Apr 15, 2016 Venla Väkeväinen
Shortly after its previous funding round, Wolt announces an impressive €10 million in venture capital funding. Going down as one of the largest funding rounds in Finland, it brings the total amount of investment in Wolt to €12.5 million. What makes this case especially interesting is the people it brings on board: Kees Koolen has served as the CEO of travel portal Booking.com, and Niklas Zennström grew Skype to a billion dollar business from the founding moment.
Investors in this financing round include EQT Ventures, Skype founder Niklas Zennström, Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen, and Nokia’s Chairman Risto Siilasmaa.
The funding round was led by EQT Ventures, a recently launched half a billion euro European VC fund. According to Miki Kuusi, CEO of Wolt, this decision was influenced by the vast experience and know-how that the EQT Venture team would bring. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as one of the founders of EQT Ventures is Koolen. Koolen is not only former CEO of the hotel reservation service Booking.com, but also the man behind Uber’s international expansion.
Adding Koolen to strengthen the team with his expertise comes as amazing news for Wolt, who informed already last November that it was looking to expand its operations abroad with a goal to cover 5–10 new cities over the spring. “We are happy to have Kees Koolen join the board. There aren’t many people outside of Silicon Valley who have the same level of expertise in growing a technology company rapidly into a global player,” states Ilkka Kivimäki, Chairman of the board of Wolt.
Within a year, Wolt has managed to attract over 100,000 users in Finland, and today, it will begin its first quest outside of Finland in a foreign city. The company will start off with 30 restaurants, and has promised to make home deliveries to the areas of Östermalm, Norrmalm, Vasastan and Kungsholm.
This is a major milestone for the company, showing it has the ambition and ability to scale internationally. There is competition, though, with rivals such as Delivery Hero (valued at over $3.1B) and Deliveroo (over $1B) already operating in dozens of countries. Out of all those companies playing in this industry however, Wolt still seems to be the only pure-mobile service. At least so far it seems, this might be the characteristic that makes the company special.
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