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"Maintaining high-quality public services reduces society's fragmentation into bubbles" – Mikko Kärkkäinen in Helsingin Sanomat

Nov 7, 2023

Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s biggest newspaper published an interview with Mikko Kärkkäinen, one of the founders of both Relex Solutions and Relex Foundation. Learn what are Mikko’s future dreams and his message to the politicians.

This is an English summary of the Helsingin Sanomat article. The full article in Finnish can be found here.

In February 2022, Finnish software company Relex Solutions made headlines by securing an unprecedented funding of 500 million euros, with Blackstone, the world's largest investment company, leading the investment charge.

However, a significant portion of this funding didn't just bolster Relex Solutions’ balance sheet; it also went to the company's founders and employees, who sold a fraction of their ownership.

Soon after the sales, the founders and one of the first employees of Relex Solutions, Mikko Kärkkäinen, Johanna Småros, Michael Falck and Marko Nikula, donated 10 million euros to the Relex Foundation, a charitable organization they established.

The Relex Foundation focuses on fostering biodiversity, combating climate change, and preventing the social exclusion of children and youth.

Mikko Kärkkäinen, the CEO of Relex Solutions, estimates that his own everyday life has changed relatively little due to becoming wealthy. 'I don't need much, as long as I have a good bicycle, books, and time. I've noticed that this has led to a certain kind of freedom,' he says.

Mikko emphasizes the importance of public services in maintaining social cohesion. Drawing a parallel with his experiences in living in England, he stresses that taxing slightly more to sustain high-quality public services is essential. Ensuring that everyone benefits from these services and promoting overall well-being, prevents society from fragmenting into isolated bubbles.

Relex Solutions, founded in 2005, has grown steadily over 18 years, becoming a significant player in the software industry. Despite challenging market conditions and a slowdown in corporate mergers and acquisitions, the company's leadership, including Kärkkäinen, remains committed to the company and their vision.

Mikko shares two future dreams: The first of is to build a successful and significantly sized enterprise software company that is also a virtuous enterprise.

"It means living according to one's values," explains Mikko.

Another dream is connected to the impact of Relex’s software platform, especially minimizing food wastage through predictive optimization.