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Growth funds investing EUR 150,000 in Joensuu-based Norrapro Oy, which manufactures water handling systems for bedrock facilities

Norrapro Oy_water_handling_systems_for_rock_construction_Business_Joensuu_Growth_funds

The Start Up Fund Joensuu and the North Karelia Growth Fund invest in Norrapro Oy, which produces water handling systems for rock construction. The growth company collected a total of EUR 350,000 of new funding from local funds and Business Finland to expand its operations to international markets.

Norrapro manufactures shotcrete drainage systems that are installed in bedrock facilities and underground sites to control water handling. The company has also developed and patented a new fire-safe water steering system that helps the owner of the bedrock facility to proactively examine and maintain the drains also during the use of the site.

Norrapro has already received EUR 200,000 in research, development and innovation funding (RDI) from Business Finland. Now the Start Up Fund Joensuu and North Karelia Growth Fund are also investing in the Joensuu-based growth company: both funds will invest EUR 75,000 in Norrapro. With the growth capital, the company will promote the provision of its digital services and aim at international markets.

Water handling into control and monitoring

When building in bedrock and underground, flood water poses a challenge. The infrastructure construction regulations require that no leaks occur in tunnels or underground spaces: water must not accumulate on roads or other spaces. At worst, inadequate water management can lead to extensive maintenance needs and interruptions in use of underground facilities.

- The water flowing in the bedrock must be directed in a controlled manner to the ground drains of the bedrock facilities. The most common problems caused by flood waters for supporting structures, such as rock reinforcement bolts and shotcrete, are ice, corrosion and erosion. In addition, flood waters can damage electrical equipment and cause unforeseen maintenance work and traffic interruptions, says Kai Saarikivi, Sales Director at Norrapro. - We create efficient systems for water handling that help the owner of the bedrock facility to proactively obtain information. 

In addition to the drainage infrastructure, Norrapro launches a digital service that enables the owner of a bedrock facility to monitor, in real time, what happens between the sprayed concrete and the rock in underground spaces. The sensors provide the site owner with information about water flowing through the drains, temperature fluctuations, blockages and other desired parametres. 

Certificates and environmental declarations as selling points in internationalisation

Norrapro's products are used in metro, traffic and train tunnels, underground parking garages and civil defence shelters - even in bedrock facilities designed for the storage of nuclear waste in Finland, says Harri Väistö, CEO of Norrapro. The company seeks growth first in Sweden and Norway. Discussions have also taken place further abroad, but the Nordic countries are the first in focus.

- We have an up-coming pilot project in Sweden that we are investing in. Growth money is also invested in the development and launch of digital services. Norrapro was founded in 2016, and has undergone many years of development work, during which we have developed new products and built quality systems: now is the time to export this expertise to the world. 

The company has been aiming for international markets from the start. In Finland, rock construction is strongly linked to cyclical conditions, but there is more potential in the market in neighbouring countries. 

- In Norway, tunnels are being built purely because of geography. There are a lot of mountains and rocks, and many routes must pass through them or across them, explains Sales Director Saarikivi. - In Sweden, the investments in infrastructure construction are significant: there are many large projects under way and coming. The acquired certificates and environmental declarations are also a significant advantage for Norrapro. In the field of infrastructure construction, the other Nordic countries are ahead of Finland in these matters: in Sweden and Norway, for example, certifications are being asked already in the first discussions. 

Picture: Norrapro Oy

Inquiries:

Harri Väistö
CEO, Norrapro Oy
+358 400 922 094, harri.vaisto@norrapro.fi

Kai Saarikivi
Sales Director, Norrapro Oy
+358 50 469 9290, kai.saarikivi@norrapro.fi

Business Joensuu Oy, Start Up Fund Joensuu
Kari Pulkkinen, Fund Manager & Growth Coach
+358 50 406 8716, kari.pulkkinen@businessjoensuu.fi

Redstone Nordics, North Karelia Growth Fund
Kaj Hagros, managing partner, CEO
+358 40 849 1749, kaj.hagros@redstone.vc

Norrapro Oy
Norrapro Oy is a Joensuu-based company specialising in the manufacture, installation and development of underground bedrock products and related components. Shotcrete drainage products are used as a water handling system for bedrock facilities.

Start Up Fund Joensuu
Start Up Fund Joensuu helps start-up companies grow, employ and internationalise. The Fund obtains its capital from the City of Joensuu and private investors. The fund is managed by Joensuun Startup Kehitys Oy, a subsidiary of Business Joensuu. The fund's capital is € 2.5 million, and a typical investment is € 50,000–200,000. Together with Business Joensuu's Business Accelerator and internationalisation services, the Fund supports the domestic and international growth of its target companies. The Fund is an avenue for companies’ second phase funding round. While the Fund is not subject to any field-specific restrictions, its main focus is on companies that specialise in digitalisation, the forest bioeconomy, and materials and innovative technology. Target companies must operate in Joensuu, want to be located in Joensuu or have a connection with the Joensuu region at the operative activity level.

Redstone as a company
Redstone is a Berlin venture capital company that manages a large number of venture capital funds. Redstone is a general partner of the North Karelia Growth Fund. The North Karelia Growth Fund invests in newly established young companies, especially in the fields of digitalisation, forestry, bioeconomy, photonics, tourism, creative industries and materials research.

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