Vapaus gets €2.8M capital investment and a world-class Board to support growth – Leena Niemistö becomes Chairperson of the Board

Lotta VänskäLotta Vänskä
Lotta Vänskä

Vapaus’ journey to become the world’s most influential mobility service company received a significant boost when Vapaus’ Annual General Meeting approved the new Board in November 2021. In addition, Vapaus raised a total of € 2.8 million in capital from first-tier investors.

The investment round, led by private equity company Superhero Capital, included Juhani Elomaa, Kari Niemistö, Leena Niemistö, Henry and Max Rautiainen and Prunex Oy.

“We got a fantastic team to help us conquer the world. Now we have top-notch expertise in growth, customer experience, technology, and finance. In addition, the new capital will enable a stronger investment in growth,” says Tatu Mäkilä, Vapaus’ first Chairperson of the Board, who will also continue on the new Board.

“Vapaus’ mission to promote carbon-negative mobility, combined with high ambition, was a combination that persuaded the new Board to get involved,” confirms Leena Niemistö, the new Chairperson of the Board, who brings to Vapaus strong expertise in steering the growth of companies of all sizes.

“Vapaus has carefully put together this new Board. Already in the first meetings, we noticed that the team dynamic was excellent. Working in this team will be both fun and impactful,” Niemistö continues.

Pia Rautakorpi, who has extensive experience in communications, marketing, and entrepreneurship, brings customer value and customer experience expertise to the Board. Today, she serves on the boards of several different companies and as the CEO of her own Arvova Oy.

The customer perspective is also represented by Jaana Pullinen, the former HR Director of Nooa Säästöpankki, who has been involved in choosing Vapaus as a service provider for employment benefit bikes in her role. Jaana currently works as a HR Consultant and interim HR Director through her own company, Awarium.

Health technology company Oura’s Helsinki Site Leader, Mikko Kärkkäinen strengthens the Board with his internationalisation and financial expertise. Mikko has extensive experience on the management teams and boards of numerous growth companies.

The technology perspective is strengthened by Sami Pippuri, who has been the Technology Director of MaaS Global, the world’s first mobility operator, and has largely been responsible for the technology of the Whim mobility application and service.

In addition, Tatu Mäkilä, one of the founders of Vapaus, will continue on the Board, and Juha Ruohonen of Superhero Capital will serveon the Board as an observer.

“This makes us stand tall. I’m really flattered that our growth is being accelerated by such an experienced, knowledgeable, and personable Board. We also really appreciate Superhero Capital joining in and their expertise in developing scalable international services,” concludes Mikko Ampuja, CEO of Vapaus.

From top left: Mikko Kärkkäinen, Leena Niemistö, Tatu Mäkilä. Bottom left: Pia Rautakorpi, Sami Pippuri, Jaana Pullinen.

What is Vapaus?

Vapaus is a circular economy startup, founded in 2018, that helps customers move towards more sustainable forms of travel, both in and outside of work, and save on travel costs. Every kilometer traveled using the Vapaus service removes carbon dioxide from the air, helping the environment and customers towards carbon neutrality.

More information:

Tatu Mäkilä
CGO, Founder and a Board member, Vapaus

Leena Niemistö
Chairperson of the Board, Vapaus

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