions, Logmore requires no specific technology from recipients and can be used also in airborne supply chains.

“Logmore takes proven technologies including QR code, electronic paper, sensors, and cleverly combines them with a seamless cloud-based data logging service,” said Rainer Sternfeld, Managing Partner of NordicNinja VC.

Logmore plans to use the new funding to expand their operations aggressively worldwide with emphasis on opening new offices and recruiting teams in both North America and Asia, in addition to expanding their team in Finland during 2020. The expansion will enable even better support to the wide variety of quality management teams in need of condition monitoring.

ABOUT LOGMORE
Logmore is a logistics data company providing condition and quality monitoring solutions fit for all supply chains. Logmore QR tag is equipped with accurate built-in sensors and enough internal memory for over 20 000 measurements. The amount of measurements stored in the cloud is unlimited.

ABOUT NORDICNINJA VC
NordicNinja VC is an official auxiliary name of JB Nordic Ventures Oy, which is a Helsinki-based joint venture by JBIC IG Partners and BaltCap. JB Nordic Ventures provides investment advisory to JB Nordic Fund I SCSp.

NordicNinja VC invests in Sensible 4

NordicNinja VC together with ITOCHU, one of the largest Japanese trading companies, has made a series A investment in Sensible 4, a Finnish autonomous driving technology pioneer.

The Finnish technology startup specializes in autonomous driving software for demanding and harsh weather conditions. Challenging weather and limited sensor visibility have long been a problem for driverless vehicles. The company’s solution — which is first in allowing for self-driving in snow, fog and heavy rain — has attracted growing attention from major automotive players since the startups’ inception in 2017.

“We are very proud to have such strong investors joining Sensible 4 as shareholders. We are still one of the few companies in this field that can drive autonomously in all weather conditions. With the investment we will be able to develop the technology to a level that allows us to integrate this to commercial use,” says Harri Santamala, co-founder and CEO of Sensible 4.

In 2019 Sensible 4 released the autonomous shuttle bus GACHA in cooperation with Japanese retail company MUJI, which has sparked significant interest in Japan. The company is already one of the most well-known Nordic startups in the country. GACHA has won the “GOOD DESIGN GOLD AWARD” – the number one recognition for design in Japan as well as the prestigious Beazley Designs of the year award in the Transport category at the Design Museum in London.

The first phase of the investment round before commercial production is now completed. The total round is expected to double and to be completed by the summer. The funding will be used to further develop the software and part will be used to build more GACHA busses, which aims to enter the Japanese and Chinese market at the end of the year.

“The global autonomous driving solutions still struggle to work in particular conditions like heavy snow, fog or typhoons. Sensible 4’s approach based on their long-term research for autonomous driving is totally different from other existing approaches. Their unique technology enables any kind of autonomous vehicle to drive anywhere and anytime. We are so excited to make this dream reality together with the “dream team” of autonomous driving vehicles,” says Tomosaku Sohara, Managing Partner at NordicNinja VC.

“We are very pleased to partner with Sensible 4 which provides with a unique LiDAR-based software built with state-of-the-art sensor fusion technology that makes self-driving cars operate safely in all weather conditions. Amidst the rapid advance of the progress and spread of 5G network worldwide, we believe Sensible 4’s self-driving technology will for sure contribute to developing mobility of the future with global auto manufacturers. In addition, we are very happy with the alliance with Sensible 4 and NordicNinja VC since it will also strengthen the close relationship between Itochu and Finland,” said Shunsuke Noda, Chief Digital & Information Officer at Itochu.

Sensible 4’s growth is a result of industry collaboration with top automotive companies as well as funding from European and Finnish governmental grants and loans. “Our Finnish engineering hearts are overwhelmed with the positive feedback we’ve received for our technology from Asia, especially after our cooperation announcements with MUJI and Softbank’s SB Drive. With the investment we will be able to react and build on this interest with a much faster pace,” says Santamala.

ABOUT SENSIBLE4
Sensible 4 is a Finnish technology startup developing software for autonomous vehicles. Their entirely in-house developed software allows for complete automation of vehicles. Sensible 4’s unique combination of LiDAR-based software and sensor fusion makes self-driving cars able to operate in even the most challenging weather conditions. The company is a spin-off from one of the first mobile robotics research groups in the world and is backed up by more than 30 years of experience in the field.

ABOUT NORDICNINJA VC
NordicNinja VC is an official auxiliary name of JB Nordic Ventures Oy, which is a Helsinki-based joint venture by JBIC IG Partners and BaltCap. JB Nordic Ventures provides investment advisory to JB Nordic Fund I SCSp.

NordicNinja’s first healthtech investment – Combinostics

NordicNinja VC,  together with Industrifonden and existing shareholders has made a series A investment in Combinostics, a Finnish healthtech company developing software platform for early-stage Alzheimer’s diagnosis. This is the first healthtech investment by NordicNinja VC.

ABOUT COMBINOSTICS
Combinostics was founded in 2014 in Tampere, Finland. Combinostics’ mission is to support healthcare professionals in the diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases with the overall goal to improve quality of life in later years. Their cNeuro platform combines imaging data with clinical data and provides an intuitive and holistic view of patient data that highlights important relationships early on and supports early diagnosis. Their users include radiology and neurology departments in the EU, US, Japan, and South Korea. For more information, visit combinostics.com

ABOUT NORDICNINJA VC
NordicNinja VC is an official auxiliary name of JB Nordic Ventures Oy, which is a Helsinki-based joint venture by JBIC IG Partners and BaltCap. JB Nordic Ventures provides investment advisory to JB Nordic Fund I SCSp.

Rainer Sternfeld joins NordicNinja VC as Managing Partner

Leading Estonian entrepreneur and technology executive returns from Silicon Valley to help build a bridge between Japan and the Nordic-Baltic region, by investing in mission-driven companies with cutting edge technology in mobility, healthcare, energy, insurance, robotics, AI, geospatial, and climate risk. Prior experience as General Manager of Trusted Data Platforms at Intertrust Technologies and founder of Planet OS, and experience in international organizations a key asset.

Rainer Sternfeld, an Estonian entrepreneur and technology executive, is joining NordicNinja VC’s partnership. Rainer has extensive experience in building data-driven technology businesses, and working with diverse cultures between Silicon Valley, Europe, and Japan. Before joining NordicNinja, Rainer served as General Manager and Vice President of Trusted Data Platforms at Intertrust Technologies, where he helped to launch the Intertrust Modulus Trusted Data Rights Management Platform, and focused on ecosystems in renewable energy, parametric insurance, and climate risk. In 2012, Rainer founded and led Planet OS, a leading geospatial big data company focused on interoperability, virtualization, and analytics of distributed data sets until its acquisition by Intertrust in 2017. Prior to founding Planet OS, Mr. Sternfeld led new business initiatives and operations of ABB Baltic States, including designing the world’s first nationwide fast-charging infrastructure for electric cars, deployed in Estonia.

“We are pleased to welcome Rainer as a Managing Partner at NordicNinja, where he will focus on building heart-to-heart relationships between Japan and the Nordic-Baltic region,” said Tomosaku Sohara, NordicNinja’s Managing Partner, adding: “His expertise in building data-driven businesses and his Silicon Valley experience is extremely valuable, and has a wide network around the world to help our portfolio companies take their businesses to a global market.”

Rainer has extensive experience in international organizations, serving on the Board of Directors of the World Ocean Council, as a contributor at the White House Open Data Roundtable. Mr. Sternfeld is a 2017 Millennium Fellow at the Atlantic Council, an advisor to the early angel fund Superangel, hosts a regular podcast “Global Estonians”, and is a Board Director at Eesti 2.0, a nonprofit dedicated to inspire and teach Estonian students to build companies and learn to program. He has co-designed the Statue of Liberty of Estonia, and holds a MS in Mechatronics from Tallinn University of Technology.

“NordicNinja represents the special relationship and mutual understanding between Japan and the Nordic-Baltic region, which has the drive, outstanding talent, and sense of purpose that can produce meaningful companies that benefit society,” Rainer said, adding: “While I will miss my Intertrust family, I am excited to be working with the newly-formed NordicNinja team on this mission.”

Rainer will split his time between NordicNinja’s hubs in Tallinn, Stockholm, and Helsinki, and will travel frequently in the Nordics and the Baltics, to meet and work with entrepreneurs in this vibrant and innovative region.

About NordicNinja VC

NordicNinja VC started with over 100 million euros in January 2019 and is backed by Japanese blue-chip companies, Honda, Omron, and Panasonic, as well as the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. It aims to support scale-up goals in the Nordic and Baltic region through supporting the region’s startups expand into and develop business opportunities in Japan. NordicNinja VC is an official auxiliary name of JB Nordic Ventures Oy, which is a Helsinki-based joint venture by JBIC IG Partners and BaltCap. JB Nordic Ventures provides investment advisory to JB Nordic Fund I SCSp.

For more information:

Claes Mikko Nilsen
Investment Director
Nordic Ninja VC
+358 5049 13001
claes.mikko@nordicninja.vc

NordicNinja VC invests into Einride – the world’s first Transport as a Service solution

NordicNinja VC has made a series A investment in Einride, a Swedish company developing an autonomous electric transport system, together with EQT Ventures fund (“EQT Ventures”). Other investors joining the round include Ericsson Ventures, Norrsken Foundation, Plum Alley Investments and Plug and Play Ventures.

Einride was founded in 2016 by Robert Falck, Filip Lilja and Linnéa Kornehed. Einride develops intelligent transportation solutions – sustainable, cost-effective and safe – and has gained global recognition for the Pod, the first truck specifically designed for electric propulsion and autonomous driving. This March, the Swedish Transport Agency concluded that the Einride Pod is able to operate in accordance with Swedish traffic regulations and approved Einride’s application to expand the pilot to a public road, which it did in May in collaboration with its customer and partner DB Schenker. Einride has ambitious plans to expand their business globally.

Our ambition is to disrupt the transport industry and closing our series A brings us one step closer to that goal. The funding will allow us to start expanding in the US, deliver on our technology road map and to meet rapidly increasing customer demand,” says Robert Falck, CEO & founder of Einride.

“Einride’s solution in transportation solves the environmental, safety and manpower problems that have haunted the industry for years. Moreover, their fleet system has a unique potential to make long distance ground transport as reliable as water. This is truly revolutionary,” says Marek Kiisa, the Managing Partner of NordicNinja VC.

“Nowadays the road freight industry faces a lot of difficulty including driver shortage and it is forced to be disrupted. We are deeply impressed with what the team of Einride has achieved and we believe that their solution is essential in this industry all over the world,” says Tomosaku Sohara, the Managing Partner of NordicNinja VC.

NordicNinja VC started with over 100 million euros in January 2019 and is backed by Japanese blue-chip companies Honda, Omron, and Panasonic, as well as the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. It aims to support scale-up goals in the Nordic and Baltic region through supporting the region’s startups expand into and develop business opportunities in Japan.

About NordicNinja VC

NordicNinja VC is an official auxiliary name of JB Nordic Ventures Oy, which is a Helsinki-based joint venture by JBIC IG Partners and BaltCap. JB Nordic Ventures provides investment advisory to JB Nordic Fund I SCSp.

About Einride

Einride was founded in 2016 by Mr. Robert Falck, Ms. Linnéa Kornehed and Mr. Filip Lilja. The company is a pioneer in AET (Autonomous Electric Transport) systems. Einride has achieved several world-firsts over the last years. In November 2018, the company joined forces with logistics company DB Schenker to start a commercial installation of an all-electric autonomous truck at a DB Schenker facility in Sweden. Earlier this year, the Einride pod became the world´s first autonomous all-electric truck to operate a commercial flow for DB Schenker with a permit on public road. The company has been globally recognized for its technology as well as the progressive design of transport vehicles. The Einride pods are designed for autonomous, all-electric which for an example means that the vehicles do not have a cab or room on board for human drivers.

Contact

Marek Kiisa
Managing Partner, NordicNinja VC

Tomosaku Sohara
Managing Partner, NordicNinja VC

Claes Mikko Nilsen
Investment Director, NordicNinja VC
claes.mikko@nordicninja.vc
(+358)504913001

NordicNinja VC invests in Bolt

Venture capital firm NordicNinja VC has invested into Estonian company Bolt, formerly Taxify.

Bolt is the leading European transportation platform that focuses on making urban travel easier, quicker and more reliable. Bolt launched in 2013 and is currently one of the fastest-growing transportation platforms in Europe and Africa with investors including Daimler, Didi Chuxing, Korelya Capital and TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus. The company has more than 25 million users in over 30 countries globally.

“We are extremely impressed by Bolt’s achievement in positioning the company as a leading ride-hailing platform and we will support the company to build the future of transportation in the world,” says Tomosaku Sohara, the Managing Partner of NordicNinja VC.

The €100 million NordicNinja VC started operating in January 2019 and is backed by Japanese blue-chip companies Honda, Omron, and Panasonic, as well as the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. It aims to support scale-up goals in the New Nordics (Nordic and Baltic region) through supporting startups expand into and develop business opportunities in Japan.

About NordicNinja VC

The official name of NordicNinja VC is JB Nordic Ventures Oy which is a Helsinki-based joint venture by JBIC IG Partners and BaltCap. JB Nordic Ventures provides investment advisory to JB Nordic Fund I SCSp.

For more information, please contact:

 

Tomosaku Sohara
Managing Partner
E-mail: tomosaku@nordicninja.vc
Website: https://nordicninja.vc

 

Claes Mikko Nilsen
Investment Director
E-mail: claes.mikko@nordicninja.vc
Phone: +358504913001
Website: https://nordicninja.vc

 

NordicNinja VC invests into FLEXOUND

The newly established venture capital firm NordicNinja VC has made a new investment into Finnish FLEXOUND – The Augmented Audio Company.

The company provides FLEXOUND Augmented Audio™ that adds the sense of touch to audio-visual listening experience — be it music, games, television, streaming or movies. Its proprietary technologies combine high-quality audio with physical sound wave vibration, creating a globally unique immersive experience. FLEXOUND attracts international business customers, especially from the automotive, aviation, and cinema industries. On 15 February 2019, it opened its first commercial movie theatre in Finland and further announcements are soon to come.

“When we started with our first therapy product Taikofon™ and then the home entertainment HUMU Augmented Audio Cushion™, we were constantly told that our technology should be embedded into cars and cinemas. And now we are doing exactly that. The investment and co-operation with NordicNinja enable us to grow faster within the target segments. FLEXOUND is disrupting audio by offering multiple benefits over traditional loudspeakers, for instance being very energy-efficient and light weight,” says Mervi Heinaro, the CEO and Co-founder of Flexound.

“We are extremely excited to accelerate the international growth of Flexound,” says Shinichi Nikkuni, a Managing Partner of NordicNinja VC. “There has been already a great amount of international interest towards the company especially from mobility and cinema sector,” adds Marek Kiisa, a Managing Partner of NordicNinja VC.

The €100 million NordicNinja VC started operating in January 2019 and is backed by Japanese blue-chip companies Honda, Omron, and Panasonic, as well as the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. It aims to support scale-up goals in the New Nordics (Nordic and Baltic region) through supporting startups expand into and develop business opportunities in Japan. The official name of NordicNinja VC is JB Nordic Ventures Oy which is a Helsinki-based joint venture by JBIC IG Partners and BaltCap. JB Nordic Ventures provides investment advisory to JB Nordic Fund I SCSp.

FLEXOUND Augmented Audio™ is designed and engineered in Finland. The multinational team started the work in 2015 to help autistic children by adding the sensation of touch to music. The versatile and globally unique technology can now be embedded into cinema, airplane or car seats, gaming chairs, cushions, furniture and more. The patented FLEXOUND Augmented Audio™ has won both hearts and awards internationally.

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Mervi Heinaro
Flexound, CEO and Co-founder
Phone: (+358) 405 531 000
E-mail: mervi@flexound.com

 

Shinichi Nikkuni
NordicNinja VC, Managing Partner
E-mail: shinichi@nordicninja.vc

 

Marek Kiisa
NordicNinja VC, Managing Partner
E-mail: marek@nordicninja.vc

NordicNinja VC’s first investment – MaaS Global

Today it was announced that the newly established venture capital firm NordicNinja VC has made its first startup investment into the Finnish all-in-one mobility service provider MaaS Global.

MaaS Global is behind the first all-inclusive MaaS solution commercially available on the market, mobility service application called Whim. Whim was launched in Helsinki in 2017 and has since then expanded into two other cities in Europe: Birmingham (UK) and Antwerp (BE). “People’s interest has surpassed our expectations and we have been able to prove the functioning of the service. We are now ready for global expansion,” says Sampo Hietanen, the CEO and Founder of MaaS Global.

MaaS Global has also been successful in gaining wide interest globally, including Japan where Whim is one of the best-known Finnish startup brands today. Thus, the investors include several Japanese ones as well. The company was the first one using the term Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) and offering an all-inclusive service of variety of transportation alternatives within one app including taxis, public transport, rental cars and bicycles.

“We are extremely excited to be part of the MaaS Global’s growth goals, as there was already a great amount of international interest towards the investment round,” says Tomosaku Sohara, the Managing Partner of NordicNinja VC.

The €100 million NordicNinja VC started operating in January 2019 and is backed by Japanese blue-chip companies Honda, Omron, and Panasonic, as well as the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. It aims to support scale-up goals in the New Nordics (Nordic and Baltic region) through supporting startups to expand into and develop business opportunities in Japan.


About NordicNinja VC

The official name of NordicNinja VC is JB Nordic Ventures Oy which is a Helsinki-based joint venture by JBIC IG Partners and BaltCap. JB Nordic Ventures provides investment advisory to JB Nordic Fund I SCSp.

About MaaS Global & Whim

MaaS Global is the world leader in the field of Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) with its award-winning Whim app which provides users all city transport services in one step. With over four million trips made since its launch in November 2017, Whim is the first all-inclusive MaaS solution commercially available on the market. Whim allows users to journey where and when they want with public transport, taxis, cars, and many other options, all under a single monthly subscription. Whim has revolutionized users’ travel habits, in favor of sustainable modes. MaaS Global was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland. The company is funded by Toyota Financial Services, Karsan Otomotiv, Transdev, Aioi Nissay Dowa, Denso and Veho, and the total amount of investments from previous rounds is €24.2 million.

https://whimapp.com/about-us/


For more information, please contact:

Claes Mikko Nilsen
Investment Director
E-mail: claes.mikko@nordicninja.vc
Phone: +358504913001
Website: https://nordicninja.vc

 

BaltCap about to establish a new €100m venture capital fund focusing on the Nordic and Baltic region

BaltCap together with JBIC IG Partners, a Japanese government backed private equity and venture capital firm, will establish a new €100m fund focusing on venture capital investments in the Nordic and Baltic region.

JB Nordic Ventures, 50/50 joint venture between BaltCap and JBIC IG, will focus on early stage investments into ICT/Deep Tech sectors, including Autonomous Mobility, Digital Health, AR/VR/MR, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and IoT.

The fund investors will include large Japanese technology corporations like Honda, Omron and others. The Fund will utilize global network in Tallinn, Stockholm, Helsinki and Tokyo and plans to start operating in Q1 2019.

“We are very pleased to see that the Nordic-Baltic region has emerged as one of the hottest venture capital areas in the world and we are excited to begin this new venture together with highly reputable Japanese investors,” says Peeter Saks, Managing Partner of BaltCap.

 

Additional information:

Peeter Saks
Managing Partner
Phone: +3726650285
peeter saks@baltcap.com
www.baltcap.com