Industrial modernisation

Biila Solutions about to go global: “Without the sparring we wouldn’t be here”

Biila Solutions will enter the international market with its platform-based vehicle logistics. It has received support to develop its business from the Finnish AI Region (FAIR) Innovation Hub.


Logistics often slow down car sales when the car to be bought is not in the same place as the buyer. Biila Solutions has developed a platform-based logistics service to speed up car sales, and now they are scaling it up internationally.

The company’s application brings together automotive operators and occasional drivers who need to move vehicles on one platform. The platform can be used by all operators in the automotive industry.

Aapeli Kallunki, Biila’s CEO, says that in 2023 around 100 000 vehicles were moved using the company’s platform and more than 1 800 people around Finland drove Biila vehicles.

– Typically, they are students, but sometimes also pensioners and mothers with families, for example.

They move cars between stores, from stores to customers, to service and back.

Aapeli Kallunki is taking platform-based vehicle logistics beyond the borders, starting with Sweden.

Biila has offices in Vantaa and Kempele in Finland, and in Borlänge, Sweden. Until now, the transfer service has only been available in Finland, but is now starting to operate on a large scale in Sweden, which is a natural place to start the internationalisation process. The Swedish Country Manager took up his post at the beginning of November 2023.

Kallunki says it is a good idea to test scaling up in a neighbouring country. However, the technology is built in such a way that the business can be spread further internationally.

City of Vantaa awarded Biila

Biila’s business has been noticed in its home town. In November, the City of Vantaa awarded the company the traditional Vantaa Medal for its successful work in developing the vitality of the city. The company received special praise for its smart digital platform and innovative use of artificial intelligence.

Kallunki says that without a good core team and mentoring and expert help, the company would not be this far ahead. One of the sparring partners has been the Finnish AI Region (FAIR), which provides expertise in AI, augmented reality, high performance computing and cybersecurity to small and medium-sized enterprises. FAIR is part of the European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH) network.

– FAIR is an excellent example of expert assistance that supports us in the use of AI and the development of our technology in general.

FAIR experts have analysed Biila’s business, situation and challenges. Kallunki says he appreciates the FAIR experts’ approach, where they don’t try to solve all the company’s issues, but rather increase the entrepreneur’s understanding and bring the right people into the conversation.

Making better use of artificial intelligence

Project Manager Solja Sulkunen says that FAIR’s key objective is to accelerate the adoption and use of AI in small and medium-sized enterprises.

FAIR provides its free services as a network of eleven partner organisations.

More knowledge, skills and resources are often needed to harness AI for business development. Experts are able to advise on how to build on existing knowledge and skills.

– For example, there are really good, free and easy-to-learn AI courses available, says Sulkunen.

There are also good AI tools on the market to help improve, for example, sales, marketing or customer service.

– If your company does not have in-house expertise or is looking for new innovative solutions as part of its value chain, we can offer consultancy or suggest participating with a challenge, for example in a hackathon event.

In hackathons, teams create solutions to organisational challenges and compete to deliver the best solution. FAIR works in cooperation with universities of applied sciences, universities, companies at the forefront of digitalisation and other service providers.

The Biila Solutions logo is like a cartoon character. It’s called a “Mustard-Jaska”, after the colour of the character’s shirt.

This cooperation allows the innovation hub to provide technology expertise, R&D and research support, testing and piloting environments, as well as help with international networking and funding. Sometimes, the help of an innovation hub is needed when a company has a solution but it needs assistance in scaling it up.

FAIR also offers a pop-up clinic, a service that is ideal for early-stage companies. The clinic offers companies half an hour appointments to go through the issues that could be solved using AI.

New partnership models under development

FAIR focuses in particular on AI and its applications in smart city solutions, health and well-being technologies and digital service industries. In addition to FAIR, there are three other European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH) in Finland: Robocoast in manufacturing industry, HealthHub for digital healthcare solutions and Location Innovation Hub for location-based solutions in bioeconomy, transport, built environment and health and well-being.

The Hubs have received a total of around €6.2 million from the European Union.

– It doesn’t matter which EDIH door you walk through, we work closely together to ensure that your company gets the best possible support, Sulkunen adds.

The current EDIHs will run until autumn 2025, but a four-year extension is expected. The intention is to continue to the work also after this.

– The aim is to continue operating without any initial public funding and to attract large companies to seek new innovation partners through our activities, rather than small ones. We are already looking at what partnership models could be developed that support all our key stakeholders.

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