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HappyOrNot raises $14.5 million to expand its ‘smiley’ feedback terminals

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HappyOrNot, the Finnish company behind the familiar feedback system that puts physical terminals in retail and other public locations, has raised $14.5 million in a Series A round of funding led by European VC firm and early Spotify investor Northzone, with participation from Australia’s AirTree.

This represents the company’s first outside funding.

You may have seen HappyOrNot’s quirky little terminals in the wild before. Founded out of Tampere, Finland in 2009, HappyOrNot claims around 4,000 clients globally, with 25,000 terminals spread across locations that include McDonald’s, IKEA, Microsoft, London’s Heathrow Airport, LinkedIn, and the Financial Times. It also provides back-end tools and analytics to help clients parse the data it collects.

Above: HappyOrNot?

Though its headquarters remain in Finland, HappyOrNot maintains a secondary base in Florida, with 65 employees spread across the two hubs.

Though smartphones and the internet increasingly dictate how companies elect to deliver their services — and garner feedback — there is a lot to be said for a physical infrastructure that encourages customers to leave feedback on the spot and with minimal friction.

“HappyOrNot was inspired by my own frustration at not being able to communicate with retailers about good or bad experiences, in order to ensure that employees received recognition or that businesses could improve their service,” explained HappyOrNot founder and CEO Heikki Väänänen. “It is gratifying that organizations and consumers across the world have embraced HappyOrNot, and our own endorsement as a company has come from Northzone and AirTree’s commitments to us.”

The funding will enable HappyOrNot to double down on its international expansion, with a particular focus on the U.S., U.K., Germany, and France. AirTree’s involvement also hints at a push into the Asia-Pacific region. Additionally, the company said it plans to “invest heavily” in research and development and sales and to grow its headcount to 200 people by 2020.

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