Smilee is focusing on fast international growth in car business. Business Finland has selected Smilee in its Young Innovative Company (YIC) programme. The programme offers funding aimed at accelerating the global growth of the most ambitious, rapidly growing startups in Finland. The maximum YIC funding is €1.25 million and it is granted in three phases, each with its own growth targets agreed upon with Business Finland.
“The screening process by Business Finland is strict and detailed, and we are extremely happy that Smilee was selected. Smilee has proven that its unique business model is now ready for international scaling. We have a clear path and plan to grow in international car business,” says Jyrki Hietaniemi, co-founder and head of international operations at Smilee.
Simultaneously with the YIC funding decision, cash flow positive Smilee closed a business angel investment round worth approximately 250.000 €, boosting their market entry into foreign markets. With the latest funding arrangements, Smilee will speed up its business growth in international car business. New recruitments in Sweden and Norway are already on their way. Finnish Business Angel Network’s investor, Mr. Eero Vallström took the leading investor role of this investment round.
“Smilee is cash flow positive already, but with the new funding, Smilee is able to invest in international client acquisition, to develop its AI based platform and to build an internationally recognised position in the car market”, Eero Vallström says.
Enormous car market change
The international car business environment is developing at an incredibly quick pace. Consumers’ car purchasing habits have changed and today’s consumers expect constant online availability, with user experience comparable to 24/7 online stores. Despite the big change in the market, the car dealers are still somewhat unprepared for this development. They need new digital customer engagement solutions urgently. Smilee has taken a position to solve these car business digitalisation challenges.
Smilee crowd based expert service with AI assisted online engagement platform is an efficient way to improve online conversion with SaaS based platform and service.
“Smilee’s platform finds the best online expert team to help our clients sell more cars and make more car repair and service appointments. A majority of Finland’s biggest car dealers use our services and now it is time to prove our skills in the European car markets,” says Hietaniemi.
Teuvo Karppinen, CEO and Co-Founder, Smilee – Kommeet Ltd.,
+358 40 552 8702, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jyrki Hietaniemi, Head of International operations and board member, Smilee – Kommeet Ltd.
+358 44 010 1235, email@example.com
Business Finland (formerly Tekes) selects the most promising, rapidly growing startup companies for its Young Innovation Company funding programme. The companies have typically been in operation for at least three years but maximum five years. Since 2008, a total of 399 Finnish startups have been selected to the Young Innovative Company funding programme.
Smilee is the market leader in online chat services for car dealer sector in Finland. Smilee provides a digital crowd and AI based platform as a service. Smilee platform improves client company’s new car sales, used car sales and car service appointment conversion in the internet. Smilee has offices in Helsinki and Oulu.