Tesi’s Impact Review: Investing three decades on market terms has generated growth, jobs and wellbeing in Finland


Tesi’s (Finnish Industry Investment) economic handprint is manifested every year in some 450 Finnish companies in which Tesi is an owner through either its direct investments or indirectly via its fund investments. These companies generate combined net sales of EUR 12 billion and altogether 64,000 jobs. In 2022, Finland’s aggregated tax receipts from these companies amounted to EUR 1.1 billion.

Pia Santavirta, Tesi's CEO
Pia Santavirta, Tesi's CEO

Every year Tesi reviews its economic handprint, as well as ESG status in its portfolio companies, as a part of its Impact Review. As a countercyclical force, Tesi has stabilised the market during, for instance, the financial and COVID-19 crises. Tesi also channels EU financing into Finland, and manages funds it has created in collaboration with its partners. Sustainability is a cross-cutting theme in Tesi's operations.

”Tesi is a venture capital and private equity investor that operates on market terms, yet with a clear mission when it comes to the society and industrial policy. We make growth possible hand-in-hand with private investors, and we keep the wheels of growth turning – even in economically challenging times,” says Tesi’s CEO Pia Santavirta.

Tesi manages almost EUR 500 million in assets of its Finnish and international partners. Through Tesi’s investment, Finland entered NATO’s billion-euro Innovation Fund.

“Channelling international capital into the growth of Finnish companies is our special focus. For example, the European Investment Bank invests in Finnish companies through the financial instruments jointly built but managed by Tesi. Now, we’re also an investor in NATO’s Innovation Fund, from which Finnish tech companies can seek financing,” explains Santavirta.

”Our primary task is to invest in promising funds and growth companies as a minority investor, hand-in-hand with private investors and on the same terms as them. It has paid off: over our thirty or so years of operation, we’ve doubled the initial capitalisation we received, thus creating more growth capital for Finnish startups and growth companies,Santavirta adds.

Companies in which Tesi is an owner made giant strides in their sustainability work

Tesi monitors the progress of responsibility in almost 450 Finnish startups and growth companies in which it is an owner, either directly or indirectly through funds. The latest corporate survey sent to these companies shows that the number monitoring environmental metrics has doubled in one year, while almost one-half have a corporate responsibility policy and a whistleblowing channel in use. There is still room for improvement, though: altogether 61% of responding companies have no women members on their boards of directors, while almost one-third have no women members on their management teams.

”This year we’ve focused strongly on sharing tools and best practices for sustainability with the market. It’s extremely rewarding to see that Tesi’s portfolio companies – and also startups and growth companies more generally – have tightened their grip on sustainability issues, particularly regarding environmental and governance aspects,” says Santavirta.

“Economic growth based on a sustainable foundation is not only necessary, but it will also give us a great competitive edge. I believe that the greatest challenges of our times, such as climate change and energy production, will be solved with the help of new innovations and boldly innovative growth companies,” concludes Santavirta.

Tesi’s Impact Review supplements the Responsibility Report that is a part of the Annual Report, by illustrating in more detail the indirect impacts of Tesi's operations on Finnish society. The Impact Review is published in early autumn because some of the data needed for the report is only available after publication of the Annual Report. The figures used in this year’s Review are taken from the 2022 financial statements, the results of a corporate survey conducted in spring 2023, and also from an in-house data model. Tesi’s Impact Review covers the 450 or so Finnish startups and growth companies in which Tesi is directly or indirectly an owner.

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Pia Santavirta, Tesi's CEO
Pia Santavirta, Tesi's CEO


Tesi in a nutshell

Tesi wants to raise Finland to the forefront of transformative economic growth. We develop the market, and work for the success of Finnish growth companies. We invest in private equity and venture capital funds, and also directly in growth companies. We provide long-running support, market insights, patient capital, and skilled ownership.  tesi.fi | Twitter | LinkedIn | Newsletter 

Tesi’s background:

  • A venture capital and private equity company founded in 1995
  • Officially Finnish Industry Investment Ltd
  • 100% owned by the Finnish state
  • Investments under management EUR 2.5 billion (31.12.2022)
  • EUR 11 billion in net sales and more than 70,000 jobs in Finland through those growth companies that have received financing directly from Tesi or indirectly through its portfolio funds

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Latest releases from Tesi

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Tesi’s (Finnish Industry Investment’s) recent survey reveals that a robust ecosystem has built up around Finland’s maritime cluster: Finland is home to over one thousand maritime companies that are systematically setting their sights on international markets. Turku shipyard is crucially important to Finland’s maritime industry: over one-half of the country’s maritime players trade directly with it.

Finland joins NATO Innovation Fund – Tesi invests EUR 35 million in the fund17.5.2023 02:00:00 EEST | Press release

Finland’s accession to NATO opens up new opportunities for Finnish early-stage startups. Finland’s application to NATO's Innovation Fund has been approved, and Tesi will make a EUR 35 million investment in the fund. This also provides a new gateway to cooperation and financing opportunities for Finnish startups developing nascent technologies and for venture capital and private equity funds investing in them.

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