It looks like the success of Angry Birds is starting to trickle down into the Finnish startup economy, with the news that Rovio chairman Kaj Hed is putting money into local e-commerce startup Kiosked.
Hed, the father of Rovio CEO Mikael and the majority owner of the company, is the lead investor in a $5.75 million round of funding that Kiosked is announcing on Wednesday. He’ll also become the chairman of the Helsinki-based marketing technology company — his only external position outside the Angry Birds maker.
So what does Kiosked do?
Micke Paqvalén, the company’s CEO, explained it to me as an “end to end system for in-content discovery, sales and marketing.”
Here’s an example, a partnership with OnePiece, a Norwegian jump suit maker. Kiosk buttons are dropped throughout the video, and integrated in other ways.
On the surface it looks like another Finnish startup, the image tagging service Thinglink — but Paqvalén wasn’t keen on the comparison.
“The tagging is where the similarities end,” he said, “Really, that’s the easy part.” Instead, Kiosked is focused on partnering with content providers to help them provide extra services and information to users without them ever having to leave the page they’re on. Aimed at marketers and brands, it takes a small commission or fixed fee for each action or sale generated by the service.
It’s planning to use the money as growth funding, opening new offices — it has already got bases in Helsinki and St Petersburg, Russia, and has just expanded to the U.K.. Next up is New York, and the company will also be making a move straight out of Rovio’s playbook by looking at the Chinese market too.
Paqvalén is a serial entrepreneur who has built four previous companies, including communications provider Hotsip, which was bought by Oracle in 2006.
This is the first outside investment that Kiosked has taken, being self-funded until now. Also in the round is a total of $750,000 from Tekes, the Finnish funding agency, and a small amount from a couple of other private investors.