May 22, 2014
Jari Ovaskainen is Europe's Business Angel of the Year
BUSINESS ANGEL OF THE YEAR
Jari Ovaskainen (FIN)
The European Business Angels Network (EBAN) has awarded as the business angel of the year Mr. Jari Ovaskainen from Finland. The selection was done at the EBAN‘s 14th annual Business Angel Congress by the EBAN board and handed over at the gala dinner the 19th of May 2014.
Jari Ovaskainen is a Finnish business angel and made his first business deal in 2000 when he sold Iobox, a web portal he’d founded, to the Spanish operator Telefónica’s subsidiary company Terra Mobile for €230 million. After this Mr. Ovaskainen has worked closely with startup companies. His investment portfolio includes Supercell, Next Games, PlayRaven, Booomlagoon, Button, Stylewhile, Miivies, Doremir, and Atacama Labs. Supercell’s majority was sold in November 2013 to the Japanese mobile operator SoftBank and game company GungHolle for €1,1 billion. Mr. Ovaskainen was the first investor in Supercell.
Jari Ovaskainen lives in Switzerland and actively works and invests in startups, mainly in Finland. He is a member in Finnish Business Angels Network (FiBAN), and was also elected “the Finnish Business Angel of the Year 2013”.
• Startup investments: Supercell, Next Games, PlayRaven, Booomlagoon, Button, Stylewhile, Miivies, Doremir, and Atacama Labs
• Exits: Iobox (2000) ja Supercell (2013)
• Finnish business angel of the Year 2013: www.fiban.org/finnish-business-angel-year-vuoden-bisnesenkeli-2013-jari-ovaskainen
• Techcrunch “Next Games, Lands $6M”: http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/12/next-games-series-a/
• Reuters “SoftBank buys $1.5 billion stake in Finnish mobile games maker Supercell”: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/15/us-softbank-acquisition-idUSBRE99E0ID20131015
Motivation for election
”Mr. Ovaskainen is a true super angel who has actively supported European, especially Finnish early-stage companies, with his international experience, networks and made actively very much needed capital investments. Mr. Ovaskainen’s role as ”the first investor in Supercell” is also very inspirational for others to bravely head towards new potential growth sectors (gaming), which especially in Finland has lead to great economical benefits and a national proudness. Everybody with similar investment capacity and networks should show similar kind of activity towards early-stage potential high-growth companies.” Paulo Andrez, President Emeritus of EBAN
The next European business angel conference will be held in Helsinki, Finland 17-18 of November 2014 in cooperation with Slush, one of Europe’s biggest startup conferences. Mr. Ovaskainen will attend the event to share his angel investing best practices. www.ebanhelsinki2014.com