Having started in late August, Sami Toivonen is now Smartvatten’s newest Chief Revenue Officer. His focus is on sales, marketing, and the growth of the company. “Whatever I can do to support the other teams so we can grow, that’s my job.”
Toivonen has a background in helping startups focusing on SaaS (Software as a Service) grow exponentially. At his last two employers, IT-company Vainu and virtual event platform Brella, both revenue and personnel experienced rapid international growth.
“I have the experience with and mentality for fast growth,” Toivonen says. “I think that’s one of the reasons I was selected for this job. Smartvatten is already going fast, and we’ll only be going faster in the future. That requires good analysis and quick decision-making.” And to grow in a healthy and sustainable way, he aims to keep building a solid ground.
Saving the World at Smartvatten
Smartvatten immediately appealed to Toivonen. “All millennials want to save the world,” he says. “And while in most jobs, it usually involves a few dots that you need to connect on how you’re actually saving the world, at Smartvatten, it’s quite direct.”
Smartvatten has moved beyond the initial startup phase and is now truly a scaleup. “We don’t need to figure out who we are, who our customers are, and what problem we’re solving. That’s solid,” he says. “We have a good team, and now it’s all about putting the pedal to the metal.” On top of that, the business, the unit economics, the growth story, and the international side of the company together with Norvestor as a strong investor, mean that he will be able to not just focus on organic growth, but that there’s room to really seize opportunities.
Customers Are Key
As to what Toivonen will bring to Smartvatten, he says it’s his obsession with the customer. “Smartvatten is already customer centric, and I’m truly an evangelist for that. Everything we do, is for the customer.” Being new to the field of water efficiency, Toivonen is excited to fully immerse himself in the subject, and eager to learn everything he can. “My immediate plan at Smartvatten is for me to learn. Next, it’s going to be doubling down on everything we’re already good at, and then taking those things to the next level.”
A few quick questions to Sami Toivonen
Favorite food – I like spicy food, but lately I’ve been crazy about burgers. And the best burgers typically have some chili component, too.
How to recharge – Spending time with my family and baby boy, and for the last two summers, when I have time, I’ve been playing golf. I suck at it, but it definitely takes my whole concentration.
Best thing in life – People, and the fact that every human being wants to love and be loved. If you look at the world through that lens, the world is a quite beautiful place.
Secret talent – Tackling people. I played American football for 15 years, as a linebacker.
What you didn’t know about Sami – In Finland, we drink a lot of coffee. And well, I sip my coffee super loud.