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Estonian and Iberian SMEs partner for global results  

April 2012

Mobile phone © Yasin Öztürk

On the other ends of Europe, the Baltic and Iberia seem unlikely sources for a partnership. But with the assistance of the Enterprise Europe Network, two small technology enterprises from these countries have created a winning team to break outside the EU market. Internationalisation at its best.

Fortumo – a cutting edge provider of SMS-based mobile payments based in Tartu, Estonia, has seen an impressive expansion of operations in the last 12 years. The small company now operates in over 60 countries, employing 30 people at their headquarters.

At the opposite corner of the continent, the pioneering Spanish company NVIA provides similar mobile payment services in Southern Europe and Latin America. When Fortumo was looking to expand its operations in Latin America, who better to turn to than a company with expertise in the area? And in return, Fortumo could help NVIA with their planned operations in the Baltic and Eastern Europe.

Unfortunately, they didn’t know about each other - which is where the Enterprise Europe Network stepped in. After hearing of Fortumo’s intention to expand in Latin America, the Network's representatives from Tartu Science Park organised Fortumo and NVIA’s Portuguese subsidiary to meet. A partnership was born. The Portuguese subsidiary - a business of 6 employees - kicked off the project and nowadays most of the cooperation is done by the Spanish branch of the company.

 “Working in a new country is a major investment of time and money,” says Andrei Dementjev, Fortumo’s head of operations. “We were very glad to have the help of a partner, who had the right connections to national mobile phone operators in Latin America.” For two years now, the companies have been successfully cooperating on Latin American projects.

The Enterprise Europe Network, financed by the European Commission, helps European businesses offering networking opportunities in 48 countries alongside other business support and information services.

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