How Buildie became Buildie

Did you know that Buildie was founded in 2015 but the first version of the real documentation app was launched in the beginning of 2016? In 2020, the company’s turnover exceeded over one million euros that is quite a bit more than what Buildie made during its first operational year. Each year contained thrilling plot twists, achieving milestones and even facing disappointments. However, one thing is true: nothing has been achieved without hard work. 

The startup beginning

Buildie has three original founders: Taneli Ristmeri, Petri Saarinen and Juha-Pekka Ristmeri. Taneli and Petri are still actively involved in the daily operations of the company, whereas Juha-Pekka is nowadays more on the background giving support for the other two. Juha-Pekka’s help, however, was crucial in the beginning. He and his company Filmaattiset Ltd. provided funding and office premises for getting started with the business operations.

The younger Ristmeri, Taneli, has always apparently had enormous amount of various ideas in his head. However, on a business level Buildie was the first one that grew from an idea into a business and company. At some point Taneli was looking for a partner for his app idea which is when he and Petri first met. Back then, that idea wasn’t yet the one that led to founding Buildie.

But the next one was. Taneli was involved in the early planning of a tv series “Sadan vuoden talo” produced by Filmaattiset. There this idea of documenting construction worksites popped up and generated interest.

Taneli had worked on several construction worksites where he got familiar with documentation practices. Maybe even too familiar as he saw that the documentation was never fulfilled at a level what the developers would had wanted. He learned to know the faults and understand what kind of benefits would come from a proper documentation.

By the way, Taneli has multiple great stories from construction worksites but let’s save them for face to face chatters.

”That’s an easy sell.”

As mentioned, the first version of Buildie came out in the beginning of 2016. Nothing was easy before this, like usually the case is in start-ups. Money was running out multiple times, finding first pilot customers wasn’t easy, no security of future. Despite of everything, the guys had always a strong belief and the attitude of “doing”. Taneli and Petri had attracted first investors. The launch of the product didn’t generate a boom. Actually the founders based a hard fact: the product didn’t interest its original target group. Even though the market research had given positive indications, selling to private house constructors was nearly impossible. That forced the founders to rethink the direction. With a coaching help of one original investor, the guys started to find the new direction that seemed to be a good one. In 2016, after enormous amount of work, daunting stress and countless amount of sleepless nights, Buildie found its current stream. It was the infra construction and especially municipalities and cities. In the end of 2017 a first employee was hired. Before that Taneli spend most of his days in a car all over Finland and Petri was working hard at the office. It wasn’t a garage but almost – an attic with no windows. The two worked hard and seamlessly together.

First it was the water utilities, then the street developers and slowly the others – also geographically. In 2020, despite the pandemic, Buildie succeeded to get its first international customers from Denmark. Buildie was able to avoid a temporary layoff. The “Finnish” and “Buildie style” stamina was brought along and the sales team managed to take Buildie through the first shock of the pandemic.

100 employees in 2024 

Nothing is still easy, but during the year 2018 the situation stabilized so that the status turned from a start-up to a growth company. The company started to hire more employees and fulfil all the spots for different teams. In 2021 the number of employees became 20 and all the “business functions” were established. In addition the product development was shifted into in-house development even though we have received superb development support from our partners during the years. Buildie’s target is to have 100 employees by the year 2025. Like in the beginning of the journey, the objectives are still strong, but so are the vision and attitude.

Buildie’s mission has been same since the beginning: improve the quality of construction. Being goal oriented and tenacious are still everyday office life at Buildie, which is also the base for our culture and values that are innovative, fresh, easygoing and active.

If you are interested to work at Buildie, please send us a message: info@buildie.fi! We are excited to hear from you.

Picture (from left to right): Taneli Ristmeri, Juha-Pekka Ristmeri, Petri Saarinen