Alexander Krylov, the other of the partners of a new digital multi-channel advertising network, already now dreams of establishing another company in Helsinki, Finland. He is happy that the Helsinki Centre, Helsinki Business Hub, and Business Finland have been so willing to help.
In Summer 2019, Alexander Krylov ran a six-restaurant company in St. Petersburg. It was the result of a visit to Helsinki in 2013, when he experienced the Fafa’s pita chain, and was inspired to launch his own.
Krylov with his partner Kirill Desyatkin also ran another business, Ungads, which provides companies better clicks and recognition of brand by digital advertising in their multi-channel advertising network on the Internet. It was based in Riga.
It was then when Krylov felt that he was enough experienced as an entrepreneur to take on new challenges, to develop the IT business and relocate it and move to Helsinki, Finland. He walked into the Helsinki Centre in St. Petersburg to find out more.
Helsinki Centre’s Invest In team provided Krylov and Desyatkin with information on requirements and process how to get a Startup Permit and connected co-founders with Maria Hartikainen, Senior Business Advisor at Helsinki Business Hub.
“I visited Helsinki Business Hub two days later. We spoke more about doing business in Helsinki – how to relocate to Helsinki, find the right partners, and set up a company here. We also got the contact to Pauli Noronen, Chief Adviser at Business Finland to learn more about the Startup Permit and funding opportunities. After these talks, I was sure our plan could work,” says Krylov.
Business Finland gave a favorable assessment of the business and growth potential of Suomzilla and provided an Eligibility Statement. Next, Suomzilla submitted its Startup Permit application to the Finnish Immigration Service. Krylov and Desiatkin got the permit in 2020, and both moved to Helsinki the same year.
The Finnish Startup Permit is meant for innovative startup founders coming from non-EU countries.
“Finland is stable”
Krylov is astonished about the help they have gotten from the Helsinki Centre, Helsinki Business Hub and Business Finland. He has experienced “wow” moments many times.
“It has been great to get support how to run a business here. It was a big surprise to me to learn that the Business Finland R&D loans are usually unsecured. This kind of help is what young companies need,” highlights Krylov.
The reason to come to Helsinki, Finland, is based on the stability of the society. Businesses can make long-term plans and find out what official changes are about to come in time.
Also, the personal reasons matter.
“Life will be less stressful in a smaller city, where you can move around easily. I sold my car and bought a bike here in Helsinki. The Finnish culture is also amazing as people respect each other,” says Krylov.
Better ad placements, cheaper price
Krylov and Desiatkin have established their company Suomzilla in Finland, and they plan to kick-off during Spring 2021. The website is up and running, and the digital advertising solution is under constant development. It will provide the advertisers an access to over 500,000 publishers in 190 countries. How does it work?
“Kirill has invented a unique AI-based program, which can estimate the quality of the Internet traffic and win relevant auctions so that our advertisers’ ads are shown to right kind of clients. Our program works fast and provides the best price,” explains Krylov.
In multi-channel advertising networks, various digital ads from banners to direct links compete against each other all the time based on price.
In practice, things have been made easy for advertisers using Suomzilla. Each of them establishes an own account to set up their campaigns, which can be tailored, for instance, according to age, location, and type of device.
“We also have advisors, who can help to use the ad service and follow-up the results. It is easy to learn,” says Krylov.
He expects that industries, who compete for the clients all the time, will start to use their platform. These include gaming, finance, eCommerce, software, and mobile app industries.
On a growth path
In two years, Suomzilla plans to have a turnover of 2,5Me and some 10 employees. First, the company will hire programmers and advisors to give support to advertisers.
“Then, our next big step will be to hire sales mentors, who can represent us and acquire new clients personally in the many Internet marketing conferences worldwide from Prague to Bangkok,” plans Krylov.
Sounds like a plan, but what is the situation with the restaurant business?
Krylov says that he still runs the Pitas in St. Petersburg as it can be done remotely from Helsinki, but he has new dreams, too. He works with different restaurant scenarios concerning Helsinki. One thing is essential.
“It is the familial feeling and warm atmosphere of a restaurant. You just feel good in that kind of place.”
Writer: Katja Alaja