Mobile Startup QAim's CEO On Landing Round A Funding

    QAim logoQAim, a Finnish mobile startup, has gotten Series A funding from Veraventure along with private investors Tapio Heikkilä and Olli Oittinen (press release in Finnish). QAim focuses on improving mobile services usability. 

    QAim will use the funding to finalize the piloting of their CEM4Mobile product and begin the foreign sales focusing heavily on five European countries within the next three years. (QAim has been looking for new talent also through the Job Board on ArcticIndex.)

    QAim’s CEM4Mobile software is targeted for optimizing customer experience management of mobile content services. The current ten pilot customers from Finland include media company MTV3, directory service Fonecta, and weather service Foreca. Stats on site indicate that despite the namely Finnish customers, by now the service has been used to collect data across 268 network operators in 174 countries. The service is scalable and can be fully distributed online (available already on the site), and while concentrating the sales and marketing efforts on Europe the firm is also discussing opening up US and Asia through partners. 

    QAim screenshotQAim has been operating over four years now with strong revenue funding. The CEO Janne Aalto comments to ArcticStartup that the firm started looking for additional financing in November, and went through pretty much all the local Finnish venture funds. According to Janne, QAim did not consider outside investors at this point as they felt they can get the needed money from Finland. (The investors do not want to disclose the funding round size.) Janne states that if the company needs more capital in the form of a new round later on, they will likely eye foreign investors also, namely the UK, where QAim already have a subsidiary. 

    Key criteria in selecting the investors were especially the connections and experience needed for the internationalization of the firm. QAim wanted to have the structure of both VC and private investors, Janne says, to strengthen their board with active, experienced members. The firm got into talks with Tapio Heikkilä and Olli Oittinen through Veraventure as well. Overall, Janne argues they at QAim are really satisfied at the outcome; in the terms and valuation they got.

    Janne comments, though, that the current economic climate clearly affected multiple venture funds. He argues that many did not have their fund open or were waiting for “better times”. Even if the VCs were interested, many said they are still waiting for “the bottom” and have made a clear decision not to invest at the moment until the situation clears, Janne mentioned. (Now, did someone say the next Googles are made during these kinds of times?)

    Nevertheless, QAim was in talks with multiple interested VCs and with one quite far, besides Veraventure. However, QAim did not land term sheets from multiple VCs and were thus unable to compare their offerings exactly. However, they got enough material to well think through their options, says Janne. 

    Those of you who have been looking for funding lately, do your experiences (first or second hand) sound anything alike?