Johan Porko and Lasse Kittelsen founded Evolver Investment Group, the first Private Equity firm on the Åland Islands, in 2009. The aim was to work with co-financed expansion investments in owner-managed companies.
The idea of co-investing is nothing new on the Åland Islands. Its 19th century history is characterised by farmer voyages, where people from different farms and villages on Åland worked together to transport their goods to the closest cities’ markets. As a result, the farmers became co-owners in the shipping companies that were founded. The combining aspects of competency, capital and a co-operative working model lead to the creation of new unity that was larger than the sum of its parts. A foundation was set that helped both the Shipping business and the Åland society to flourish.
The farmer voyages eventually abated, but the tradition of sound and profitable cooperation lives on. This is a tradition that we on Evolver hold on to dearly.