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Monday, July 4, 2022

Solu Lands $1.3M: Can You Guess What They Do?

Solu raised their seed round as we try to make our best guesses as to what it is that they do and why they are in stealth mode.

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It is common knowledge in the startup world that you should not hide your idea and speak openly about it, so whenever we stumble upon a startup that decides to stay away from this unspoken rule – we get excited.

Think of Clinkle, who raised $25M without ever spilling what they did or “21” that raised over $100M pre-launch. You simply want to know what it is that they are building behind those closed doors.

Today, Solu announced their second round, after raising a six-figure pre-seed round last September but are still keeping it pretty quiet about what they do.

This time around they raised a respectable $1.3M from KSV Finland Llc, Otto Hilska, Timo Kiravuo, Buildit and others from the previous round.

In addition to that, we now know that the board consists of Taneli Tikka, Jyrki Kasvi and Javier Reyes.

The most difficult part of writing this article is the fact that we actually do know exactly what Solu are trying to achieve, but promised not to spill the beans just yet. We try to keep our promises, so we apologize for not telling it outright.

What we can say, is that publicly available information can at least help you with a few guesses. However you should be warned, your guesses are likely to be ten-fold less ambitious compared to what Solu actually is.

Some hints: Buildit hardware accelerator is involved. Taneli Tikka is involved and the list of investors is relevant. TechCrunch made some guesses:”it’s directly targeting the personal computer market with a new type of OS and its own hardware”. They have a full-time “Mad Russian Scientist” on the team. Their twitter handle is @SoluMachines.

We also reached out to Kristoffer Lawson, the founder and CEO of Solu to talk about how someone goes after so ambitious.

ArcticStartup: Tell us more about how the idea of Solu got started?

KL: “This is something that has quite literally been on my mind for around 15 years or more. Back then, the time was not right to bring something of this scale. Started looking at it again last year and as we looked at market trends, how the Internet has developed – I really felt like the time was right. It was just something we had to give ago.”

ArcticStartup: What made you decide to go for it, I mean it is pretty ambitious and risky?

KL: “We spent several months analyzing this case. The final question was: ‘What are the ways that we can fail at doing this?’ The final thought was that, either we launch it and nobody buys it and it is a huge flop or we don’t give it a shot and somebody else does. We decided that the success story potential is massive and it would piss us off more than anything is if somebody else did this. We would never forgive ourselves.”

ArcticStartup: What about your team, how big is it and how do you get them to join Solu?

KL: “The people in it are not there for the salary. They are coming on board because they get so excited. For example Juha, who joined us from Remedy, where he could have easily continued as they are doing very well. We were open with him about our runway, the heavy risks and the idea. Yet he still wanted to be a part of this. The team has grown from 5 original members to 12 people right now.”

As we have actually seen the demo of the product, we can say that this is perhaps the most ambitious startup that we have written about in a couple of years. With perhaps the only exception being Entocube, who wanted to solve the problem of world hunger.

Looking at the demo, I think they do have a shot at it but convincing the world to change will be difficult. The trick could be to make sure it can co-exist in the market and grow steadily. The launch is set for autumn, so keep your eyes on Solu, it is potentially game changing.

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