Finnish venture attracts big gun backing

3i, Accenture, Nokia and Sampo have jointly set up a financial services software company.

3i, Accenture, Nokia and Sampo, a Finnish financial services company, have joined forces to create Meridea Financial Software, a company developing banking and financial software for desktop and mobile online services.

Esa Tihilä, the former head of ICL’s global ebusiness operations, will take the reigns as CEO. The company’s software allows consumers access to financial information via a number of mediums including mobile devices, the internet and digital TV.

According to Kudos Research, as electronic banking services will become more efficient and versatile in the future, the demand for financial institutions to deliver such services will increase.

It is this demand that attracted 3i to the start-up, said Jakko Virtanen, an investment director for 3i in Finland. “We believe consumer driven content demand is an important area of growth and full of investment opportunities,” he said.

Meridea will employ around 100 people in Finland by the end of 2002. The company intends to market its wares internationally from the outset.