Juuri Fund I Ky, an investment fund focused on SMEs will become a funding partner for children’s playground equipment manufacturer Puuha Group Ltd. This will be the second investment made by Juuri Fund I, a fund established about a year ago and managed by private equity investment company Juuri Partners Ltd. Juuri Fund I will provide support for developing Puuha Group’s operations and customer oriented approach, while also strengthening the company’s ability to invest in product exports.
Puuha Group is the leading manufacturer of children’s playground, sports and outdoor equipment in Finland, with strong growth over recent years. The company has multiplied its revenue during the last four years to the current level of approximately 5 million euros. The company received an award at the Entrepreneurial Spirit of Turku competition, as the ‘entrepreneur from Turku of the year’ in 2016. The company plans to expand to selected foreign markets in the future. Puuha Group has a licensing agreement for the usage of Moomin characters in playground equipment in Finland, its neighbouring countries as well as in Japan. The agreement provides the company a strong foundation for accelerating growth in exports.
“Our partnership enables Puuha Group to grow and it also strengthens Juuri Partners’ own position as a new and different growth fund. Our fund has had a great start already, and we can see that there is a clear demand for funders like us in the market. There is scarcity of funding options for companies in addition to banks and the traditional majority ownership based company acquisitions”, says CEO of Juuri Partners, Samuli Sipilä.
“Thanks to this extra funding, we now have even better chances to grow and go international. Juuri Partners is an active minority owner, and we expect to benefit greatly from their networks and business expertise”, says CEO Samuli Mäkelä from Puuha Group.
Mäkelä reminds that childhood obesity and health problems related to insufficient exercise are increasing continuously. “It’s a global problem, and it’s clearly related to the excessive use of smart phones and tablets. We have to get our kids excited about outdoor exercise again, we need new and different products and service options to achieve that goal”, he notes.
BETWEEN BANKS AND TRADITIONAL EQUITY INVESTORS
Juuri Fund I is working as an active minority owner in Finnish SMEs. The company represents a new type of player in the market, situated between banks and traditional equity investors. In addition to funding, Juuri Partners offers the target companies the networks of their partners and their expertise.
“Our goal is to find 10 to 15 Finnish companies with excellent potential for growth and developments. We are interested in growth oriented, established companies with good basic products or service who are facing different changes”, tells partner Anita Ojala from Juuri Partners.
For additional information:
Marko Mäkelä, CEO, Puuha Group Oy, tel +358 400 477449
Samuli Sipilä,CEO, Juuri Partners Oy, tel +358 40 7711 764
Juuri Fund I Ky is a Finnish private equity investment fund, which offers financing to established and profitable small and medium-sized enterprises in Finland. Juuri Partners offers growth focused companies a new business development and financing concept which combines active minority ownership, business operation support and debt financing. The fund currently holds approximately 80 million euros and has investments from several significant institutional investors from Finland.
Puuha Group Oy is a company manufacturing children’s playground equipment and outdoor furniture. The company also offers lifetime services for their products. In addition to traditional playground equipment and outdoor furniture, Puuha Group’s product portfolio also includes Moomin playground and outdoor sports equipment. The product design process emphasizes quality, durability, usability and domesticity.