HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finland’s Uros, a little known Internet of Things services company, saw its sales soar 171% to 1.31 billion euros last year and could become Finland’s next tech star after Nokia, Finnish business weekly Talouselama reported on Wednesday.
Uros, a privately owned company based in Oulu, sells mobile connections for industrial devices and sensors and sees more rapid growth ahead from a Qualcomm partnership, Chief Executive Jerry Raatikainen told Talouselama in an interview.
“IoT (Internet of Things) is a bigger phenomenon than Nokia’s phones at the start of 2000. This could become anything,” Raatikainen said, adding his company intended to maintain its growth rate into 2022.
Finland’s Nokia was the world’s No. 1 mobile phone maker until 2012. After failing to respond to rapid growth in demand for smart phones, the company remade itself into a network equipment maker.
Despite rapid growth, Uros’ businesses have proved highly profitable. In 2018, Uros made a profit of 120 million euros ($134 million), up 845% from a year before.
Uros has also developed an integrated e-sim technology adopted by mobile phone manufacturers such as Motorola and China’s ZTE that allows phone users to subscribe to services of several different operators simultaneously.
Raatikainen said the world’s leading chip manufacturer, Qualcomm Technologies, has taken on Uros as a partner in its smart cities accelerator program alongside U.S.-based technology firms such as Verizon Communications to develop smart street lights, parking solutions and connected devices.
“We are the only European company there. Getting in has opened doors for us and will phenomenally increase business in many industrial sectors,” Raatikainen said.
(This story corrects sales figure and growth percentage in headline and lead to 1.31 billion euros and 171% (not 1.33 billion and 175%))
Reporting by Anne Kauranen; Editing by Cynthia Osterman