Finnish Startup Lifts Google vs Microsoft

    Finnish startup Universe will introduce this week its platform for corporate intranet for Google, filling the hole in the search giant’s offering in its fight against Microsoft.

    Universe takes 1-1 on Microsoft’s aging Sharepoint platform, which is heavy and cumbersome to use and even in big organisations tends to fail on a regular basis.

    Universe was born from clients’ needs at Helsinki-based IT consultancy Gapps whose core team has been working on Universe for a year already. “The clients were asking for it quite a lot and then we decided to go for it, make it and conquer the world,” co-founder Antero Hanhirova told ArcticStartup in a interview.

    “We heard it for several years that this kind of thing is needed, that there are exactly these challenges. So we started to develop it following exactly the clients needs,” said Perttu Ojansuu, also a co-founder at Universe. The third co-founder is Vesa Sironen.

    Sharepoint + Slack

    The team incorporated messaging into the Universe platform and also learned more from Slack, aiming to create similar feeling, ease of using it, but take it to the big companies, where only a few people have idea how to find anything in corporate intranet. And they did use Slack as a role model also for product launch.

    “We wanted to start like Slack, fix the product before launch, take care of bugs and make sure it looks smart and good, and is ready for people to pay for it,” said Ojansuu.

    “We think we are the missing piece in the ecosystem, enabling it to take on Microsoft in ecosystem war.”

    Universe is sold globally through Google partner network and priced at 8 euros per user per month, with special deals for massive companies. The first clients include Finnish national broadcaster YLE and Angry Birds creator Rovio.

    “Google Apps with Universe is now the number one SaaS solution available for enterprises. Google ecosystem will now challenge Microsoft 365 in all accounts. I am extremely impressed by the app”, said Peter Vesterbacka, the Mighty Eagle of Rovio and now also an advisor to Universe.