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Meet Team Sontek at Artic15 2023 in Helsinki

The Sontek Ventures team is participating in Arctic15 2023 event on June 1-2. Make an appointment with our team in advance

Meet Team Sontek at Latitude59 2023 in Tallinn

The Sontek Ventures team is participating in Latitude59 2023 event on May 24-26. Make an appointment with our team in advance

PunaMusta Media Oyj’s acquisition of Gredi Oy

Punamusta Media Oyj acquired 100 % of shares in Gredi Oy from Sontek Ventures Oy. Sontek Group was established as a group company of ICT companies in 2008. Over the years, operations have been expanded to the areas of investment and holding. Nowadays, the company is involved in the growth and development of many small and medium-sized companies. Sontek Ventures Oy mainly invests in pre-seed and seed stage startups. Their portfolio includes, in particular, cleantech, health and medtech and B2B SaaS companies.
Gredi Oy is Finland’s leading company specialized in digital asset and brand management.
PunaMusta Media Oyj is a Finnish professional operating in the media, visibility, and printing business. The acquisition significantly strengthens the growth of the Group’s digital businesses while bringing more professional personnel to the Group’s service.

Source: Global Legal Chronicle

Book Salon raises EUR1M seed funding 

Book Salon, a Finnish payment and booking service provider specialising in hair, beauty, and wellness companies, has closed a EUR1 million funding round led by Big Bets VC. Sontek Ventures and well-known business angel Lennu Keinänen also participated in the round. The funding will be used to further expand its operations, and prepare for further growth in Europe as the company looks to expand its offering.
“We are excited to have the backing of Big Bets VC who can help us accelerate the development of our operational capabilities and scale in new geographies,” says Book Salon CEO Harri Myllylä.
“Big Bets and their ambition level is a perfect match for Book Salon. Together, we aim to disrupt the current Payment Service Provider market, and the hair, beauty, and wellness sector is our first target. We believe that PSPs need to go beyond providing payment processing services. That’s why at Book Salon we also provide access to industry-specific value-adding services and tools that help the entrepreneurs save time, effort, and money,” he says. Developed closely with hair and beauty professionals, Book Salon provides entrepreneurs with a full suite of modern tools to run a successful business. Book Salon offers payment terminals and a payment processing service, in addition to its website builder, online booking systems, and cash and accounting reports. Currently, beauty salons are forced to use different service providers to manage their salons – or in the worst case, because it is a lot to handle, they decide not to have them in the first place. According to Book Salon, 65 per cent of salons in the EU have no booking system or any other digital tools. This means a loss in income, potential difficulties in splitting the income correctly between different salon workers, and more time spent on doing admin work, not the actual client work.
“The beauty and wellness industry employs innovative and entrepreneurial people who deserve the best possible digital tools. We believe that entrepreneurs pay far too much for simple digital tools, many of which don’t play well together and entrepreneurs have to waste time reconciling reports and jumping from one service to another,” says Jonne Castrén, Founder and COO at Book Salon.
Unlike its competitors such as Booksy or Treatwell that require entrepreneurs to pay per user, Book Salon offers its software to salons and entrepreneurs for free.
“I believe that repeat entrepreneurs make the best foundation for a startup. It is very exciting to see a massive inefficiency being fixed with an elegant, smart solution. This market space will see tremendous growth in coming years, and Book Salon will shake the current salon software providers worldwide but more importantly, they will set the future standard for payment processors. Current leaders in payment processing need to note this team – these guys are crazy enough to make it happen,” says Anton Gauffin, Big Bets VC and CEO of Huuuge Games.
“I love the fact that the appointments, checkout system, and payment terminal are all seamlessly integrated. Everything works together so well without unnecessary clicks and steps. I save hours every week as I don’t have to reconcile reports from different systems trying to match them,” says Minttu Kjelin, MyMou/Hair&Beauty-Mybrows.
Founded in 2016 in Helsinki, Finland, Book Salon has raised EUR2M in total funding to date. The company has over 800 salons in its client portfolio.

Source: Private Equity Wire

Slush 2021 taking place in December –
Sontek to attend

The event industry of Finland has been suffering a lot during COVID-19, leading to the cancelation of Slush 2020. However, things look different this year: the event should take place physically at Helsinki Expo and Convention Center (Messukeskus) on December 1–2. There will be representatives of Sontek attending the event.
See you in Slush 2021!

Hostaway named Airbnb preferred partner

Hostaway, the all-in-one vacation rental software, successfully exceeded Airbnb’s performance benchmarks and has been recognized as their new preferred software partner. The partnership program is exclusive to leading software providers operating in the global accommodations sector and providing fully integrated solutions.
Marcus Rader, CEO & Co-Founder of Hostaway, is incredibly proud to be chosen by Airbnb as a preferred partner. The long-term cooperation with Airbnb has proven to be very successful to both parties. Airbnb can continue to elevate the experience of their hosts and guests, and Hostaway can further help their customers to grow their business.
Rader is happy about the significant milestone: “It’s been more than six months of continued growth for our business, and we can now celebrate the full recovery from the impact of the pandemic. We want to thank the Airbnb team for helping us get there.”
As the fastest-growing vacation rental management solution in the industry, Hostaway provides a strong and reliable two-way API integration to Airbnb. The customers of Hostaway can add their property to the world’s largest rental channels – such as Airbnb – and manage their reservations from different channels automatically, without having to worry about double bookings.

Source: Travel Daily News

Artti Aurasmaa appointed Chairperson of the Board at the Valtti Group,
Ilmari Wallo to continue at Sontek

Valtti Kumppanit Oy, a company offering IT and digital services, has grown fast during the last years. Artti Aurasmaa started as the new Chairman of board at the group in June 2021. The previous Chairman Ilmari Wallo will continue working for the board at the Sontek Group. Before his chairmanship Wallo acted as the COO of the company during 2011-2018. The new chairman Aurasmaa is an experienced service business manager, who has been building the business of digital solutions in Finland as well as internationally.
Acquisitions and a strong company culture to accelerate growth the service business of the Valtti Group has expanded remarkably after 2019. Their common objective is to make the daily work of their customers easier and less risky with the help of scalable and comprehensive IT services. Several have also been made in the group in recent years. The latest acquisitions of Valtti Kumppanit are the database company Advance IT Solutions Oy and the data networks company Ironnet Oy.
”The group has made several acquisitions in recent years and we’ve grown fast organically as well. I especially believe in humane management and a strong company culture”, Aurasmaa mentions. He finds that one of their most important common objectives is to join the several strong Valtti teams and differenct cultures into one winning team.