2022 – It’s a wrap!
After a full month of 2023, it’s the final time for the annual wrap-up. We all probably thought that everything would return to normal after a couple of “corona years,” but unfortunately, 2022 brought some new dark clouds to the skies of the global economy and a time of peace in Europe.
A war in a pandemic
It will soon be a year when Russia unjustifiably attacked and started the war in Ukraine. Since then, Ukrainians have shown the world what an act of courage and persistence is. Besides the Ukrainian situation, we have been shaken by the energy crisis, (hyper) inflation, and unstable financial markets.
Soon after the war started in Ukraine, markets also started to shake, and VCs tightened their money flow into start- and scaleups. That was visible already in March-April last year, and speculations about the future started. Another concern from this situation in the IT market was that three major software development markets were suddenly under huge turmoil.
The Western companies quit most of their cooperation with Russian and Belorussian companies very soon, while it was unclear how the war would impact the Ukrainian IT sector. After all, hundreds of thousands of software and IT professionals worked in those markets and serviced Western companies before the war.
The big question was how these contracts could be delivered, and all the professionals replaced, and how huge an impact that would make on the European talent market. Ukrainian companies executed many business operation relocations. Afterward, there has not been significant turbulence in the talent market, what we can see today, and I am delighted that many companies did not cancel their agreements with our Ukrainian colleagues.
Even though these dark clouds started to approach already in Q1 last year, the software development market seemed to do well, and companies were hiring new people and telling about good results. It was visible that the wave of digitalization that started at the end of 2020 was still going firmly forward.
Avoiding the bumps
We at Software Sauna were lucky to avoid the first bumps on the road in 2022, and we made record-breaking sales month by month till July. It is an amazing feeling after a few years of hard work to break the ground and build your brand and trust in the market. Though it was clear that the start- and scaleup market was slowing down further as the year went on. As our strategy for the last year was to focus (besides start- and scaleups) on the medium and large companies, it definitely gave us more stability.
2022 was Sauna’s 4th year in operation, and we made some major investments for the future. In May, we started our operations in Skopje, North Macedonia, where we will focus on growing our talented, local engineer team.
At the end of the (Finnish) summer, we established our sales office in Helsinki, and our new Commercial Director, Joona Komulainen, joined the team. As investing in people is priceless, our team was using more opportunities to educate themselves during the year, and we also organized our very first proper away-day last June. The whole company headed to Istria for a couple of days, and we left most of the stiff business talks behind while enjoying a good time with old and new teammates.
As always, we aimed high again and almost got there this time. Sauna was heating up nicely, and we hit pretty much the exact growth figures as we did a year ago. Our revenue grew 78%, reaching 1.74M €, and headcount reached ca. 35 people with a 40% growth. The figures are a clear result of our offering gaining more interest in the target market(s), great new people joining the team, and a better utilization rate than in previous years. Last summer, “the Beach” was occupied only during our holidays, and that’s how we like it the best! 🙂
From 2022 to 2023
January 1st marked an important day for Croatia as it joined both Euro and Schengen areas. These changes were more than welcome business-wise too.
One thing is sure: remote work came here to stay after Covid, and it has become the new normal. Those organizations trying to fight against this will lose the battle for talent. We at Sauna kept following a hybrid mode, where most of us are still working at home, but those who feel like, go to the office a few days a week. As in most things, we listen to our people, and they shall decide whether in 2023 we finally have to start to search “the home of Sauna.” – A place where our team can meet more often with each other, brainstorm, hold brown-bag sessions and meet-ups. And or course, enjoy the authentic Finnish sauna!
When talking about 2023 and beyond, we are strengthening our cooperation with Finnish companies from start-/scaleups to strategic partnerships with Public listed companies. As 2021 was already a turning point for Software Sauna, I am happy to see the same trend continuing in our business development. Our cooperation with existing clients is long-lasting, the teams are extending, and we are able to win more significant projects from larger companies. Our sales team has been working hard to keep the pipeline long and hot. It’s now more than clear that there is higher and higher interest in the market for our services.
In 2022 we were able to enter also Dutch and Norwegian markets, which were a welcomed addition to our strong focus on the Finnish market and long-lasting cooperation with our German friends. In 2023 we shall keep knocking on the doors in other countries too.
2022 Software Sauna Highlights
- 78% YTD growth in revenue to 1.74 M €
- Exceed our profitability target
- The team size grew to 35 exceptional professionals
- Strengthening our focus on eCommerce, EdTech, FinTech, and HealthTech business domains
- 13 new customers, we cooperate with 2 Finnish Plc’s, size of the project teams and the project lengths increased
- First client in Norway and the Netherlands, where we joined our friends from Reaktor to help Adidas
- New country entities in Skopje, North Macedonia, and Helsinki, Finland
Once again, warm thanks to all our clients and partners for your trust! Let’s keep up the excellent work.
Greetings from Croatia!