Pia Santavirta will take over as new CEO of Tesi

Press releases

Managing director of the Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA), Pia Santavirta, has been named as the CEO of the state-owned investment company Tesi (officially Finnish Industry Investment Ltd). Santavirta will start her new position no later than January first, 2023. Along with the news, FVCA is launching a search for a new managing director.

Pia Santavirta has been leading FVCA since 2016. Over the course of six years, private equity and venture capital investors (PE investors) have invested nearly €8 billion into 1,500 Finnish startup and growth companies. Under Santavirta’s leadership, the FVCA has grown into the largest private equity and venture capital industry body and public policy advocate in the Nordic countries, with more than 180 members.

Startup and growth companies and the PE investors that finance them have risen among the most followed companies in the last six years. It has been a pleasure to share exciting growth and investment news with our team and researched information about growth financing to an ever-expanding audience. The good news has also brought a lot of new talent to the PE industry as well as startups and growth companies“, rejoices Pia Santavirta.

Finland’s competitiveness must continuously be taken care of. I’m also happy that more and more decision-makers are actively influencing the operating environment of startups, growth companies and investors in order to speed up growth and internationalization“, Santavirta continues.

Next Santavirta moves over to be the next CEO of the state-owned investment company Tesi, as Jan Sasse’s successor, starting on January first, 2023, at the latest. The aim of Tesi is to promote the private equity and venture capital market and the growth and internationalization of Finnish companies. Tesi influences, directly or indirectly, in startup and growth companies with a combined turnover of €11 billion and more than 70,000 employees through investments made in PE&VC funds.

It’s wonderful that I get to continue working with the PE industry and startup and growth companies in a new role, as an investor this time, together with Tesi’s competent team,” Santavirta comments.

“I would like to thank Pia for her energetic and competent work as a promoter of policy work, communication and the best practices in the industry. In recent years, the association has done exceptionally wide-ranging work, even at the Nordic level, to promote responsibility practices and sustainable development, together with the whole industry. On behalf of the entire membership, I would like to express my warm thanks for the excellent and impressive cooperation, which will certainly continue in Pia’s new role at Tesi”, comments Janne Holmia, chairperson of the FVCA’s board.

The FVCA will open the search for a new managing director.

More information:

Pia Santavirta, Managing director
+358 40 546 7749, pia.santavirta@fvca.fi

Janne Holmia, Chairperson of the Board of Directors
+358 40 0843333, janne.holmia@verdane.com

Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA) is the industry body and public policy advocate for the venture capital and private equity investors in Finland. We represent a diverse group of investors, that build sustainable growth and whose target companies employ more than 70 000 employees.

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What has happened in the PE industry and in the availability of funding for startup and growth companies since 2016?

  • 17 new venture capital teams have started in Finland.
  • Six venture capital funds have grown pass the €100 million size group which is the average size of European venture capital funds.
  • The amount of foreign startup investments has tenfolded. In 2021, €1,2 billion were invested in startups of which foreign investors accounted for 71 % (€855 million).
  • 11 of the startups have grown into the unicorn category, i.e., into a company worth more than a billion dollars. Among the newest unicorns are Wolt, AlphaSense, Relex, Aiven and Oura.
  • Finnish buyout investors have invested an average of one billion annually in SMEs.
  • On the Helsinki Stock Exchange, about half of the new listings come from a PE investor background. In 2021, five of the eight new listings on last year’s main list had venture PE investor backgrounds.

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