Forte Digital acquires a stake in FRIIO: – We have international ambitions

Bård Windingstad, Endre Dingsør og John Kårikstad

Forte Digital is entering as a shareholder in FRIIO, a new app for cabin owners. The goal is to become the largest provider of leisure property services in the Nordic region.

– We offer services that relieve and eliminate friction for anyone who owns a vacation home. The app helps cabin owners in their daily work related to the cabin, says CEO and founder Bård Windingstad.

Windingstad is a serial entrepreneur behind companies such as ELIXIA, Retriever, EVO, and SNØ. He got the idea for the service when he himself was building a cabin in Beitostølen and experienced how difficult it was to find different suppliers.

– The cabin market and the market for technology-enabled services are experiencing strong growth, and there is a high demand for leisure property services. It can be anything from cabin cleaning, firewood sales, road clearing, snow removal, and thatching of turf roofs. The goal is to connect the local business community with the needs of cabin owners through a digital platform built by Forte Digital, explains Windingstad.

Bård Windingstad is a serial entrepreneur and is behind companies such as EVO, Retriever, and ELIXIA.

Large market for digital services

The consultancy company Forte Digital currently has major companies like NorgesGruppen and OBOS on its client list but has also established its own incubator. Here, they accept a significantly lower hourly rate for their services in exchange for ownership stakes ranging from 5 to 10 percent in the companies they work with. FRIIO, EVI, and Looping are some of the startups that are part of the Forte Incubator.

– We are always on the lookout for exciting companies to work with, especially those working with new technology and digitization. The market in which FRIIO operates is large but not yet digitalized. In other words, there is great potential for new digital services, says John Kårikstad, CEO of Forte Digital.

Kårikstad explains that they have built a forward-looking and scalable e-commerce platform together with FRIIO to support future growth and scaling. He also encourages more startups to consider data platforms.

– Building flexible data platforms is smart, whether you are NorgesGruppen or a smaller startup like FRIIO. Several startups can and should build data platforms because they facilitate growth, scaling, and future product and service innovation, says Kårikstad.

From left: Endre Dingsør, John Kårikstad, Bård Windingstad

1.8 million cabins in the Nordic region

Windingstad explains that the company has ambitious plans in the Nordic region and beyond. The goal is to be the preferred and most innovative provider of technology-enabled leisure property services, not only in Norway but also internationally.

– There are 1.8 million cabins in the Nordic region, and our goal by 2026/2027 is to provide services to approximately 6% of them. Not all cabin destinations are suitable for our service. We only enter destinations with a relatively high density of vacation homes. Where we enter, the goal is to sell services to 25% of the customers. In the pilot destination, Beitostølen, we have achieved a market share of nearly 40% in less than 6 months. FRIIO also has ambitions beyond the Nordic market. Holiday homes in Spain are an exciting opportunity, says Windingstad.

He adds,

– The market is there, but as mentioned, it is not yet digitalized. To scale and grow, we need a technology partner like Forte Digital.