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How EFSI benefits SMEs in Europe - OPF Coporate Bank Finland case study: Timma (Finland), ICT

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“At the time, we were young, just out of university, no liabilities, no mortgages…nothing to lose really. We came up with the idea, we thought it would work…and it did,” says Lari Mykrä, CEO of Helsinki-based Timma.

Timma is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that has developed a very effective integrated management tool for hair salons, beauty parlours and the massage industry. Apart from managing business operations, the system also allows online bookings of appointments, saving time for both the consumer and the salon.

“We didn’t know much about this space when we started in 2015. We talked to potential clients, and interviewed them – lots of them – to better understand their needs, and built our system on this basis. We were lucky in the sense that all the members of the founding team studied together. We also knew good coders and put together a great development team. It became an instant hit in Finland and we just took it from there… We weren’t experienced hair or beauty professionals, and not even the major consumers of these services. One day, we simply noted that booking time for haircuts is painful. We wanted to make it easier, more convenient, and more modern and were delighted to find that many others experienced the same frustration as Timma was received with open arms.”

The goal was to create an intuitive interface and streamlined service experience. With strong growth across Finland, clearly Timma has succeeded. To fund this growth, Timma secured an EU-guaranteed loan from OP Corporate Bank, backed by the EIF under the EU’s Investment Plan for Europe. With this support, the company was able to cover expansion-related expenses like new employees and working capital.

“Growing fast is key, but in doing so, you need to find the right people. You need to be able to sustain this growth with talented staff, and that’s what we’re trying to do – to keep the pace of our growth, intensifying sales and also coding. Good people are hard to find. It’s very competitive out there,” explains Lari. Timma expanded to Sweden in 2017 and Norway in 2018, hiring 4 new employees in the process, but there is no intention to stop here: “We still want to expand our operations in Sweden and Norway and we’re also considering new countries. At the same time, we’re always exploring new features and new revenue streams,” he adds.

Company: Timma (Finland)

Type of business: ICT

EIF financing: InnovFin SMEG, EFSI

Financial Intermediary: OP Corporate Bank

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Finland, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/fi/

 

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