Spinnova’s majority shareholder is Brazilian cellulose company Fibria, who invested EUR 5 million into the company in 2017.The development of the Spinova fiber has surpassed expectations. In addition to Finnish design house Marimekko, Spinnova has joint product development underway with various other partners. The fiber innovation has raised wide interest from global textile brands out of which many which have committed to challenging sustainability goals.
Spinnova’s CEO Janne Poranen said that, “Thanks to our financers, starting the pilot factory and the product development work that will enable are moving full speed ahead. Licensing the technology now being developed in Finland is our most likely future business model, so piloting the technology concept on an industrial scale is now our main priority.”
Senior Advisor Veli-Pekka Ihanus from Business Finland said that, “It’s been a pleasure following Spinnova’s journey from research-driven to growing into an export company,” Also, “Spinnova is a great example of what you can achieve with long-term, determined work. What’s also admirable is that the founders have set their sights on the global market from day one.”
Spinnova has recently carried out financing and ownership arrangements that will ensure the next phase in the company’s growth story. Developing a sustainable textile fiber, Spinnova will ramp up its pilot factory in Finland this year.
Spinnova’s ownership base has also changed. VTT Ventures, who helped the company’s early steps, has given up their ownership according to their exit strategy. VTT has been replaced with two new investors, including venture capital company Maki.vc, founded by the startup mentor and investor, e.g. the man behind the world’s leading startup event Slush, Ilkka Kivimäki.
Kivimäki comments that, “Food, logistics and textiles are key in solving sustainability challenges. Spinnova’s process uses wood and waste stream based fibres instead of cotton, replacing the toxic viscose process. A business like this can be scaled to be bigger than the Finnish paper industry. Maki sees sustainable businesses as a great opportunity to make good investments while making the world a better place for our children.”
The other new investor is Sebastian Langenskiöld’s family investment company Beata Domus. Langenskiöld, who’s portfolio has mostly consisted of IT investment said that, “We’re excited to be involved in turning Spinnova into a new, Finnish export superstar. This investment combines high-level sustainability and huge potential; for good as well as for profits. Also, what we’re building here is a concrete product that I would like to wear myself.”
Spinnova and Business Finland have been partners for three years. Financing from the Finnish public funding agency Business Finland and OP Bank will support the factory investment. OP has granted Spinnova Innofin loan financing of 4.5 million euros guaranteed by the European Investment Bank, and Business Finland is providing a loan of three million euros.