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Helsingin Sanomat: Estonian Robots Conquer the Finnish Market

Helsingin Sanomat: Estonian Robots Conquer the Finnish Market

Helsingin Sanomat reports on the growing popularity of Estonian robots in Finland. Over the past two years, the expansion of Estonian companies into Finland has been significant, despite the economic downturn in Estonia. This success is the result of long-term efforts, explains Pilvi Hämäläinen, the head of the Estonian Trade Representative Office in Helsinki.

Today, Starship's robots are operational in more than 14 Finnish cities, including Salo, Karkkila, Sipoo, and Lohja. In Finland, the robots operate under the Alepa and Sale brands rather than the Starship name. Following a successful pilot in Helsinki, the expansion aims to reach 100 S-Group stores. The robots provide a fast, cost-effective, and emission-free solution for food delivery.

The latest destinations for Estonian robots in Finland include Salo, Karkkila, Sipoo, and Lohja. Additionally, the Estonian company Auvetech has sent a self-driving minibus to Makkarajärvenkatu in Tampere, which will start operating on route 301 from the Lintuhytini residential area to the Hervantajärvi tram stop. The bus, produced by Auvetech OÜ in Tallinn in collaboration with Tallinn University of Technology, accommodates six passengers and initially includes a safety driver to assist if necessary. The previous model of this autonomous minibus, Iseauto, operated on the same route for eight months and will now serve as a backup vehicle.


The spread of Estonian robotics firms in Finland indicates a broader shift in business relations between Finland and Estonia. Previously, companies moved from Finland to Estonia, but now the trend is reversing with businesses expanding from Estonia to Finland. "This is the result of long-term efforts by the companies," says Pilvi Hämäläinen, adding that Estonian firms have managed to grow and expand despite negative economic growth.

Starship's headquarters are in San Francisco, with manufacturing in Tallinn and maintenance in Espoo. Starship Technologies was founded by Estonian Ahti Heinla and Dane Janus Friis, who are also known for developing Skype. The success of Skype brought numerous investors to Estonia and encouraged many to innovate, accelerating the development of Estonian growth companies.

Source: Helsingin Sanomat