Investments in funds - 20.3.2012
Lifeline Ventures today launches Lifeline Ventures Fund I, a venture capital fund that will invest in health, games and technology companies aiming for international market leadership. In the initial phase the size of the fund will be EUR 20 million and investors in the fund include Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company, FoF Growth, Finnish National Fund for Research and Development Sitra, Finnvera, Troll Ventures, Juuranto Invest and the founders themselves. The fund’s size will later be increased.
“We invest from tens of thousands up to one million euros in a company, depending on its situation. We like to start working with a company at a very early stage, when its culture and goals are still being formed,” explain Petteri Koponen and Timo Ahopelto, the founders of Lifeline Ventures.
Lifeline Ventures invests mainly in Finland, which is becoming one of Europe’s most attractive centres for startups. Finland now, for the first time, has a potential mix of ingredients: experienced serial entrepreneurs, a desire to grow big companies, skilled labour, and both international and domestic venture capitalists.
“Finland’s startup sector is highly active right now, signalling the birth of new and attractive growth companies. As a player in this new generation of startups, Lifeline will provide not only venture capital, but also expertise, experience and an international network,” comments Esko Torsti, Chairman of FoF Growth’s Investment Council and Ilmarinen’s Head of Non-Listed Investments.
Over the last two years Lifeline Ventures has co-invested in 19 early-stage companies together with international financiers renowned in their specialist fields, such as Accel Partners, HealthCap, Index Ventures and True Ventures. Lifeline Ventures’ portfolio companies have raised over EUR 35 million in financing, built strong teams internationally, and launched numerous innovative products that have redefined their target markets.
One of Lifeline Ventures’ earlier portfolio companies, from the days before this new fund, is Applifier. Within two years Applifier has grown into the world’s largest games marketing network, reaching over 150 million Facebook users a month. The company’s founder and CEO Jussi Laakkonen believes Lifeline Ventures significantly accelerated its growth: “Lifeline’s expertise and networking are world-class. As serial entrepreneurs themselves, Lifeline’s team understands the challenges an entrepreneur faces when operating internationally and can support a startup on its rollercoaster ride to success."
For further information, please contact:
Riitta Jääskeläinen, Investment Director, Finnish Industry Investment Ltd,
tel: +358 50 309 2733, e-mail: riita.jaaskelainen(a)industryinvestment.com
Lifeline Ventures is a fund investing in health, gaming and technology startups. The shareholders of Lifeline Ventures – Timo Ahopelto, Petteri Koponen and Ilkka Paananen – are experienced entrepreneurs who invest from tens of thousands up to one million euros. Lifeline Ventures looks for companies aiming at global category leadership. http://lifelineventures.com
FoF Growth, a EUR 135 million fund jointly established by Finnish Industry Investment and Finnish pension funds, invests in private equity and venture capital funds that invest in promising unlisted growth companies. In addition to Finnish Industry Investment, FoF Growth’s other investors are Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company, Local Government Pensions Institution, State Pension Fund, Eläke-Fennia Mutual Insurance Company, Tapiola Mutual Pension Insurance Company, OP Life Assurance Company Ltd, OP-Eläkekassa and Etera Mutual Pension Insurance Company.