Nowadays, Finland is one of the most advanced countries in the world when it comes to technology innovations. Based on data from sources including the World Bank, IMF and OECD, Finland was the 3rd most innovative country in the whole world in 2019. Only South Korea and Germany were more innovative than Finland.
Finland would not be so high on the list without its great education system, researchers and skilful people. When high-quality education, innovativeness and advanced technology skills are combined, some great success stories are likely to happen, such as Nokia Cell Phones in the early 2000s, the famous mobile game Angry Birds or the world’s leading startup and tech event Slush.
Here is our list of the top 5 Finnish tech companies:
Nokia, with a market value of more than 20 billion USD, is a Finnish telecommunications and information technology company that became famous in the early 2000s with its cell phones and Nokia tune.
Nokia’s history started already in 1800s, but it became a global success story with its cell phones. However, since 2007 Nokia has not been able to compete with Apple’s iphone and suffered badly ever since. Currently, Nokia operates in the fields of multinational telecommunications, IT and consumer electronics.
You might not have heard about Rovio, but you have heard about Angry Birds, the famous mobile game (and a movie).
Rovio Entertainment Oyj is a Finnish game developer company that was founded by 3 engineering students in 2003. Rovio published its famous Angry Birds mobile game in 2009 which was a success: in just 5 months, Angry Birds became the most downloaded app in Apple App Store. Rovio was able to capitalise on Angry Birds with several game extensions, spin-offs, movies, animated series, merchandize and even activity parks.
Polar Electro does well in the field of sports technology. They are particularly known for developing the world’s first wireless heart rate monitor. Polar’s gadgets are being sold in 80 different countries across the world.
Their most well known products are currently activity bracelets and sport watches, such as this new “fitness watch”, Polar Ignite which costs around 220 USD.
Another, very similar Finnish company is Suunto.
Kone Oyj is a Finnish company that operates globally in 60 different countries employing 55,000 people. Kone is a global leader in the elevator and escalator business: it builds and services elevators, autowalks, escalators as well as automatic doors & gates. Kone is one of the most valuable corporations in Finland.
Neste is one of the biggest and most valuable companies in Finland and the largest producer of renewable Diesel in the whole world. Not necessarily a tech company, but they apply advanced biotech in their business.
Neste has been a phenomenal success story: Harvard Business Review selected Neste as the 12th on the list of The Top 20 Business Transformations of the Last Decade. That is something that Finns should be proud of. Luckily, the Finnish State owns 35 % of Neste’s shares.
Joonas Saloranta covers Northern Europe investing, macroeconomics and more at the Financial Nordic blog.