Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Startup Solu Bags $1.3M Seed

Another hardware startup is sparking up in Finland. Helsinki-based startup Solu has taken in a $1.3 million seed round, ahead of a planned product launch this fall.

Startup Solution 

The stealthy startup has not yet pulled back the curtain on what it’s building exactly but, after pinging our sources, TechCrunch understands it’s directly targeting the personal computer market with a new type of OS and its own hardware. Which sounds suitably ambitious for the land that can claim a former world number one mobile maker (aka Nokia).

Dropping some heavy hints of Solu’s target, co-founder and CEO Kristoffer Lawson notes the team started working on the concept 30 years after the launch of the Apple Macintosh “almost to the day”. “We have seen 30 years of one way of thinking. I think it’s time for a change,” he says in a statement.

A sweeping mission statement on its website adds: “Solu is aiming to change a complete industry with a unique approach and unique technology.”

Prior to this seed round, Solu had pulled in a six-figure pre-seed, back in September 2014, when the business was incorporated. Investors in its new round are lead KSV Finland, along with Vladimir Ashurkov, Sasha Markvo, Otto Hilska (Flowdock) and Timo Kiravuo (Aalto University), among others. Existing investor hardware startup accelerator BuildIt, which hothoused Solu, also participated, along with others from the previous round.

Solu’s founding team consists of Lawson (also Holvi co-founder), Javier Reyes (ex Nordic Director of TMF Group) and Pekka Nikander (Nixu founder). At this point the startup has 12 employees on its payroll. The board includes Nokia’s Sonja London, Taneli Tikka (serial entrepreneur), Jyrki Kasvi (Member of Parliament), and Sasha Markvo, along with Reyes.

Lawson says it’s planning parallel launch events in San Francisco, London and Helsinki. And if it keeps to its slated autumn launch timeframe there won’t be too long to wait to see what kind of kit Solu hopes will be disrupting the Mac and PC (albeit, both have arguably already been amply disrupted by mobile platforms).

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