Companies In Finland

The ultimate guide to the top Finnish companies: How many companies in Finland do you recognize?

From the language to its notoriously harsh winters, Finland is one of the world’s most unique countries. It’s also one of the most innovative; the top Finnish companies, like Nokia, have taken the world by storm in the past.

Today, Helsinki — alongside Stockholm — has the hottest tech scene in Northern Europe. But the Finnish capital isn’t the only place to go for innovation and a positive workplace culture; cities like Oulu more than hold their own in this respect.

Other industries, such as manufacturing and travel, are equally important in Finland as well.

It’s hard to place a pointer on any single thing that has made the top companies in Finland so successful. A highly-educated population is one undoubted contributor, and the Finnish “can-do” attitude in all walks of life is almost certainly another.

In this article, we’ll identify some of the most recognizable Finnish companies. You’ll discover businesses in multiple sectors, learning more about what they do and how they reached their current level of success.

Companies In Finland

Nokia

When talking about the largest Finnish companies, it’s impossible not to mention Nokia Oyj. Before smartphones became a thing, the company was one of the most important cell phone manufacturers on the globe.

Nokia’s phones were known as being almost impossible to break; at times, it felt like you were holding a brick in your hand. The devices were reliable for sending text messages and making calls, which — at the turn of the millennium — was all you really needed.

Of course, you could play a selection of mobile games as well.

Domestically, Nokia was a vital part of Finland’s economy. In 2000, it formed 4% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Moreover, it had a significant market cap.

Nokia is no longer a powerhouse in cell phone manufacturing, but the idea that it’s disappeared off the face of the planet is short-sighted. In 2021, the company generated over $20 billion in revenue and increased the worth of its total assets to almost $40 billion.

While Nokia has developed smartphones in recent years, other industries are more important to its modern-day revenue. The company focuses largely on telecommunications and has played a significant role in creating 5G networks.

Today, Nokia still has its headquarters in Espoo, part of the Greater Helsinki Region.

Companies In Finland

Marimekko

Nordic fashion is renowned for its minimalistic and neutral colors, but Marimekko delves from the norm in this respect. It’s one of the most recognizable Finnish companies outright and also one of the main players in Helsinki’s design scene.

Marimekko focuses largely on women’s clothing, with home furnishing also forming an important part of its business model.

Marimekko, founded in 1951, somewhat blends Nordic minimalism with more of a daring approach. You will find vivid patterns on its clothing, such as stripes and flowers. But at the same time, the colors typically blend well.

Moreover, you will usually only find closely-matching colors on the same garments.

If you visit Helsinki, you will find the Marimekko flagship store in the city center. Further afield, Marimekko has shops in various cities — including Stockholm and Copenhagen. The company used to have an outlet in New York City, but this has since closed.

You can also have Marimekko’s clothing delivered to you via its online store. The company is listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.

Companies In Finland

Nordea

Nordea operates throughout the Nordic region, but you will find its main office in Helsinki. The bank was founded in Denmark in 1820; its original name was Sparekassen for Kjøbenhavn og Omegn.

Over the years, however, several Nordic banks have merged together; the end result is the multinational banking giant that you see today.

Nordea provides several banking services for customers, including the ability to open personal accounts. You will also find loan services, plus much more. In addition to private customers, Nordea also offers banking services to businesses.

Across all of its markets, Nordea has more than nine million customers. Sweden is its largest market, and Denmark is the second. Finland and Norway are joint third, holding a 21% market share.

Until 2021, Nordea also operated in Russia. The company previously had a banking branch in Lithuania, too, but Nordea and DNB merged to create Luminor — which launched in 2019. Nordea still owns stakes in Luminor, which operates throughout Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Companies In Finland

Finnair

Finnair is the flagship airline for Finland and — fittingly — also a national icon. It’s one of the world’s oldest airlines still operating, and it will celebrate its 100th anniversary in November 2023. Domestically, Finnair connects many of Finland’s main urban areas — including Helsinki, Rovaniemi, and Oulu.

Finnair also has an important role in connecting Finland to other countries across the globe. The airline has a route between Helsinki and Tokyo, with several direct flights per week. Finnair also flies to Doha, Hong Kong, Bangkok, and several other cities in Asia.

Closer to home, Finnair also flies between the Finnish capital and numerous European cities, including Copenhagen, Stockholm, and London.

The main office for Finnair is at Vantaa Airport, which is the primary airspace serving the Helsinki region and Finland’s largest international airport. Finnair employs over 5,000 people and is listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.

Makia

Another clothing company on our list of the top Finnish companies is Makia. If you are looking for something that fits the Nordic design aesthetic you’re used to seeing in Sweden and Denmark, Makia will meet those particular needs.

Makia is still a relatively new company; it was founded in 2001. Since coming onto the scene, however, it has become one of the most notable Finnish clothes designers. Its precipice is to design clothing that will protect you during the elements; its chino trousers are particularly great for keeping you dry.

You will find the main Makia Store in Helsinki; it’s in the futuristic Lasipalatsi Square, which is close to the city’s main bus station. Makia has a large selection of clothing for men and women, including knitwear, t-shirts, hats, and cardigans.

On top of that, you will find a large range of clothes for children.

In addition to its main store in the Finnish capital, Makia ships throughout EU member states and Norway, the UK, and Switzerland. You can also get products delivered to the United States, Canada, and numerous other nations worldwide.

Companies In Finland
Credit: Happeo

Happeo

Happeo is one of the newer entrants to our list of Finnish companies, having been founded in 2017. The company focuses on delivering internal communication solutions for business teams, with integration for several third-party software tools — such as Slack and Google Workspace.

In addition to Helsinki, Happeo has an office in the Dutch capital Amsterdam. Further afield, the company operates in Cluj, Romania — along with having another office in New York City.

At the time of writing in September 2022, Happeo has secured over $40 million in funding over the years. Before rebranding as Happeo, the company was known as Universe. Happeo is used by several reputable businesses and offers services in multiple languages, including English, Finnish, and German.

Made by Choice

Made by Choice is another of the newer companies in Finland, having been founded in 2015. It is the brainchild of Lasse Laine, Sebastian Jansson, and Niclas Ahlström. The company designs multiple forms of furniture for your house, including eye-catching chairs, tables, and cabinets.

Made by Choice designs and produces all of its products in Finland. The company’s main factory is in Halikko, which is roughly halfway between Helsinki and Turku. 40 personnel help the company develop its high-end furniture.

If you wish to, it’s also possible to visit the production facilities.

Today, Made by Choice’s flagship store is in Helsinki. If you don’t live in Finland, you can enjoy free shipping if you’re based in one of the other Nordic countries.

Finnish Design Shop

Sticking with the theme of design, one of the best places to look online for products from Finland and the other Nordic countries is Finnish Design Shop. You will find several high-scale brands to choose from, including Marimekko, Arabia, and Danish design powerhouse HAY.

You will find a wide range of items on the Finnish Design Shop website, including lights, tables, and chairs. On top of that, you can find books to help you decorate your home — such as Monocle’s travel guides to Stockholm and Copenhagen.

Finnish Design Shop also sells electronics, such as speakers and subwoofers — in addition to kitchenware and much more.

When shopping with Finnish Design Shop, you can pick from several currencies — including the US Dollar, Danish Krone, and Swedish Krona. In total, the company ships to over 180 countries across the globe.

Finnish Design Shop also has a showroom in Turku, which is in the southwestern part of Finland.

Companies In Finland
Credit: Eckerö Line

Eckerö Line

If you ever find yourself in Helsinki, visiting nearby Estonia is a must. Tallinn, the capital, is just two hours away by boat — and because both countries are in the Schengen Area, you usually won’t need to go through passport checks when traveling between them.

Eckerö Line is one of the main operators for ships going between Helsinki and Tallinn, and you will find several daily departures. Tickets are usually pretty cheap, especially if you book a day trip from one city to the other.

On Eckerö Line’s boats, you will find a broad selection of activities. Many Finns do their alcohol shopping on the boat; it’s typically less expensive than going to one of the country’s state-run liquor stores.

You can also pick from several dining options, along with other kinds of duty-free shopping.

Companies In Finland
Credit: Holvi

Holvi

Entrepreneurship is popular in Finland, and the idea of working for yourself has become popular in other parts of the world too. But as anybody that has freelanced or run a business before will tell you, managing your finances can get pretty stressful.

Holvi’s aim is to reduce that stress and free up more time for the fun parts of being self-employed.

Holvi offers several financial services for freelancers and small businesses. You can use the service to create invoices for your clients, and the bookkeeping features are useful if you want to keep everything organized for tax season.

When you sign up for a Holvi account, you can also get a business credit card. The service has two paid subscription tiers, priced at €6 and €12 per month, respectively.

Holvi primarily serves countries in the EU. You can use its services in English, Finnish, and German.

iittala

Iittala is another of the most recognizable Finnish companies in the design space. Founded in 1881, the company derived its name from the town where the idea was birthed. Several famous individuals have worked with Iittala in the past, including Aino Aalto and Taipo Wirkkala.

If you find yourself in Helsinki, you will almost certainly see at least one Iittala product during your stay. The designer’s flagship store is in Finland’s largest city, and the company also has a shop in Stockholm.

In addition to Aino Aalto working with Iittala, Alvar Aalto — her husband and one of the most recognizable names in Finnish design and architecture — did likewise. Other names to do the same include Göran Hongell and Kaj Franck.

Today, Iittala is owned by Fiskars Group. 

Ålandsbanken

If you visit the Ålands (and you should), it’s sometimes easy to forget that you’re in Finland. The archipelago uses its own flag, and the primary language here is Swedish. On top of that, it’s roughly the same distance from mainland Sweden as it is from Finland.

Another of Finland’s main banks is Ålandsbanken, headquartered in Mariehamn — the main city on the Åland Islands. It was founded in 1919 and focuses on providing services for private individuals and businesses.

Ålandsbanken is much smaller than Nordea, but it’s still an important financial institution. The company serves around 90,000 customers; in addition to Finland, it also operates in Sweden.

On top of that, it had 462 permanent full-time employees in 2019 — with 16 permanent part-time team members and 55 temporary employees.

Companies In Finland
Credit: Ordercrazy

Qt Group

Another of the top Finnish companies in the technology sector is Qt Group, which — like Nokia — has its headquarters in Espoo. Qt Group helps teams develop software for iOS, macOS, Windows, and several other operating systems.

Qt Group offers user interface (UI) design tools, in addition to various other software development solutions — such as desktop app support. It serves multiple sectors, including automotive, consumer electronics, and industrial automation.

The company operates in 10 countries across the world, and in 2021, its net sales exceeded $100 million. Qt Group has 550 employees dotted across multiple countries, and it’s also listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.

Companies In Finland

Fortum

Finland has a wide selection of natural resources, and as you can imagine, energy is an important sector. Fortum Oyj is one of the main Finnish companies in this specific field; it was founded in 1998 and has its head office in Espoo.

Fortum operates in 10 companies across the globe and has had a huge impact. Today, it’s owned by the Finnish Government — along with the Turku, Kauhajoki, and Kurikka city councils. Various national institutions in Finland also own part of Fortum, such as the Ministry of Finance.

The company largely provides heat and electricity, and sustainability is one of its core focuses. In 2020, Fortum generated over $45 billion in revenue; it has roughly 20,000 employees spread out across multiple countries.

Companies In Finland
Credit: Francois Polito

Finnlines

Finnlines is one of the top Finnish companies in the travel sector. While Eckerö Line focuses on the route between Helsinki and Tallinn, Finnlines operates between multiple international destinations.

One of its most important routes is from Travemünde, which is in the north of Germany, to Malmö — Sweden’s third-largest city.

Finnlines also operates a route from Helsinki to Travemünde and another between Sweden and Finland — with the Åland Islands being one of the stops on the way.

Passengers traveling on one of the commercial routes with Finnlines can choose whether they want to bring their car with them. And on top of that, you can also pick the kind of cabin you want for overnight trips.

Prices vary depending on the route, and it’s worth looking out for potential offers throughout the year.

In addition to passenger traffic, Finnlines also has several freight networks between several countries — including the UK, Denmark, Belgium, and Poland. 

Companies In Finland
Credit: KONE

KONE

One of the top Finnish companies in the construction space is KONE Oyj, which has a huge presence both domestically and in multiple other countries. KONE primarily focuses on creating elevators, and there’s every chance that you’ve used one of them before.

KONE also makes escalators, moving walkways, and automatic doors. The company has its headquarters in Espoo and has been around for over 100 years; in 2021, KONE generated more than $10 billion in annual revenue.

You will find KONE’s products in several places, including 53 elevators across London’s new Elizabeth Line. KONE has also contributed to ensuring that Helsinki University Hospital operates efficiently, and you will find its products in cities like Madrid and Amsterdam as well.

Companies In Finland

Hesburger

If you find yourself out in Helsinki and looking for a quick bite to eat, Hesburger is one of the more convenient options. The burger chain will, if you’ve visited other parts of the Nordic region before, potentially remind you of MAX Burgers — which is especially popular in Sweden and Denmark.

Hesburger has a wide selection of burgers on its menu, along with sides like french fries and salads. You can also choose from a couple of tortilla choices if you fancy something a little different, and the dessert menu is extensive.

You will find Hesburger joints in several major Finnish cities, and it’s also popular in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Hesburger also operates in Germany, Bulgaria, and Ukraine. Until 2022, the company had various joints in Russia. 

Companies In Finland
Credit: TruckPR

Kemira

Kemira is another of many companies in Finland making a global impact. As you might have guessed from its name, the company focuses on chemicals — especially for water treatment and other areas.

Kemira works with companies across the world, and it has won various awards in the past. In 2019, the company had over 5,000 employees, and — in the same year — it generated over $2 billion in revenue.

Companies In Finland
Credit: Bahnfrend

Viking Line

Viking Line is another of the most important shipping companies in Finland. Like Eckerö Line and Finnlines, it has a focus on international routes. Viking Line largely operates between Sweden, Finland, and Estonia.

Viking Line is headquartered on the Åland Islands and serves multiple cities in Northern Europe. Besides Mariehamn, Viking Line’s fleet also sails to Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn, Turku, and various other ports.

You will find several routes, including Helsinki-Stockholm, Helsinki-Tallinn, and Mariehamn-Turku. If you’re going to travel more once you’re back on shore, you can also choose to bring your car with you.

Companies In Finland
Credit: Wartsila

Wärtsilä

To round off our list of the top Finnish companies, we’ll cover Wärtsilä. It’s one of the older businesses in this article, having first come onto the scene in 1834. Wärtsilä focuses on the energy and marine sectors and provides a wide range of solutions.

Wärtsilä has energy storage systems for its clients, in addition to biofuel power plants and cruise ships. The company also provides fishing vessels, turbocharger services, and much more.

Wärtsilä has its headquarters in Helsinki, but it operates on multiple continents across the globe. In 2021, the company made over $4 billion in revenue. It has tens of thousands of employees in several countries.

Finland: One of the most innovative countries on the planet

The top Finnish companies have made a huge impact in several countries across the globe. Nokia’s prowess isn’t in the public spotlight like it once was, but the company remains a key player in the telecommunications sector.

Meanwhile, design giants like Marimekko and Iittala have helped put Finland on the map for its creative sectors.

Travel is a key part of the Finnish economy, and several boat services connect the likes of Helsinki and Mariehamn to neighboring countries. Similarly, Finnair keeps everything ticking over domestically — while also flying far and wide to various international destinations.

And, of course, we can’t forget about the other tech companies that have helped Finland create a prosperous mixed economy. There’s a lot for Finnish society to be proud of.

Finland has much in common with the Scandinavian countries, but it’s often not included in the conversation. If you want to discover why that’s the case, this article explains everything you need to know.

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