Finnish startup investor company Frontier heads to Singapore

Frontier is looking to invest in Nordic tech companies that want to come to Southeast Asia through partnerships and expansions, and vice versa

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Helsinki (Finland) headquartered startup investor company, Frontier has started its Singapore operations to bridge the tech startup gap between Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) and Southeast Asia.

Mikko Silventola, Chairman & Partner, Frontier

Mikko Silventola, Chairman and Partner, Frontier

Mikko Silventola, Chairman and Partner, Frontier told e27, “We are building the bridge between Southeast Asia and the Nordics to find lots of synergies and more talent. Our tech clients and portfolio companies from Nordic countries – we have offices in Helsinki and Stockholm – are looking to set up business and companies in Singapore and to find first major clients from here instead of US. We want our portfolio companies to build up the business in Asia instead of US.”

The investment company has a presence in Middle East too, where the focus too is on tech clients but more on the traditional – services side. In Southeast Asia, the company is looking to invest early seed and anything in the range of US$25,000 to US$250,000 in tech startups in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand. It aims for a “three- to five-year exit.”

Besides the Nordic states, Frontier can also help Singaporean companies expand to Middle East and Russia.

Silventola stated that Asia will be the place to be for the next century growth and the money in the world is shifting to Asia. According to him, Nordic and Southeast Asian startups have a lot in common. “There is a lot of good buzz and hype about both regions. But both areas need more success cases as compared to the US. That will encourage more entrepreneurs to start up new businesses. Success stories are the main motivators for new young entrepreneurs to stop talking and start doing,” he said.

Read Also: Elixir Capital Management hopes to bridge West-Southeast Asia divide with a US$150M fund

He feels the Singapore government is “very generous” to startup companies and will continue to invest into the startup landscape. These efforts will bring the first major success stories to Singapore startup scene and “hopefully, very soon”. In Finland, the governmental organisation, Tekes, has been a major help for successfully exited Finnish companies.

Finland has already seen few success stories such as Supercell (sold to SoftBank with US$3 billion valuation) and Rovio (the creator of Angry Birds). Recently, Nervogrid (funded by Tekes) too was sold to ALSO Holding. Nervogrid was owned by two partners of Frontier.

The investment company’s initial clients expanding to Singapore and Southeast Asia include SmarpShare, CreateTrips, FundedByMe, Liilak, Tribe Studios and Bookiwoo.

“We are also setting up a totally new kind of mobile healthcare service called Sendoc in Singapore. It will be the Uber for healthcare in Asia,” said Silventola.

Frontier, currently, has a five-member team in Singapore and looking to scale up the count. It is also scouting for a Country Manager in Shanghai (China) too. “Step by step, we want to expand to other Chinese markets via Shanghai and Hong Kong,” he added.

Silventola, who would be personally based in Singapore, besides being the Chairman of the Board and Partner of Frontier, is the Founder and Chairman of Calcus Group and TAEL Group. He has also operated in the private equity sector and has worked with a number of investments including Transfluent, Taxify, FundedByMe, Tribe Studios, Liilak, Smarp, Sendoc and Bookiwoo.

Dhaleta Surender Kumar

Surender Dhaleta is the Editor of e27. Hailing from Shimla, India -- the backdrop of much of Rudyard Kipling's 'Plain Tales from the Hills', this 'poet at heart' journalist brings over 16 years of writing; and 13 years of journalism experience to Asia's tech industry. Prior to e27, Surender, or Suren – as he is better known in the region – has edited Pitch, the leading marketing magazine in India, from the exchange4media stable, for four years. He has also been part of the Editorial Team of afaqs!, the world's second largest online platform for media, marketing and advertising. He is also former Founder of himvani.com, an online thinktank – a site founded way back in 2005, when internet was just taking roots in India – to influence government policies through collective governance for the state of Himachal Pradesh. The site, since his exit in 2009, has moved on to become one of the leading news websites for the state. Mysticism intrigues him. He enjoys reading folklore and mythologies – a passion that reflects in his poems and lyrical short-stories.

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