VERKKOKAUPPA.COM – The largest e-commerce company in Finland
In 2009, Rite invested in the Finnish e-commerce company Verkkokauppa.com. Until then, Verkkokauppa.com had experienced difficulties finding an investor. Investors were afraid of the home electronics market with its intense competition and diminishing margins.
Despite the tough market conditions, we were impressed by Verkkokauppa.com and its founder. Verkkokauppa.com was (and still is) the e-commerce market leader of Finland with one of the most well-known brand names in Finland. By focusing on delivering a great customer experience, by having an almost maniacal focus on cost-efficiency and by building a unique IT-backbone supporting operations the company had managed to grow very fast while being profitable. All of this, in a sector where most of its competitors saw its businesses decline and were losing money.
Following the investment, Rite engaged actively with Verkkokauppa.com’s founder and CEO, Samuli Seppälä, to further strengthen all parts of the company to enable growth and to prepare for a future IPO. Besides pure strategic and operational support, such as inventory management, recruitments and product category expansion, Rite also engaged in securing working capital financing and developing the Board.
Starting with the preparations already in 2012, Verkkokauppa.com was listed at First North at Nasdaq OMX Helsinki in April 2014. Verkkokauppa.com is still growing fast with a turnover of MEUR 432 in 2017 and is Finland’s largest e-commerce company and the strongest internet brand in Finland after Facebook and Google. Outside Finland, the company is often described as the Amazon of Finland.
In 2017, Samuli Seppälä decided to step down as CEO to pursue a pure board role. Both Rite and Samuli continue to work closely as active owners, and Christoffer Häggblom, Managing Partner of Rite, continues as Chairman of the Board.