The Exit of Spectral Engines

Timo Tirkkonen shares his thoughts on the exit of Spectral Engines

The Exit of Spectral Engines

“I think this is a really good example of how Finnish technology, in the right place and right time, with the right tools and coaching can be a success story.” Timo

An insider’s story 

Inventure’s portfolio company and Finnish sensor technology company Spectral Engines was acquired last week, by the German company m-u-t AG.

As one of the investors in Spectral Engines, I’ve had the pleasure and honor of working with this rapidly growing and evolving company. There are many decisions and details about Spectral Engines, that have made them succeed up until now. I’ll try to share some of their best practices, what I admire about the company and my thoughts about the exit.

If you want to know more about the acquisition, you can read the full press release here.

The beginning: Inventure’s and Spectral Engines’ paths crossing

Our joint journey started back in May 2014, when Inventure and Spectral Engines met each other at our Seed Day. The CEO of Spectral Engines, Jarkko Antila, was the one pitching, and his energy, passion and knowledge of the technology immediately caught my interest. I instantly felt that this could be a home-run.

At this point Spectral Engines had already built an advanced high-level technology, but the founding team of four had not yet shaped the technology into a product. This was a gap I realized we at Inventure could help the ambitious team to fill. This was the beginning of our mutual partnership, where the company took the advanced technical solution to a finished product targeted for its specific niche.

The main focus of Inventure’s and Spectral Engines’ partnership

During these past four years I have together with the Spectral Engines’ team, worked hard on the iteration between product/market fit, as well as the important factors of marketing and sales.

The team has grown from four driven engineers to around 20 motivated technology experts. Spectral Engines has done an incredible job on their recruitments, hiring ambitious individuals that have a mutual interest for technology and willingness to grow out of the comfort zone. It has been a pleasure to follow how delicately the team has adjusted the technology to suit their strategies within product marketing and sales. They have managed to integrate both of those as core parts of their business.

To be honest, I think that the team’s ability and interest in adapting marketing strategies was the single point that got the company to turn around to be the successful company it is today.

Also, the highlight of 2017, when Spectral Engines’ Food scanner won the Horizon prize was a great push in the right direction. Getting recognition for technology is huge. The sheer PR value cannot be understated.

My feelings about the exit of Spectral Engines

I am very happy for Spectral Engines. The buyer is a good match for the company and I know this exit has already given the team new energy striving forward.

Personally, I’m also pleased. This was a good deal for Inventure and I’m happy that I got to be a part of the Spectral Engines team for four whole years.

The upside here is also that my contact with Spectral Engines’ will continue, just not on weekly or monthly basis. The Inventure Alumni network is open for all alumni, and Spectral Engines has already actively showed their interest towards it.

I think this is a really good example of how Finnish technology, in the right place and the right time, with the right tools and coaching will be a success story.

Me and the whole Inventure team wishes Spectral Engines all the best for the future!