Codescoop, a startup with Spanish roots and now located in Helsinki, is developing an open source software management and quality tracking tool and setting up cooperation with global giants. The company's goal is to grow and internationalize as fast as possible, while keeping its core business in Finland.
Virginia del Olmo has worked with major international enterprises, including Nokia, for more than a decade. When it comes to software, she knows their needs.
"As companies go through digital transformation, they all face the same problems. They have software all over the place, lots of it, and it's getting out of hand. They need management tools and intelligence. And they really have no choice in this transformation – that's where their competition is heading as well," says del Olmo.
Del Olmo decided to do something about it and started looking for someone who could help her develop a solution from scratch. She had previously lived and worked in the Nordic area and knew that Finland had lots of software engineering talent. Through Business Finland's Invest in team and its support community Kaato, she met Valtteri Halla, who has a long track record of open source software development. Together they reincorporated del Olmo's Spanish company into a new Finnish startup, Codescoop.
Codescoop is located in Helsinki, currently developing its open source software scanning solution with contracted developers and just now beginning to hire its own team of programmers. It already has three employees working on sales and customer support on the global market – in Spain, Germany and the United States.
"Our target clientele consists of Fortune 500 companies, a selected group of enterprises that I have previously established personal contacts with," says CEO del Olmo.
"That's what first intrigued me about this project: Virginia's excellent contacts with major global enterprises and the fact that these companies are genuinely interested in what we have to offer. There's a huge need for this kind of management and quality tracking solution," says CTO Valtteri Halla.
Codescoop's solution is an open source alternative for commercial software management and analysis tools. The company will offer big enterprises custom-made solutions but will also develop a freely-downloadable tool for individual software developers, to build brand recognition and to spread the word about its solution. The AI-powered tool maps the open source software around the world to help enterprises and developers build even better software.
"Our tool boosts software development much like business intelligence solutions help business managers: by capitalizing on enhanced logical thinking," Halla explains.
Software development and open source talent was available in Helsinki.
Available software development and open source talent was an important reason why Codescoop chose Helsinki for its location. Funding was another.
"We found that the Finnish investment community is superbly geared towards startups, and we've been lucky to find one angel investor here in Finland and another in Spain. We also received Business Finland's innovation funding, which has helped us get things started. The Scandinavian work culture is an added bonus here," says del Olmo.
"Finland has excellent developers who've worked on projects like Linux and Nokia's open source solutions. Codescoop's tool and international connections will help bring the Finnish expertise to the global market," Halla says.
Del Olmo is also very impressed with the public support network in Finland.
"Business Finland, Finnvera and Helsinki Business Hub – they're all extremely professional and have such a proactive, follow-through attitude. They don't just talk, they really take things to a conclusion and have made our launch very smooth and easy. All support organizations are near and well acquainted with startups' needs," del Olmo says.
"Business Finland and Helsinki Business Hub provided us with information on setting up a company, the local market, Nordic law, available office spaces, as well as accounting and auditing firms. This family of support services works so seamlessly that sometimes it's hard to remember that it consists of separate organizations. The service was so outstanding that I almost expected to get a bill!" del Olmo laughs.
Codescoop is now investing heavily on finding and recruiting the right people to work on its software development team. Del Olmo and Halla estimate that the company may hire as many as 20 people by the end of 2018, and perhaps as many as 30 more by the end of 2019, depending on its funding and proceeds.
"Our business is global, but our software development and core business will stay here in Finland. We are building a European software company," del Olmo says.