Finnish hotel marketing solution wins Best European Startup, nabs 0.5M-euro investment

Finnish digital sales and marketing solution 360Visualizer was named Best European Startup by the European Trade Association for Business Angels, EBAN in Spain on Friday.  The innovative solution also landed a 0.5 million-euro—among the largest investment received by a Finnish startup from business angels.

“We are extremely pleased with this award and the significant investment.  The investment allows us to make a growth surge and speed up our plans with the help of an experienced investor,” says CEO of 360Visualizer Kimmo Kaitala.

360Visualizer is a cloud-based solution for hoteliers to harness the power of their visual content and increase revenue at each point of customer engagement. Personalized presentations improve the hit rate and speeds up the customer’s decision-making process. Fees are SaaS-based (Software as a Service), in other words, hoteliers pay a monthly usage fee for the software.

“Increasing usage of pictures and other visuals as decision-making tools in the hotel and travel industry creates pressure for hotel operators to have better quality visuals in combination with relevant information about the hotel,” says Kaitala.

“There are several industry independent customer engagement solution providers. However, there are only a few solutions tailored for a specific industry and we are one of them. 360Visualizer is market leader in hotel segment in the Nordics,” says Kaitala and adds: “We have estimated the global market for sales engagement for the hotel meeting space alone to be some 700 million euros.”

Successful German internet entrepreneur Andreas Mihalovits was the judge who decided to award the Marbella Tech Angels’ first prize to 360Visualizer. Mr. Mihalovits is the founder of Marbella Tech Angels and its lead investor. He has early stage investments in 12 European startups.

”My most important criteria for the prize and the investment are that there is a clear demand for this type of sales tool in the hotel industry. With the 360Visualizer solution the customer can almost feel what it’s like to walk into a hotel room or a conference auditorium. The solution is also innovative and mature because the company has a healthy sales cashflow. I also have full confidence that the directors and the team will be able to grow the company fast,” says investor Andreas Mihalovits.

EBAN Competition
Some 50 European startups are selected for the annual EBAN (The European Trade Association for Business Angels) startup competition.  Three Marbella Tech Angels prizes were distributed: Best Startup in Europe (500,000 euros), Best Startup in Spain (450,000 euros) and Best Startup in Andalucía (200,000 euros). EBAN is the pan-European representative for the early stage investor community, representing 197 member organizations in 59 countries. Finland’s country organization FiBAN is a member of EBAN.

“Winning the title of Best Startup in Europe is an excellent recognition of the entire lively Finnish startup scene. An investment of half-a-million is as big as the Slush pitching winner’s prize. It’s also notable that this investment in 360Visualiser is cross-border, which is still rare with Finnish startups,” says Jan D. Oker-Blom, Managing Director of FiBAN.

PRESS CONTACTS
Kimmo Kaitala, CEO, 360Visualizer, 040 545 0020 / kimmo.kaitala@360visualizer.com
Jan D. Oker-Blom, Managing Director, FiBAN, 040 551 7551 / jan.oker-blom@fiban.org

360Visualizer is a cloud-based software solution for hotels’ sales and marketing material content management and sharing. The SaaS based (Software as a Service) sales tool helps to engage buyers, generate higher quality leads and increase direct sales with engaging visual content through the right channel and at the right time. The solution is used by global hotel brands such as Radisson Blu, Scandic, Mövenpick Resorts, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Corinthia Hotels, Barceló Hotels & Resorts as well as Sokos Hotels and Cumulus from Finland. 360Visualizer was listed in the Red Herring Europe winners in 2015. Company was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Finland.   www.360visualizer.com

FiBAN is a Finnish, national, non-profit association of private investors that aims to improve the possibilities for private persons to invest in unlisted potential growth companies. The association’s work is based on activity by private investors and it cooperates with networks supporting high-growth goals. The FiBAN network is today one of the largest and most active business angel networks in Europe with over 500 approved members and 100 events annually. The three main activities consist of: 1 Matchmaking of startup and investors, 2. Sharing of best practices and 3. Representation of private investors’ interests.  FiBAN is a member of the European Business Angels Network (EBAN) and was chosen as the “Business angel network of the year 2012 and 2014”. www.fiban.org

EBAN: The European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds and Early Stage Market Players
EBAN (European Business Angel Network) is the pan-European representative for the early stage investor community, gathering 197 member organizations in 59 countries today. Established in 1999 by a group of pioneer angel networks in Europe with the collaboration of the European Commission and EURADA, EBAN represents a sector estimated to invest 6.1 billion Euros a year and plays a vital role in Europe’s future, notably in the funding of SMEs. EBAN fuels Europe’s growth through the creation of wealth and jobs. www.eban.org

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