Smartly.io

Website:

Invested:

June 2017

Description:

Smartly.io powers beautifully effective ads
A

good relationship between a portfolio company and an investor depends on many things. Trust, of course, and transparency too. But Irena and Jean will tell you that a quality pair of socks should never be underestimated.

And so it was that on the evening before their first joint trip to the HQ of social media software business Smartly.io in Helsinki, Irena found herself giving Jean a crash course in one of the more peculiar elements of Finnish office culture: socks, slippers, and no shoes.

Co-founder Tuomo Riekki acknowledges that for first-time visitors, the footwear etiquette can be a little jarring – “it’s almost like you’re at a kindergarten” – but there’s no doubt it also makes the environment uniquely comfortable.

In fact, its office space is a creative’s dream, and while dirty laundry is definitely off the cards, the honest and open airing of potentially difficult subjects is high on the agenda.

Months into their working relationship, and as Highland was on the cusp of investing in Smartly.io, Irena remembers breaking her news to Kristo: “I won’t make it to our first joint Board meeting in person: I’ll be on maternity leave.”

She recalls feeling grateful for the enthusiastic support (and a gift of Smartly-branded baby socks!) from Tuomo and Kristo, as well as the seamless collaboration with Tony who boarded the Helsinki-bound flight for that first Board discussion.

“We’d obviously been excited about working with Irena, but also about collaborating with Highland as a whole and building a long-term relationship,” explains Kristo.

We’d obviously been excited about working with Irena, but also about collaborating with Highland as a whole and building a long-term relationship
— Kristo, Smartly.io CEO & Co-founder

Over the years, what struck Irena most about Tuomo, Kristo and the broader Smartly.io leadership team, was their culture of transparency and humility: “That goes a long way towards building trust and overcoming, what I like to call, rollercoaster moments.”

It turns out the socks-and-slippers way of life really can teach us a thing or two about business: Always put your best foot forward, try to feel comfortable, and never ever try to hide dirty laundry. The smell will inevitably give it away.

Image Credits: Glassdoor

Image Credits: Glassdoor

Smartly’s technology is unique in allowing creative and marketing teams to craft the most stunning visual campaigns at scale.
— Irena, Partner

Smartly News

View more updates
[email protected] editorial staff and readers nominated hundreds of people for their Women Trailblazers list – and let us warn you, these leaders are 🔥. Check out the 35 honorees and their inspiring stories today: https://t.co/Aiy3yv2cmx
@Smartlyio Fri 30th July
From layoffs to moving cities and beyond, the pandemic shook up every industry. We're lucky enough to give our Smartlies the flexibility to work where they want. The @WSJ has all the essential considerations for keeping a job or pursuing a fresh start: https://t.co/CZnIcRbp82
@Smartlyio Thu 29th July
We're not surprised that 78% of CEOs bank on CMOs and marketing leaders to drive growth – are you? @MarketingDive has gathered all the CMO 1H 2021 stats and more here: https://t.co/YPSvcTAi8R
@Smartlyio Thu 29th July

Up Next

Socialpoint