HUONE – Opening soon
First in the world, HUONE is a hotel that only offers meeting rooms. After its 3 years of startup success in Helsinki, this Finnish innovation is expanding to the top 10 Meeting Cities in the world by 2025, starting from Singapore.
The story of HUONE started with a love story. A Finnish guy from Lapland married a Malaysian village girl. It is no wonder that this Nordic meets Asian diversity has sparked an innovation of its kind. Evon and Jussi Söderlund, the couple-entrepreneurs are young, ambitious, forward-thinking, determined with passionate hearts.
Evon and Jussi share a love for events and new experiences, they saw how difficult it was to organize events and to bring people together. They saw how the biggest player in the industry (i.e. hotels) offered a poor solution for customers. Little has been done to develop these boring meeting and event facilities. After 5 years of careful planning, they sought funding to build an Events Hotel, a concept they had developed. In 2012 without having luck raising equity for this new idea, they decided to sell their own apartment and take on loans to fund the venture. Their startup journey has been tough but it has been full of invaluable teachings to shape both the business and the entrepreneurs and reveal diamonds in the rough.
HUONE made a loss the first year; broke-even the second year and turned profit in its third year, which is when the entrepreneurs immediately expanded Huone Helsinki unit 3-fold in size. In its fourth year, HUONE is going international, starting in Singapore. The vision and the determination of this team are consistent and unstoppable.
Today, HUONE has won 6 awards, from the Best Event Venue in Finland to the PwC’s Most Valuable Entrepreneur of the year. The remarkable story of HUONE and its founders has been recognized and featured in both the Taivas + Helvetti vol.2 and SISU books.
This original concept is taking its first steps to go global. Join the ride, be part of this legend!
- There are so many meetings & events that feel like a complete waste of time.
- The biggest supplier of meeting rooms is hotels, yet their main product is bedrooms.
- The meeting industry is an annual trillion-euro market globally.
- No major innovation has been seen in the meeting industry, until now.
‘Just like our guests, who are all different, so are we. Our motto is never stop learning.’ say the founders.
HUONE Events Hotel is an exceptional place for B2B meetings & events, a hotel without bedrooms. The Google-office style creative thematic meeting rooms added with on-site event consultants offer a variety of programs, activities, wine&dine with full service. Every meeting is looked at individually where mini frameworks and tools can be introduced to facilitate the meetings towards different goals.
HUONE aims to maximize our guests’ Return on Meetings and to make meetings around the world worth going to: meaningful, social, creative, fun and memorable.
The future chain of Event Hotels are more-in-one venues which are built to provide guests a solution to design their meetings. Using HUONE’s unique online platform guests can book, design, pay and manage their events. The platform is the first ever to address event needs as a whole from event management to on-site logistics. It is also a platform to facilitate networking and gather big data about the global meeting industry.
Our current situation
- In operation for 3,5 years, hosted over 3500 meetings & events.
- Ready and profitable business model about to be scaled-up on a global level.
The pilot unit, located in Jätkäsaari, Helsinki, is a 2200m2 event venue with 12 event rooms, 3 saunas, 3 bars and a terrace.
In its three years start-up operation, the Helsinki pioneer has tripled its turnover to 1,2m€, won 6 awards (e.g. Best Interior Design, Best Event Venue in Finland (twice), Customer Experience) tripled its size (space) and hosted more than 3500 events and continues to host a pool of high-profiled loyal customers with service excellence. As a result, Huone Helsinki has become a trendsetter for the event industry locally. Today, Huone is heading international with a franchising concept in mind.
The first unit abroad, Singapore is being planned and built at this very moment. Singapore is the no.1 meeting city in the world for the 6th consecutive year. Market research conducted in Singapore in April of 2016 has proven high interest and demand for the HUONE concept. Centrally located in a high profile area, Huone Singapore is to be opened by February 2017. (More info coming soon)
The internationalization plan of HUONE has received substantial support from both TEKES and Finnvera. The scaling of the HUONE concept will start in 2018 to the Top 10 Meeting Cities in the world.
The funding round
With this funding round of raising 500 000 €-800 000€ of equity investment, HUONE is offering 4.76%-7.41% of shares in the mother company (Söderlund International Oy). Pre-money valuation at 10m€. Currently Söderlund International Oy owns Huone Helsinki (100%) and Huone Singapore (70%) and the franchising rights for the concept, online system and brand.
This investment is being used to finalize the operations (Franchising) manuals, online platform, as well as the establishment of the first unit abroad in Singapore.
This project of HUONE internationalization is supported by TEKES (Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation), Finnvera as well as the Singapore Tourism Board.
Evon is a battle hardened entrepreneur. She has lived in Finland for 11 years and has previous work experience from the Embassy of Malaysia in Finland as a Social Secretary. In 2012 she founded HUONE and has since been recognised with PwC’s ‘Most Valuable Entrepreneur’ of the year award as well as Evento Awards ‘Best Event Venue in Finland’ award.
The coolheaded guy from Rovaniemi, Jussi is a B2B sales professional. He graduated with a Master of Economics degree in 2008. Jussi worked in Hilti from 2007-2012 where he first developed his B2B sales skills and then lead the Southern Retail team, managing a group of 12. At Huone, Jussi has led and developed the sales through 3500 sold events. Jussi brings the analytical, feet on the ground contrast to the Huone management team.
NOTE: This funding round is not yet active, but it will open soon. The final pitch will contain more information than the preview. All information is subject to change, so do not base your investment decision on the preview version. Hit the like button on the right to be notified when the pitch goes live!