The Nokia Mafia

January 16, 2024

Nokia Corporation, a Finnish multinational company, has a rich history dating back to 1865. It was founded by Fredrik Idestam and Leo Mechelin, initially as a pulp mill in southern Finland, named after the town of Nokia.

Over the decades, the company diversified into various sectors including rubber, cable, forestry, electronics, and notably, telecommunications. Nokia became a household name in the late 20th century with its mobile phones, gaining international fame in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Known for their durability, battery life, and user-friendly interface, iconic models like the Nokia 3310 and 1100 exemplified their dominance in the mobile phone industry. However, the rise of smartphones brought significant challenges, leading to the acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services division by Microsoft in 2014.

Today, Nokia's primary focus is on telecommunications infrastructure, technology development, and licensing.


Fredrik Idestam and Leo Mechelin


The Nokia Mafia

The Nokia Mafia has founded 33 companies, raising $106 million in total, as per Crunchbase data.

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List of all the amazing companies covered:

  • Justworks
  • Molekule
  • A.Team
  • Apervita
  • Outsight
  • Kiswe
  • Greenly
  • Tappp
  • Firedome
  • Toucan
  • Elo Health
  • Cache
  • HEXO+
  • Verofax Limited
  • GetPackage
  • Spinwheel



Founder: Isaac Oates

Nokia Role: Web Developer

Capital Raised: $159.8M

Investors: Union Square Ventures

Stage: Series E

Justworks provides small and medium-sized businesses with simple software and expert support for payroll, benefits, HR, and compliance.



Founder: Dilip Goswami

Nokia Role: Technical Associate

Capital Raised: $118.5M

Investors: RPS Ventures

Stage: Series C

Molekule provides FDA-cleared air purification devices to address the growing global air purification industry.



Founder: Raphael Ouzan

Nokia Role: Software Engineer

Capital Raised: $115M

Investors: Insight Partners

Stage: Series A

A.Team is a distributed, on-demand team formation platform that allows members to team up and build things.


Founder: Kaushik Pendurthi

Nokia Role: Software Engineer

Capital Raised: $56.7M

Investors: General Catalyst

Stage: Series B is a B2B stealth mode AI startup disrupting the on-demand economy.



Founder: Paul Magelli

Nokia Role: Head of Customer Insight & Experience

Capital Raised: $59.5M

Investors: Optum Ventures

Stage: Series A

Apervita is the healthcare collaboration platform for quality measurement, and clinical intelligence.



Founder: CΓ©dric Hutchings

Nokia Role: VP Digital Healh at Nokia Tech

Capital Raised: €40.5M ($43.74)

Investors: Bpifrance

Stage: Series B

Outsight develops a revolutionary kind of sensor, a 3D Semantic Camera that brings Full Situation Awareness to Smart Machines and Cities.



Founder: Wim Sweldens

Nokia Role: President, Wireless Division

Capital Raised: $37.8M

Investors: Sony Innovation Fund

Stage: Series B

Kiswe is a video technology startup providing live media solutions to sports and entertainment content owners.



Founder: Marko Pirinen, Veli-Pekka Ketonen

Nokia Role: Specialist End-to-End Service Performance, Program Manager

Capital Raised: $32.3M

Investors: Technology Venture Partners US

Stage: Series E

7SIGNAL is a cloud-based wireless optimization platform.



Founder: Matthieu Vegreville

Nokia Role: Head of Patient Solutions & RWE Studies

Capital Raised: $25.5M

Investors: Energy Impact Partners

Stage: Series A

Greenly the go-to carbon accounting platform.



Founder: Sundip Agarwal

Nokia Role: Director, Head Asia Pacific

Capital Raised: $21.4M

Investors: Verance Capital

Stage: Series B

TAPPP is a leader in the flexible payment space, partnering with major leagues, broadcasters, and sports books.



Founder: Sharon Mirsky

Nokia Role: Head of Special Projects, Sales Development North America

Capital Raised: 14.4M

Investors: Two Sigma Ventures

Stage: Series A

Firedome secures IoT devices and prevents the next cyber-catastrophe.



Founder: Charles Migliett

Nokia Role: Software Engineer

Capital Raised: €12M ($12.96)

Investors: Balderton Capital

Stage: Series A

Toucan is a customer-facing analytics platform that empowers organizations to drive engagement with the best end-user experience.


Elo Health

Founder: Tapio Tolvanen

Nokia Role: Head of Technology

Capital Raised: $15M

Investors: Octopus Ventures

Stage: Series A

Elo develops a smart nutrition service that uses biomarkers to deliver nutrition for optimal health and aging.



Founder: Srikanth Narayan

Nokia Role: Researcher - Visualization

Capital Raised: $5.2M

Investors: First Round Capital

Stage: Pre-Seed

Cache is a fintech startup that offers brokerage service for individuals holding large stock positions.



Founder: Antoine Level

Nokia Role: Program / Project Leader

Capital Raised: $4.3M

Investors: Living Water Investment

Stage: Seed

HEXO+ is the first Autonomous FlyingCam.



Founder: Devon Copley

Nokia Role: Head of Product, VR Platform

Capital Raised: $2.9M

Investors: Ulu Ventures

Stage: Seed

AVATOUR is the remote collaboration platform for on-site meetings.


Verofax Limited

Founder: Wassim Merheby

Nokia Role: Head of Retail

Capital Raised: $1M

Investors: Benson Oak Ventures

Stage: Seed

Verofax enables traceability as a service for products, stakeholders and transactions.



Founder: Oren Elzam

Nokia Role: Software Engineer

Capital Raised: $11.5M

Investors: Mayer's Cars and Trucks

Stage: Series A

GetPackage offers optimized last-mile same-day delivery services which are based on a unique sharing economy technology.



Founder: Tushar Vaish

Nokia Role: Software Consultant

Capital Raised: $11M

Investors: QED Investors

Stage: Seed

Spinwheel helps you transform how your business and your customers see, understand, and act on debt with our industry-leading debt APIs and drop-in modules.


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