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HappyOrNot Ltd.
IndustryCustomer experience
FounderHeikki Väänänen
Ville Levaniemi
Key people
Stewart Roberts (Chairman), Miika Mäkitalo (CEO)[2]
Productscustomer satisfaction measurement terminals
A HappyOrNot terminal

HappyOrNot Ltd. is a Finnish instant feedback company that makes terminals for measuring customer satisfaction.[3][4] The company has invented Smiley Terminals, and by September 2020 it had sold them in 135 countries.[5] The terminals consist of four smiley-faced buttons which 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.[3]

By June 2019 there were 30,000 terminals in use and over one billion button pushes had been recorded.[6]



A HappyOrNot terminal at Heathrow Airport

The company was founded by Heikki Väänänen and Ville Levaniemi.[7] Väänänen had come up with the idea of giving customers an easy way to provide anonymous feedback[5] and introduced this idea to his former colleague, Ville Levaniemi[8] [9] and they started the company in 2009[8] [10] with the money they got from the sale of their first company, Universomo. They ordered the first terminals from a Finnish manufacturer.[10] The company's first big customer was one of Finland's top-three supermarket groups who was curious to gauge the freshness of their vegetables and fruits.[10] Shortly thereafter, Heathrow Airport in London and French Carrefour also started using their service.[7] Heathrow drew international attention to the company.[3]

In 2014 HappyOrNot established a Board of Directors[11] and established the company’s Florida’s headquarters.[12]

In 2016, the company's turnover was EUR 4.4 million,[13] of which exports accounted for over 90%. It had employees in the UK, Germany, Singapore, Finland and the United States.[12]


By October 2017, HappyOrNot had grown to 65 employees from 11 different countries.[14] At this time, the company had about 4,000 customers in 100 countries deploying 25,000 terminals.[15][13] Concurrently, the company received an investment of EUR 14.5 million from two international venture capitalists:[14] Northzone, (first back of Spotify), and Nordicand AirTree Ventures from Australia, which boosted growth at home and in the United States, Britain and Germany.[7][6][16] 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.[13] The company’s global reseller network topped over 100 companies.[17]

The year 2018, saw growth to 160 employees and a turnover of 7.7 million euros.[7] A four 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.[8] Väänänen also became a content producer for Forbes.[18]

In 2019, there were HappyOrNot terminals in 130 countries and over one billion button pushes had been recorded.[6]

In 2020 the company added an anti-microbial coating to its terminals to reduce the spread of Covid-19.[5] It also tested QR codes the customers were able to print but they required more time from the respondents. After that, HappyOrNot started to explore the possibility of using motion sensor cameras to make the smiley consoles touchless.[4]

The products[edit]

A HappyOrNot terminal in Tampere, Finland, 2019

The idea behind HappyOrNot’s products and services is that people are often too busy to provide feedback, whereas selecting a sentiment from one of four smileys is fast.[19] Everyone can participate and provide feedback, there are no barriers due to age, culture or language.[12] Additionally, those providing feedback do so anonymously without risk of identity theft, and thus companies are not required to reference GDPR requirements.[7]

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 morning sales not as strong. Analytics revealed to 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.[8]

In addition to terminals, the company offers also digital queries that work on smartphones and webpages.[7][20]

The data that is collected with the Smileys 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. By setting their own targets and collecting continuous feedback, companies can react immediately to situations that are occurring in the workplace.[7][8]


The company has thousands of customers in locations such as airports, shops and hospitals.[15][13] A sample of customers include: Levi’s Stadium, home to the San Francisco 49ers, Biltema,[21] Carrefour, City of Helsinki, Ikea, Vianor,[22] Walmart, United States Border Guard and Zara.[17][19] Additionally, Heathrow and Southend airports use HappyOrNot terminals.[3]

Other the companies that have used company's service to measure employee satisfaction are Gigantti, Nordea, Microsoft, DHL, LinkedIn and eBay.[23]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • In 2015 HappyOrNot won National Champion at the European Business Awards (EBA)[24] and was ranked as one of the fastest-growing companies in Finland by Kauppalehti,[25] number four in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 in Finland.[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[14] and the Board of Directors received “The Golden Mallet” for their good work in 2017 from Hallituspartnerit.[28][14]
  • In 2018, HappyOrNot was chosen as one of WIRED’s Hottest Startups in Finland.[29]


  1. ^ Kauppalehti. "HappyOrNot Oy". Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  2. ^ "HappyOrNot Oy - Päättäjät | Suomen Asiakastieto Oy". www.asiakastieto.fi. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d Owen, David (29 January 2018). "Customer Satisfaction at the Push of a Button". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 29 January 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  4. ^ a b Deighton, Katie (8 March 2021). "Instant Feedback 'Smiley' Buttons Go Touchless in Pandemic". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  5. ^ a b c "If you're happy and you know it...press the button". The Economist. 21 September 2020. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ a b c d e "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.
  9. ^ Korpimies, Annika. "Nappibisnestä". Tivi (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  10. ^ a b c Smale, Will (1 July 2019). "How rude service inspired a multi-million euro firm". BBC. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  11. ^ Pietarila, Päivikki. "Kultainen Nuija -palkittu yritys tekee hallitustyötä toisin – kokoukset Skypessä ja keskustelut WhatsAppissa". Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  12. ^ a b c Simola, Leenastiina. "Puhelinsoitto lentokentältä vei liikevaihdon kasvuun". Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  13. ^ a b c d Lappalainen, Elina. "Rakkausavioliitto toi hymynaamoille jättisijoituksen: HappyOrNot-startup olisi pärjännyt omillaankin". Talouselämä (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ a b Field, Matthew (12 October 2017). "Smiley customer feedback startup HappyOrNot secures £11m funding round". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  16. ^ Lappalainen, Elina. "Pääomaruiskeen saanut HappyOrNot: "Sijoittajamme suuttuisivat, jos tekisimme voittoa"". Talouselämä (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  17. ^ a b Ylä-Anttila, Aleksi. "Suomalainen HappyOrNot valloittaa maailmaa hymiölaitteillaan: "Nopea ja anonyymi tapa antaa palautetta"". M&M (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ "Helsingin kotihoitajat pyytävät asiakkaita arvioimaan kotikäynnin hoitajan kännykällä tämän läsnäollessa". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 7 May 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  21. ^ Vanhanen, Hannu. "Asiakaspalautteesta tuli myynnin työkalu". Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  22. ^ Vanhanen, Hannu. "Suomalaiset palveluhymiöt rengaskauppaan Sveitsissä". Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  23. ^ Saarinen, Merja. "Hymiöt mittaavat työpäivän laatua". Talouselämä (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  24. ^ Vanhanen, Hannu. "Hymynaamayhtiö edustaa Suomea bisneskisassa". Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  25. ^ Pietarila, Päivikki. "Viisi palkittua yritystä". Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  26. ^ Pietarila, Päivikki. "Teknologiayhtiöiden vauhti hidastui - nopein kasvoi 3169 prosenttia". Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  27. ^ "Tamperelaisyrittäjille menestystä vuoden kasvuyrittäjä-kilpailussa". www.aamulehti.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  28. ^ Tekniikkatalous. "HappyOrNot sai Kultaisen Nuijan". Tekniikkatalous (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  29. ^ Stokel-Walker, Chris (29 August 2018). "The hottest startups in Helsinki in 2019". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Retrieved 7 November 2019.

External links[edit]