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Dreaming big with Frontier in Southeast Asia
Finnish startup investor company Frontier heads to Singapore
Lähi-itään laajentava Tribe Studios sai sijoituksen
Finnish studio Koukoi Games bags $1M seed funding from Frontier Singapore partners
Lessons from Finland's startup world
Singaporean arm of Frontier leads US$1.12M investment in Finnish gaming startup
Koukoi Games Launches Its First Game, Crashing Season, to Global Markets
Oulu, Finland: Koukoi Games from Oulu, Finland, has worked on their first game since mid-2015 and is now ready to launch the game all around the world, although China and Japan will be receiving special editions of the game at a later date. The game is called Crashing Season, a non-stop arena runner where the player will crash into enemies using different animal characters, while using and upgrading little helpers and character-specific special abilities. The game has award winning low poly styled 3D graphics and artwork and it is free to download from Google Play and App Store for mobile devices.
In Crashing Season evil hunters and their bosses have destroyed the money vault of the animals in their quest for world dominance. Players’ goal is to survive for as long as possible, complete challenges with multiple animal characters, fight against relentless hunters and challenging bosses, proceed to new exciting levels, and unlock wacky characters with unique abilities. They can also compete against other players in global leaderboards. The game also has a simple and fun multiplayer mode in it (to be added soon for iOS as well).
With Crashing Season Koukoi Games aims to create another success story from Finland and compete against the global giants. Koukoi Games sees that the best results are achieved by distributing its mobile games worldwide fast through global channels and partner networks.
Koukoi Games is a mobile game startup founded early in 2015 that focuses on producing mobile games with high production value and memorable gaming experiences. The team includes game business veterans, with employees from industry giants such as Rovio and Nokia. The company also acquired a funding of nearly 1 million dollars in 2015. Koukoi Games was founded by and around people who share a unique vision of what good games are and how they should be developed.
The game can be downloaded for iOS devices from iTunes:
The game can be downloaded for Android devices from Google Play:
About Koukoi Games and Crashing Season:
Contact person: Antti Kananen, Chief Executive Officer, +358 50 5719 735
Press kit: http://koukoi.com/press/
25 MAR 2016 / BY FRONTIERFI / LEAVE A COMMENT /
Frontier was featured in ScandAsia print and digital magazine on March 2016 issue. We were happy to be on the cover of the monthly magazine and the cover story of March 2016 issue!
DREAMING BIG WITH FRONTIER IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
In the Digital economy (or New economy), where disruptive innovations, start-ups and other service-oriented growth companies are increasingly dominating business, Asia is a market to be reckoned with, thanks partly to a blossoming entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region. Westerners, including of course many from the Nordic countries, enter here directly with their ideas, including as a first, international target, where Singapore is positioning itself as a hub and test market.
With a branch in Singapore Finnish-operated Frontier is there to assist with start-up funding, fundraising, and go-to-market consulting – focusing on Nordic companies.
With road shows to Singapore in store towards the spring, Chairman Mikko Silventola, as spokesperson for a trio of Finns, portrays the scene and Frontier’s services.
Singapore not to be missed
Frontier, its website presents, has since 2008 successfully helped over 100 Nordic companies to enter and grow business in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Frontier has helped many new Nordic ICT innovations to grow their markets abroad like: CreateTrips, Capricode and Piceasoft.
Mikko Silventola describes himself as a Finnish-born entrepreneur based in Singapore (since 2.5 years), who previously founded media publishing companies, sold them and moved to private equity and also helping other companies in going international. He moved to Singapore to set up Frontier, after having previously been based in Dubai to expand a media publishing company.
“The original story why I moved here is that I read a book by Singapore-based expat investor Jim Rogers. I thought that Singapore is next so I moved my family here, and also for the reason that Singapore is the gateway to Southeast Asia. Everything here is done by the book and with high standards, and we feel that Singapore is the best country in the world to do business. It may not be the largest market but the surrounding ones are amazingly huge, so it’s definitely a place not to be missed,” says Mikko.
Frontier has a team of 15 people, including in the Middle East, with the main management team consisting also of board member Dr. Jari Talvinen and the founder-CEO Timo Nurminen, aside Mikko.
“Now it’s mostly about helping other companies and investing into tech start-ups. Our big focus is on tech companies, but we also have more traditional cases and we’ve had clients ranging from start-ups to public companies.”
“Our clients are Nordic companies expanding to Southeast Asia and the Middle East, including also those looking to raise funds here. We have several clients from Norway, Sweden and Finland and have done quite many cases. Most companies are looking to grow or expand here, and some are looking for investors or seed funding.”
“There are so many good Nordic companies that see that their home market is not big enough and if Asia is their priority market it’s quite important to raise funds or find strategic investors from here that also can help their business grow,” explains Mikko and adds how important it is to partner with players like Frontier for this.
“We’ve built up the local knowledge and contacts, including partners in the surrounding countries that we always use in order to be able to raise funds and reach bigger deals.”
He describes the quality of start-ups coming from Finland, Sweden and Norway as “pretty good” and most of them are interested in coming also to emerging markets such as Southeast Asia.
Asian start-up investors
The Finn also believes that the opportunities here are increasing for local investment.
“The start-up movement is quite big also here in Singapore and every day the newspapers write about tech start-ups so everybody’s interested in them, and there’s, for good or for bad, quite a hype, leading more investment into start-ups.”
Significantly, for investment and innovations coming here from the Nordic countries, the trend is increasing to stake at such emerging markets directly, rather than building up a business carefully starting only locally.
“Today you just take Arlanda Express to the airport and then you can jump on a plane to Helsinki, or Singapore – where the surrounding markets are a bit bigger, and also the amount of capital that investors have is huge.”
When it comes to market importance Asia’s huge population makes it more important than the western.
And the start-up scene he thinks is pretty good and growing a lot, including good events both in Singapore as well as in Jakarta, Indonesia.
‘The quality is getting better all the time. Sooner or later we will see big start-ups and big valuations coming from Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia, also,” he predicts.
Hong Kong’s emerging start-up scene, he agrees, is also interesting.
“Hong Kong is the gateway to China, and yet a bit more western. Maybe what differentiates Hong Kong from Singapore is the short distance to main land China.”
But he thinks that might bring some risks.
“As a founder of something I would set it up in Singapore where everything is done by International Financing Reporting standards. This is the place to be.”
The Frontier chairman thinks Singapore is doing its best in setting up a business- and start-up friendly environment.
“And I feel that Singapore is led like a private company rather than a country and that’s a really good thing for the companies that are expanding here but it’s also a really good thing for the citizens because that’s how one should run a nation,” he says and gives a hint to where his home country should look for an example in order to improve its governance.
When it comes to improvements needed he comments: “I feel that Singapore still needs to see the big billion dollar exits from here to create more motivation for the entrepreneurs here but of course lots of new innovations are coming this way so you should just keep our eyes and ears open, talk to each other and exchange ideas.”
Frontier’s service is described as ‘no-nonsense market research reports but result-orientated hands-on approach and focus on sales.’
“Basically we try to be the partner from seed to exit, so we help our clients with the fundraising and then with going international and also hands-on sales development. Also, we have done quite many start-up investments by ourselves.”
To mention a few client cases, Frontier helped the crowdfunding platform Fundedbyme in setting up shop and raising capital from local investors, and Plantui smart garden in identifying Southeast Asian venture capital. They assisted Create Trips to close deals with many huge players in the travel industry in this region.
“Also we have several public companies using our service in expanding to Southeast Asia. We don’t always need or even want equity, but we always charge a retainer and a commission on the raised funds or provided services.”
“In the beginning we look at the team, which is the most important thing; the product comes second. And possibly there’s a patent and global potential that would strengthen our interest in investing. In many cases, we really enter in the early stage, so we are the advisers in the company, we raise the seed funding for them and then we help to do the Series A [first round of funding] and the following runs on that, as well as all the documents and action points when it comes to the exit.”
The Finnish mobile game start-up Koukoi Games is such a client, where Frontier as a partner assisted the first funding round with a yield of $1 million.
“We started helping them even before they had formed a company, as we really liked their team; they were a bunch of young, energetic and talented guys and girls, who used to work for bigger gaming companies and wanted to start something on their own. Currently we are talking to many Asian investors, for the Series A round with this company.”
“Also we’re talking with many game publishers and Asian partners who are looking for companies like Koukoi games in these markets – China in particular.”
“In the gaming industry you need lots of capital also for marketing, it doesn’t make you successful if you just publish the game,” he adds.
Their first gaming title called Crashing Season will be launched worldwide in the spring.
“It’s going to be an awesome game,” promises Mikko.
Asian markets for foreign mobile game companies are difficult to conquer, but together with Frontier Koukoi will be able to overcome this.
“Asia and China are amazingly huge market and should be a top priority market for any gaming development company or game publisher.”
This new start-up can also ride on the wave of other, successful gaming companies.
“Of course’s Rovio and Supercell are amazingly successful companies coming out from Finland. These examples are motivating so many entrepreneurs – not just specifically in the gaming sector but also in other fields – to dream big and try to achieve big goals. It’s really good for the Nordic start-up culture. And also those billion-dollar companies function as excellent motivation for Asian entrepreneurs to dream big.”
Start with an app
In other sectors large amounts are not necessarily needed, including for disruptive technologies.
“In the beginning you can just develop an app and start. It’s quite efficient and doesn’t require that much capital. There are many other important things in the beginning when it comes to the team and their motivation.”
Case in point, Mikko has invested in a Singaporean company called Sendhelper delivering cooks and maids for households: “They were growing quite fast without much capital and of course once you get the cash injection it gets you further much faster – but it’s not necessarily in the beginning that you get millions.”
Looking ahead, Frontier is launching three projects in the spring when it comes to helping out more on the go-to market side: within Cleantech, ICT and Education.
“These are or more like sales meeting trips for Nordic companies, where we only include ten companies into each programme. We will carefully investigate, based on the participating companies, who are the likely investors within each sector and look for those kinds of services and start dialogues, so that once the companies arrive here they have good opportunities to sign deals.
“For Cleantech Singapore 2016 we are collaborating with Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore. The reason for this project is that the Singapore government is currently investing 3 billion SGD this year on this sector, so it’s really relevant.”
Read the whole online story here: http://scandasia.com/dreaming-big-with-frontier-in-southeast-asia/
Thank you ScandAsia and Editor Joakim Persson!
ADELAIDE AUSTRALIA CAPRICODE CASE CLEANTECH CONNECT ÖST CONSTRUCTION DUBAI DUBAI EXPO 2020 EDUCATION EERO SEPPÄNEN FRONTIER GCC HEALTHCARE HOSPITAL ICT INTERNATIONALIZATION MEDICAL MEDKIT MEGA CITY METRO MIDDLE EAST MIKKO SILVENTOLA MOSQUE PARK PLAYING AREA RABIGH RECRUITMENT REIJA MILLNER RESIDENTIAL VILLA RIYADH ROOPE HEINILÄ SAUDI ARABIA SCHOOL SEED INVESTMENT SEED INVESTMENTS SINGAPORE SOUTHEAST ASIA STARTUP TELEFUUSIO TRIBE STUDIOS UAE WAREHOUSE WASTE ÅMAN-TOIVIO
Cleantech Singapore 2016
Frontier on mukana järjestämässä Cleantech Singapore 2016 -asiakastapaamismatkaa Singaporeen toukokuussa 2016.
Ohjelma ja matka järjestetään yhteistyössä SEAS:n eli Sustainable Energy Association of Singaporen kanssa. Lisätietoa partneristamme täältä: http://www.seas.org.sg
Kahden päivän matkaohjelman aikana tapaamme potentiaalisia asiakkaita Singaporesta ja Kaakkois-Aasiasta, matchaamme teidän yrityksen profiilin asiakkaisiin ja saamme kattavan katsauksen alan mahdollisuuksista.
Cleantech Singapore 2016
This programme is run over a 2 day period whereby the 1st day is the seminar and business to business matching. The 2nd day is whereby we then bring the Finnish companies to CleanTech One for a deeper dive into the work carried out by the research institutes in Singapore and then followed by a site visit.
As we have ran the programme successfully, we are able to match the companies to our members to ensure a good fit if they’re looking at a joint venture or through the seminar and the 2nd day events, we are able to give companies looking at exploring Singapore as their base to expand into the region.
For example, from the last 2 Italian events, we have Italian companies which have already set up an office in Singapore post event and there is constant contact between the Italian companies and potential partners in Singapore.
Prosessi etenee siten, että keräämme nyt kiinnostuneet suomalaiset yritykset mukaan projektiin. Kevään aikana teemme Singaporessa tarkempaa asiakaskohtaista myyntityötä, jotta edellytykset kaupallisesti onnistuneelle market entrylle ovat teille hyvät. Toukokuussa 2016 on fasiloitu myyntiorientoitunut matka Singaporeen, jossa tapaatte teille parhaimmat kumppaniehdokkaat ja tavoitteena on päästä joko sopimuksiin tai ainakin mahdollisimman pitkälle neuvotteluissa.
Projektin hinta on 14.300e per yritys. Hankkeessa on mahdollista hyödyntää Tekesin tai ELYn tukia ja tarvittaessa voimme sopia lisää tapaamisia teille kohdennettujen asiakkaiden kanssa.
Lisätietoa Tekesin Kansainvälisen kasvun suunnittelu rahoituksesta: http://www.tekes.fi/rahoitus/rahoitusta-yritysten-kehitysprojekteihin/kansainvalisen-kasvun-suunnittelu/
Lisätietoa Cleantech Singapore 2016 hankkeesta: Mikko Silventola, firstname.lastname@example.org, +6591222140
05 JAN 2016 / BY FRONTIERFI / LEAVE A COMMENT /
Frontier laajentaa rahoituksen haun palveluihin
Suomalaisten kasvuyritysten kehittyvien markkinoiden vientiprojekteihin sekä start-upien liiketoiminnan kehittämiseen erikoistunut yhtiö Frontier laajentaa jälleen toimintaansa ja tarjoaa palveluitaan rahoituksen hakuun.
Frontierin tavoitteena on olla Suomen merkittävin toimija start-upien ja kasvuyhtiöiden fundraising-kumppanina sekä tuoda selkeää lisäarvoa portfolioyhtiöidensä kansainvälistymiseen ja myyntityöhön kasvavilla alueilla. Referenssejä onnistuneista rahoituksen haku -ja kansainvälistymishankkeista löytyy jo useita kymmeniä ja olemme valmiita aktiivisella otteella tuomaan suomalaiset start-up sijoituskohteet Aasian, Lähi-idän ja Euroopan sijoittajien tietoisuuteen. Lähivuosina tuomme useita suomalaisia start-upeja Singaporeen ja suunnitteilla on myös start-upien Investor Road Show-alueelle.
“Olemme olleet jo yli 50 projektissa mukana ja isolla osalla asiakas –ja portfoliomme start-up-yrityksistä on nyt kasvuun vaadittavat resurssit käytössään. Usein start-up yrityksen toimitusjohtajan ja perustajien pääosallinen työaika menee rahoituksen hankintaan, näin ei tulisi olla vaan tulisi keskittyä olennaiseen eli yhtiön palveluiden ja tuotteiden myyntiin sekä kansainvälisten markkinoiden avaamiseen”, kertoo Frontierin hallituksen puheenjohtaja Mikko Silventola.
Mikko Silventola, hallituksen puheenjohtaja, +6591222140, email@example.com
Jari Talvinen, partner, +6590120674, firstname.lastname@example.org
Frontier on vuonna 2008 perustettu viennin edistämiseen ja kansainvälistymiseen erikoistunut yritys, joka on auttanut useita kymmeniä suomalaisia yrityksiä laajentamaan liiketoimintaansa kehittyville markkinoinnille. Frontier toimii lisäksi sijoittajana ja neuvonantajana kymmenissä start-up-yhtiöissä.
16 OCT 2015 / BY FRONTIERFI / LEAVE A COMMENT /
From Western Markets to Asian Markets
Koukoi Games, one of the most talked about of new Finnish mobile game companies has revealed their global growth plans for the upcoming years. Along with their other internationalization plans their target is to conquer Asian markets in the long run. The company is very confident what the future will bring for them even the market is a hard bite for foreign mobile game studios.
Koukoi Games is a mobile game startup that focuses solely on to produce mobile games with high production value and broad experiences. The mission of Koukoi Games is to develop mobile games that match with the rising needs of players. The company was founded by people who share a unique vision of creating a fast-growing and sustainable dream game company together. Currently the team consists of over 10 young talents with experience from entrepreneurship and game development as well as from companies such as Rovio and Nokia.
Asian markets for foreign mobile game companies are difficult to conquer. The feel, look and value of mobile games the market is expecting to get does not usually go along with what we have mostly seen in Western markets. This is very simple to find out as there are not many popular Western game titles seen on the most popular Asian application stores’ top lists. Usually for making positive entry to this market area foreign studios need to have a good knowledge over the market and many strong partners. This is something Koukoi Games is already aiming for as they have lately partnered with Frontier (www.frontier.fi) and are working closely together with Mikko Silventola and Dr. Jari Talvinen who are based in Singapore.
Together with Frontier, team’s target is to start having a local market presence from Singapore and expand it towards other areas of Asian market. In addition to their partnership for market entry and local presence, the team is having its first fundraising round with Frontier aimed to gather around 1M USD for making the company business solid for the future growth and plans. The co-operation related to fundraising has been very positive as some of the high-profile Finnish CEOs and investors have already taken a part in the fundraising round.
Koukoi Games is currently developing several game titles and it plans to launch its first game title Crashing Season (www.crashingseason.com) later this year.
About Koukoi Games Ltd:
Contact person: Antti Kananen, CEO & Executive Producer
Press kit: http://koukoi.com/presskit/
Our management consulting team in Helsinki, Finland is looking for a result-oriented and fun-to-work-with Project Manager for our sales office. In this position you will help our clients from various sectors to evaluate and capitalize on their business opportunities in the Middle Eastern and Asian markets. You will have overall responsibility and ownership of the dedicated projects and new clients. You will report to the Country Manager of Finland.
IN A TYPICAL NEW CLIENT ACQUISITION PROJECT YOU WILL:
- Find and meet potential clients from various industries
- Evaluate the client’s business opportunities in new market areas
- Sell the market entry and business development projects
- Plan the initial execution strategy for the market entry project together with our consultants in the Middle East and Southeast Asia
- Work closely with our clients throughout the project
TO SUCCEED, YOU WILL NEED AT LEAST:
- B2B or international B2B sales experience
- Strong track record in new client acquisition and project management
- Academic degree
- Business experience from the Middle East or Southeast Asia is concidered as a big plus
- Excellent communication skills in Finnish and English
WE ARE OFFERING YOU:
An interesting and rewarding job in an innovative growth company plus cool colleagues. Take advantage of this exciting opportunity and send us your application as soon as possible.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Please contact Mikko Silventola at email@example.com or +65 9122 2140.
TO APPLY FOR THIS POSITION:
Please send your application with salary request and CV in English, subject “Project Manager (Helsinki office)”, to firstname.lastname@example.org
10 MAR 2015 / BY FRONTIERFI / LEAVE A COMMENT /
The rapidly increasing demand for healthcare in the UAE is creating significant export opportunities for Finns, whose healthcare, well-being and quality of education are seen as some of the best in the world.
The FinlandCare program, which supports the internalisation of Finnish healthcare and wellbeing companies, has been part of paving the way for Finns in the UAE.
Many Finnish companies have already gained a foothold in the region; Helsinki Hospital is in the midst of negotiations on surgical cooperation, Aino Health is exporting ways of maintaining working capacity, and HUR is exporting sports equipment.
Additionally, there are ongoing negotiations on the export of Finnish mobile hospitals, as well as many similar deals.
The UAE suffers from the world’s second highest rate of diabetes. Cardiovascular disease and oral cancer are also very common in the country.
Although medical expertise and technology are of a high standard in the UAE, there are faults in the system and low levels of trust in domestic doctors. For this reason patients have often been sent abroad for surgery.
However, now the UAE is starting to demand better and more cost-efficient healthcare solutions and the Nordic welfare states are attracting interest due to their well-functioning systems.
In addition to healthcare, the Finnish education system is receiving praise. For example, the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences is preparing a major contract with Abu Dhabi in the field of nurse education.
Article adapted from Kauppalehti.
Also read our article Healthcare IT markets in Saudi Arabia and UAE continue to grow rapidly
Frontier has helped nearly a hundred Nordic companies to expand their business to the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Frontier has offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh, Singapore, Adelaide, New York, Stockholm and Helsinki.
10 FEB 2015 / BY FRONTIERFI / LEAVE A COMMENT /
Saudi Arabia’s transport sector will offer promising opportunities for investors in the coming years, according to Abdulaziz Al-Auhali, chairman of the country’s Public Transport Authority (PTA). Speaking at the 8th Global Competitive Forum in Riyadh at the end of last month, he urged investors to take advantage of the giant projects that will be implemented in various regions of the country in the near future.
Al-Auhali referred in particular to the introduction of a new transport system, which includes metro rail and enhanced road, maritime and air networks.
He drew attention to Saudi Arabia’s aim of becoming a meeting point for commerce and trade between the East and West, adding that the Kingdom has signed several agreements with neighbouring countries to formalise custom regulations easing road travel.
The PTA was established in 2013 to ease transport problems in all parts of Saudi Arabia. Its objective is to regulate and supervise public transport while encouraging investments in this area. The PTA hopes to bring down the number of private vehicles in Saudi Arabia’s major cities and enable people to rely more on public transport.
Al-Auhali highlighted that the expansion of public transport projects will contribute to the development of cities, easing of transport jams, creation of job opportunities, as well as the reduction of carbon emissions and environmental pollution.
Frontier has helped nearly a hundred Nordic companies to expand their business to the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Frontier has offices in Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Singapore, Adelaide, New York, Stockholm and Helsinki.