The Start Up Fund Joensuu and the North Karelia Growth Fund have both invested EUR 100,000 in Photonics Finland member SeeTrue Technologies, which produces eye tracking technology. The company’s current owners also took part with an investment of EUR 150,000. Investors believe that the company has the potential to become a leading company in its sector.
SeeTrue Technologies specialises in eye tracking technology: the company produces solutions for various applications based on the company’s software and electronics development. The company’s operations are boosted by new investments totalling EUR 460,000. The Start Up Fund Joensuu and the North Karelia Growth Fund have both invested EUR 100,000 in the company. In addition, SeeTrue’s current owners and employees invest a total of EUR 150,000, and Business Finland is involved in supporting the business with EUR 110,000 in development and research funding.
Founded in 2018, the company’s business operations are based on long-term research activities in eye tracking technology and a team of top experts. At the moment, SeeTrue employs seven employees, but actively recruits new skills to the team and seeks growth.
“International markets, such as the United States and Asia, are important to us because they are the main manufacturing countries for VR and AR equipment. Typical clients for this type of technology are international electronic giants: that’s who we are aiming for now and in the future”, says Roman Bednarik, founding member of SeeTrue.
Implementation sectors for eye tracking vary from operating rooms to lumbering sites
SeeTrue’s goal is to be able to offer the world’s best eye tracking solutions as a whole.
“We have developed solutions for, for example, operating rooms: health care is a critical sector of application as it cannot afford mistakes. We are already particularly good at the stability and practicality of eye tracking. We want to be a leading player in eye tracking technology, and as VR and AR applications become more common, we are already involved in market development, because the features of our technology also work perfectly on consumer devices”, Bednarik explains.
Eye tracking technology can help optimise the displays of devices that use augmented reality, help to understand the user better and use eyes to control the devices. SeeTrue believes in the extensive possibilities of technology in industry and ultimately also in consumer applications. Bednarik cites the forest industry as an example of a significant industry in Finland where eye tracking can be utilised in the future.
“In the cab of a forest harvester, the operator’s hands are occupied at the controls of the device – but what if we can use smart eye tracking sensors? We would get a better idea of when the driver wants to do something, when they are ready to act, if they are tired, and so on. This increases both machine and operator productivity.”
Funds rely on opportunities to become a world leader
SeeTrue fund investors have strong confidence in the company’s potential. Kaj Hagros, Managing Director of Redstone Nordics, which administers the North Karelia Growth Fund, emphasises that this type of university-oriented deep-tech projects are an interesting investment target for the fund.
“Photonics is one of the strengths of Joensuu’s scientific community, and SeeTrue Technologies is an excellent example of this. We believe that SeeTrue’s software and hardware expertise will generate promising global product partnerships”, Hagros stated.
Kari Pulkkinen, the growth coach of Business Joensuu and the Start Up Fund Joensuu, is also excited to participate in the development of SeeTrue’s business.
“SeeTrue has a top performing team and technology that has a lot of applications and markets around the world. We believe that the company has the opportunity to reach its goal and become a globally significant player in its field.”
Business Finland Senior Advisor, Jani Jokitalo, describes SeeTrue’s growth potential as follows:
”SeeTrue Technologies Oy is a good example of the Finnish deep tech start-up, whose product development is based on decades of research. The company’s solutions are top-of-the-line in their field, and potential customers are large international companies, which means that turnover can develop exponentially if sales succeed.”
Fund Manager & Growth Coach, Business Joensuu
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Managing Partner, Managing Director, Redstone Nordics
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Founding Member & Managing Director, SeeTrue Technologies Oy
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Start Up Fund Joensuu
The Start Up Fund Joensuu helps start-up companies grow, employ and internationalise. The Fund obtains its capital from the City of Joensuu and private investors. The fund is managed by Joensuun Startup Kehitys Oy, a subsidiary of Business Joensuu. The Fund’s capital is EUR 2.5 million and its typical investment is EUR 50,000 – 200,000. Together with Business Joensuu’s Business Accelerator and internationalisation services, the Fund supports the domestic and international growth of its target companies. The Fund is an avenue for companies’ second phase funding round. While the Fund is not subject to any field-specific restrictions, its main focus is on companies that specialise in digitalisation, the forest bioeconomy, and materials and innovative technology. Target companies must operate in Joensuu, want to be located in Joensuu or have a connection with the Joensuu region at the operative activity level.
Redstone as a company
Redstone is a Berlin venture capital company that manages a large number of venture capital funds. Redstone is a general partner of the North Karelia Growth Fund. The North Karelia Growth Fund invests in newly established young companies, especially in the fields of digitalisation, forestry, bioeconomy, photonics, tourism, creative industries and materials research.
SeeTrue Technologies is a company developing eye tracking technology established in Joensuu in 2018. SeeTrue develops the world’s most advanced and stable eye-tracking sensors and applications, backed by decades of research and experience in computational optics, machine vision and applied eye tracking.