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HappyOrNot Ltd.
IndustryCustomer Service
FounderHeikki Väänänen
Ville Levaniemi
Productscustomer satisfaction measurement terminals
A HappyOrNot terminal

HappyOrNot Ltd. is a Finnish company that makes feedback terminals for measuring customer satisfaction. The terminals consist of four smiley-faced buttons that customers are invited to press to indicate whether they are very happy, happy, unhappy or very unhappy with the service they were provided. This information is used by companies to find points where they are providing suboptimal service and to improve it.[1]

By June 2019 there were 30,000 terminals in use throughout 130 countries and over one billion button pushes had been recorded.[2]



A HappyOrNot terminal at Heathrow Airport

The company was founded by Heikki Väänänen and Ville Levaniemi in 2009.[3] The premise for the company lingered in the mind of Heikki Väänänen for about 10 years. As a teenager, he received poor service at an electronics trade shop [4] and left disappointed. He didn’t provide any feedback as it couldn’t be done easily. This disappointment weighed on his mind and after deliberating over the situation for nearly a decade, he came up with the idea of giving the customer an easy way to provide feedback and introduced this idea to his former colleague, Ville Levaniemi.[4] [5]

After checking to see if the idea already existed, they went to meet with potential customers. After sharing their idea and receiving positive feedback, the company was set up in 2009. Based on discussions with the potential customers, the numbers of the buttons on the device expanded from two to four. Two buttons would not give enough information; with three buttons most of the responses would fall to the middle one; so it was determined that four buttons would provide the correct distribution of feedback.[4] [6]

Väänänen and Levaniemi started the company with the money they raised from the sale of their company, Universomo, and contacted a Finnish manufacturer to build the terminals.[6]

Their first big customer was one of Finland's big-three supermarket groups curious to gauge the freshness of their vegetables and fruits.[6] Shortly thereafter, Heathrow Airport in London and French Carrefour started using the service.[3] Heathrow drew international attention and prominence to the company as it related to business leaders.[1]

The company’s Florida’s headquarters were established in 2014.[7]


In 2016, the company's turnover was EUR 4.4 million,[8] of which exports accounted for over 90%. It had employees in the UK, Germany, Singapore, Finland and the United States.[7]

By October 2017, there were 11 different nationalities among 65 employees.[9] At this time, the company had about 4,000 customers in 100 countries deploying 25,000 terminals.[10][8] Concurrently, the company received an investment of EUR 14.5 million from two international venture capitalists,[9] Northzone, (first back of Spotify), and Nordicand AirTree Ventures from Australia which boosted growth at home and in the United States, Britain and Germany. [3][2] [11]This type of investment was exceptionally high for a Finnish startup. With the investment, Northzone’s Marta Sjögren began advising the founders in scaling the company. Marketing was focused on quality and concentrated in the company’s best markets, particularly in the United States.[8] The company’s global reseller network topped over 100 companies.[12][13]

The year 2018, saw growth to 160 employees and a turnover of 7.7 million euros.[3] A 4-page story in the New Yorker Magazine in February 2018, spiked awareness with customers, investors and job seekers as well as media interest from the BBC and NBC.[4] Väänänen also became a content producer for Forbes.[14]

In 2019 there were HappyOrNot terminals in 130 countries and over one billion button pushes had been recorded.[2]


HappyOrNot established a Board of Directors in 2014. The Chairman of the Board is Tero Luoma, investor of Taaleri. They held their meetings regularly via Skype, GoToMeeting and the WhatsApp Group application. Business is conducted with the majority of time spent on discussion new opportunities instead of viewing old business and reports.[15] The Board of Directors received “The Golden Mallet” for their good work in 2017 from Hallituspartnerit.[16][9]

The products[edit]

A HappyOrNot terminal in Tampere, Finland, 2019

The premise behind HappyOrNot’s products and services is that people are busy and don’t want to give up their time to provide feedback. Selecting sentiment from one of four smileys is easy, it takes no time at all and is anonymous. No thought is required, no analyzing service levels, for example on a scale from one to ten.[17] Everyone can participate and provide feedback, there are no barriers due to age, culture or language.[7] Additionally, those providing feedback do so anonymously without risk of identify theft thus companies are not required to reference GDPR requirements.[3]

While the devices are used the collect the feedback; HappyOrNot analytical reporting assists clients with interpretation of the data. For example, a retail chain noted that their sales were stronger in the afternoon and was looking for the reason why mornings were not as good. Analytics revealed them that customers in the afternoon were in fact less satisfied with their service so if the amount of sales staff would be increased, sales would probably increase as well.[4]

In addition to terminals, there are versions that work on smartphones and webpages.[3] [18]

The data that is collected by the devices is analyzed and used by companies to guide customer service and customer experience improvements. The service can also be used to monitor and measure employee sentiment. With devices in the workplace the companies can collect continuous feedback, quickly access and analyze reporting to be able to react immediately to situations that are occurring.[3] [4]

The terminals normally only upload data once a day (via the mobile phone network) to preserve the battery. Future versions are planned to require lower-powered Narrowband IoT technology that will allow terminals to be constantly connected.[19]


The company has thousands of customers in locations such as airports, shops and hospitals.[10][8] A sample of customers include: Levi’s Stadium, home to the San Francisco 49ers, Biltema,[20] Carrefour, City of Helsinki, Ikea, Vianor,[21] Walmart, United States Border Guard and Zara.[12][17] Also Heathrow and Southend airports use HappyOrNot terminals.[1]

Among the companies that have used company's service to measure employee satisfaction are Gigantti, Nordea, Microsoft, DHL, LinkedIn and eBAy.[22]

Awards & recognition[edit]

  • In 2015
    • HappyOrNot won National Champion at the European Business Awards (EBA)[23]
    • HappyOrNot was ranked as one the fastest growing companies in Finland by Kauppalehti,[24] number four in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 in Finland[25] and number 66 on the total Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA [26]
    • Ernst & Young named Heikki Väänänen, the CEO, Young Entrepreneur of the Year[27]
  • In 2017, the company was ranked 212th on the FT1000 Europe's Fastest Growing Companies list maintained by the Financial Times.[9]
  • In 2018, HappyOrNot was chosen as one of WIRED’s Hottest Startups in Finland.[28]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Owen, David (29 January 2018). "Customer Satisfaction at the Push of a Button". The New Yorker. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Wells, Jane (2 June 2019). "LAX airport is getting a $14 billion makeover and new 'happy face' machines to rate satisfaction". CNBC. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Korpimies, Annika. "Tamperelainen yritys kehitti 10 vuotta sitten keinon kerätä lahjomatonta asiakaspalautetta - Nyt neljä nappia on jo tuttu näky ympäri maailman". Talouselämä (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Hymynaamoilla voi päästä ihmisten ajatuksiin kiinni, mainosti Heikki Väänänen, 38, New Yorkissa – Paikalle osui laatulehden toimittaja ja yrityksen kysyntä räjähti". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 27 August 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  5. ^ Korpimies, Annika. "Nappibisnestä". Tivi (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Smale, Will (1 July 2019). "How rude service inspired a multi-million euro firm". Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  7. ^ a b c Simola, Leenastiina. "Puhelinsoitto lentokentältä vei liikevaihdon kasvuun". Tärkeimmät talousuutiset | Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d Lappalainen, Elina. "Rakkausavioliitto toi hymynaamoille jättisijoituksen: HappyOrNot-startup olisi pärjännyt omillaankin". Talouselämä (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d Elo, Emil. ""Olimme jollain listalla, mistä meidät löydettiin" - HappyOrNot yllättyi, haali 14,5 miljoonan kasvupotin". Talouselämä (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  10. ^ a b Field, Matthew (12 October 2017). "Smiley customer feedback startup HappyOrNot secures £11m funding round". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  11. ^ Lappalainen, Elina. "Pääomaruiskeen saanut HappyOrNot: "Sijoittajamme suuttuisivat, jos tekisimme voittoa"". Talouselämä (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  12. ^ a b Ylä-Anttila, Aleksi. "Suomalainen HappyOrNot valloittaa maailmaa hymiölaitteillaan: "Nopea ja anonyymi tapa antaa palautetta"". M&M (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  13. ^ "CX improvement pioneer HappyOrNot breaks new record with a half billion customer voices | CustomerThink". customerthink.com. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  14. ^ Väänänen, Heikki. "If The Customer Is Always Right, Make Sure You're Using The Right Tools To Truly Understand Them". Forbes. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  15. ^ Pietarila, Päivikki. "Kultainen Nuija -palkittu yritys tekee hallitustyötä toisin – kokoukset Skypessä ja keskustelut WhatsAppissa". Tärkeimmät talousuutiset | Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  16. ^ Tekniikkatalous. "HappyOrNot sai Kultaisen Nuijan". Tekniikkatalous (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Suomalainen ei anna palautetta kasvotusten mutta painaa hymiökonetta – onko pikapalautteesta mitään hyötyä?". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 10 April 2016. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  18. ^ "Helsingin kotihoitajat pyytävät asiakkaita arvioimaan kotikäynnin hoitajan kännykällä tämän läsnäollessa". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 7 May 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  19. ^ "How a customer satisfaction company plans to adapt for IoT". Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  20. ^ Vanhanen, Hannu. "Asiakaspalautteesta tuli myynnin työkalu". Tärkeimmät talousuutiset | Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  21. ^ Vanhanen, Hannu. "Suomalaiset palveluhymiöt rengaskauppaan Sveitsissä". Tärkeimmät talousuutiset | Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  22. ^ Saarinen, Merja. "Hymiöt mittaavat työpäivän laatua". Talouselämä (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  23. ^ Vanhanen, Hannu. "Hymynaamayhtiö edustaa Suomea bisneskisassa". Tärkeimmät talousuutiset | Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  24. ^ Pietarila, Päivikki. "Viisi palkittua yritystä". Tärkeimmät talousuutiset | Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  25. ^ Pietarila, Päivikki. "Teknologiayhtiöiden vauhti hidastui - nopein kasvoi 3169 prosenttia". Tärkeimmät talousuutiset | Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  26. ^ "Technology Fast 50 2015 listing | Deloitte Finland | Fast 50". Deloitte Suomi (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  27. ^ "Tamperelaisyrittäjille menestystä vuoden kasvuyrittäjä-kilpailussa". www.aamulehti.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  28. ^ Stokel-Walker, Chris (29 August 2018). "The hottest startups in Helsinki in 2019". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Retrieved 7 November 2019.