Fruugo, the new Finnish startup gathering loads of interest with Jorma Ollila and Risto Siilasmaa on board among others, has been in strict stealth mode. Today, CEO Reijo Syrjäläinen revealed a bit more about their plans to Arctic Startup in a breakfast meeting.
In short, Fruugo positions themselves as the “trusted 3rd party of ecommerce”. The major problem Fruugo sees and is trying to solve is in the internet ecommerce supply chain. Reijo described that purchasing from the web is still quite painful; you enter some product name to a search site, and from the thousands or millions of hits you need to figure out where you could and should get what you are looking for. Then, after finding some etailer, the next questions arise around whether you trust the seller, payment options, etc. Also for the etailer, especially in Europe as an example, it’s hard to deal with varying regulations, laws, taxes etc. in different countries.
Fruugo believe they can offer the consumers and etailers easier, simpler, and safer way to do web purchases. They see big inefficiencies in the current web ecommerce supply chain, and believe they can streamline it a lot. Reijo didn’t want to comment the business model nor the technical concept in detail yet. Fruugo is essentially a consumer company, and their marketing activities will be heavily focusing on creating buzz and interest in the internet.
Currently Fruugo is building the technology platform with especially scalability and partner integration automation in mind, and establishing partnerships with key players in the industry. The service will be available in closed Beta in a few months. So far Fruugo has “some plans” for including also mobile into the equation, people’s roots being strongly in the mobile world, but not right from the start. Reijo comments they naturally see a huge potential in the mobile web, as mobile handsets are becoming the main way of accessing web in many parts of the world.
So, what does the mystic equation 1L + 1M + 1P = ? on their web site stand for? There have been all sorts of wild quesses thrown in the air, but Reijo now reveals it’s simply “1 Language + 1 Mind + 1 Purpose = Success”. So it rather describes the company’s culture and mindset than its offering, as was speculated. They are building the company around a strong vision and hand-picked people with strong can-do attitude.
Reijo also states all the key supporters have positioned Fruugo for real success – they didn’t even think about establishing the company anywhere else, as all share the same love for Finland. They really want to show that it’s possible to create a top-notch internet startup here as well. Naturally Fruugo is going to bring more international color to their team, but the “heart and soul” will be Finnish in any case.
We’ll be revealing more about Fruugo later on as things progress. Also note that Fruugo will launch their renewed web site by Monday, with a bit more content than currently.