A Tampere-based technology startup FORCIOT, producing stretchable electronics, e.g. for automotive, logistics and wearable sectors, has announced an investment made in the company by the German technology company Heraeus and the Scandinavian vehicle manufacturer Volvo Cars. The funding enables Forciot to broaden up its international business entry and supply chain operations as well as hire new people.
Forciot’s product is a unique stretchable electronics and algorithm solution that accurately measures and reports force, weight, balance and pressure, and the system can also be utilised as an HMI touch controller. Recently, Forciot announced Heraeus Holding GmbH and Volvo Cars’ Technology fund AB have made investments in the company as part of Forciot’s Series A investment round.
– We’re extremely happy to have such great partners on board. Both, Heraeus and Volvo Cars, have an admirable track record in innovation and both are operating in our strategic business and learning areas, says Tytti Julkunen, Forciot Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board.
Investors value FORCIOT’s advanced electronics and sensor technologies
It was the startup event SLUSH in Helsinki that originally brought Forciot and Heraeus together.
– This is a great opportunity and we are here to make Forciot a success, says Dr. Frank Stietz, head of the Heraeus’ Business Area Electronics.
– Stretchable electronics and sensor technology are a future growth market for Heraeus. Our investment in Forciot allows us to open up this market even more and to continue to learn, and it supports our growing electronics and sensor technology areas, continues Dr. Stietz.
The Scandinavian vehicle manufacturer Volvo Cars finds great potential in Forciot’s technologies, and there already are plans for joint development:
– At Volvo Cars, we see potential in Forciot’s technologies that can be used for next-generation car interiors. Having said that, in the automotive industry we are tied to tight design and development road maps. In reality, it can take three to four years to see scalable and stretchable technology in cars – but we have joint plans to come out with other solutions sooner than that, estimates Andreas Strasser, Investment Director at Volvo Cars.
New partners in business. From left to right: Tytti Julkunen, Forciot Chairman of the Board & CMO; Dr. Frank Stietz, Head of the Heraeus’ Business Area Electronics; Andreas Strasser, Investment Director at Volvo Cars; Maria Alm, Forciot CEO; Mikko Turunen, Forciot Chief Engineer, Mechanics and Petri Järvinen, Forciot CTO. Photo: FORCIOT
Tampere Region – an ideal location for startups and scaleups
Forciot is already operating worldwide providing its technology solutions for large scale B2B customers. In addition to the automotive sector, the startup also offers the technology for logistics and wearable manufacturers that need advanced stretchable sensor solutions to bring intelligence into their products and challenging measurement environments. The funding allows Forciot to build up a sales team, and the company is also looking for global partners to broaden the supply chain capabilities.
– The investment enables us to further scale Forciot’s operations to prepare for the mass volume phase and it greatly supports our global sales, marketing and technology development growth plans, says Maria Alm, Forciot Co-Founder and CEO.
Forciot’s founders Maria Alm and Tytti Julkunen see the Tampere region as an optimal location for a hi-tech company to grow and do business:
– Our headquarters is located in Tampere, Finland, and the region has proved to be an ideal environment for us. Cooperation with the city governance has been smooth and the local universities guarantee an excellent source of competence. This is important especially now that we are broadening our operations and recruiting new people, says Tytti Julkunen.
– Check us out, we have several positions open! We are strengthening our current team of 19 people and looking for talent in the areas of sales & product management, sourcing & supply chain development and SW development, completes Maria Alm.
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