Forest owners often find it difficult to know when and who to sell to, and what they can get paid in advance. We believe that a more efficient, transparent and digital marketplace is the solution
With the export value of 125 billion SEK, Sweden is the world’s third-largest exporter of forest industry products. The Swedish timber market accounts for approximately 30 billion SEK and is the basis for the Swedish forest industry, and there are approximately 330 000 forest owners in Sweden. The timber business, although being one of Sweden’s largest industries, is still very traditional. The transparency level of data is low, making it difficult for forest owners to know when and who to sell to, and what they can get paid in advance. Virkesbörsen offers a solution to this problem by introducing the first and only marketplace for timber trading which enables a transparent, fair, accessible and digitized forest industry, for buyers and sellers.
The company was founded in 2016 by Per Hedberg and Adam Aljaraiah, part of the Incubator Science Park in Jönköping. The founders met when Per, after several years at SCA’s (Swedish Cellulose Company) Strategy Division with a focus on the forest industry, was recruited to lead Tieto’s Forest Industry Consulting Team. They realized that forest owners lacked a transparent and efficient marketplace and founded Virkesbörsen.
Our mutual passion for digitizing traditional industries made us curious about the forest, an underinvested industry in terms of venture capital funding. We quickly realized that there are many issues in the industry that can be addressed through digital solutions. We analyzed and evaluated all solutions on the market, and Virkesbörsen caught our attention as we believe that they have the potential to change the entire timber market. We were struck by how far Per and Adam had come in a short period, and they addressed all the problems we had identified when analyzing the industry – (lack of) transparency, efficiency, and digital alternatives. By simplifying and improving for both the buyer and the seller and maintaining a completely independent position on the market, they have managed to onboard several significant players in all parts of the ecosystem since the launch of the platform in June 2017. We are convinced that the timber industry is ready for the clarity and effectiveness that digitalization enables, and so far few investors have understood the great potential in the area. Sara, who spent her childhood in the woods of Småland, has been thinking about forestry her entire life and we are both so excited to commencing this journey with Adam and Per.