Nordic Option: Owatec changing the game

Trailmaker customers Owatec Group & Nordic Option changing the game of water treatment

Venture capital fund Nordic Option invested in Owatec Group in 2021. The Finnish water treatment company is seen as a front-runner in “plug and play” technology with expansion plans in Sweden and Norway. Trailmaker helped create strategic execution clarity and a common view to help take the Oulu-based operation to the next level of commercialisation.

Teemu Puumalainen, Director at Nordic Option says that investing in Owatec was a very nice opportunity. “Owatec approached us looking for capital and expertise. They were moving from the startup phase to the scaling phase and they needed help getting to the next level. For Nordic Option it represented the sweet spot and Owatec matched our investment criteria perfectly.”

Puumalainen says that what is particularly interesting in Owatec's offering is the environmental and cost-saving benefits made possible by their technology. The world is changing, he explains. “We see significant growth possibilities for Owatec.”

According to Jaakko Pellinen, Owatec CEO and founder, Nordic Option was chosen as a partner because of their expertise in the industrial sector. “We weren’t just looking for the money,” he says. “Nordic Option know how to grow our kind of company and their knowledge has provided a big impact.”  

Nordic Option have a good network in the industrial sector, explains Pellinen, and it’s this network that’s led to new customers for Owatec. “In this industry it’s very important to talk to the right people and we’ve had the chance to show what we can do and how we can help thanks to Nordic Option.”

Trailmaker decision-making process results in a common view about the route ahead

After the investment, Nordic Option invited Trailmaker to join the strategy process, which Director Puumalainen says was borne of the fact that they knew they needed help. “Finding a common view for the whole team among many options was crucial for saving time and enabling Owatec to go after the right opportunities. Trailmaker has been a trusted partner for years and our portfolio companies have benefited from excellent results.”

CEO Pellinen says that Owatec have a unique product that is vastly different from normal waste water treatment plants, but before Trailmaker they were in need of a strategy and direction. “It’s important that we focus on the best markets and understand the customer segments that drive the best returns. Some markets it’s about providing the technologies and some the solution. It’s about trying to focus on the biggest fish.”

Working with the Trailmaker process was very successful, agree Pellinen and Puumalainen, with Pellinen noting: “I’m surprised how efficient the process was.”

For Puumalainen, Trailmaker helped guide Owatec forward. “We needed to know how to get Owatec to the next level, to the €5M, €10M, €20M level. Trailmaker played an important role there.”


TRAILMAKER is a concept for faster strategy execution:

• Concrete common view and commitment

• Identified capability needs

• Visibility