Career

ForestX celebrates five years: ”There is no company like us in all of Europe”

Gothenburg

 

From a handful of people in an office hotel on the outskirts of Gothenburg in 2018 to over 50 coworkers in several countries today. Founders Christer Lindqvist and Carl Barck summarize ForestX’s first five years – and look ahead.

 

In autumn 2023, ForestX was named Gasell 2023 by leading Swedish business newspaper Dagens Industri for its rapid and stable growth. It coincided with the company’s fifth anniversary and is a good starting point to sum up the years that have passed.

“We simply created the company that was missing in the industry;
an IT consulting company with products that work towards the forest industry’s core processes.”

How was the idea for ForestX born? How did you see the needs of the forestry industry five years ago?

Christer Lindqvist: Carl and I have always had the same vision since we got to know each other in the 1990s. We want to develop processes and technology in the forest industry through smart and good solutions.

Christer Lindqvist, Marketing director ForestX

Carl Barck: We simply created the company that was missing in the industry; an IT consulting company with products that work against the forest industry’s core processes. All industries need this kind of company, which works with digitization for a specific industry.

Carl Barck, CEO ForestX

Christer Lindqvist: With ForestX we have added a number of dimensions. It is about:

  • Supply good and modern products.
  • Have a forward-looking and clear partner model where we can offer the best specialists and products that fit exactly into our customers’ needs.
  • Have a flexible delivery model where we can quickly scale up development needs through our team in India.

Through this, our customers get better control of their information, more efficient processes, increased profitability, faster and simpler decisions and the opportunity to adapt their systems to new technological possibilities.

Carl Barck: IT and digitization are general tools, but when it is to be used and applied, one must understand the business. We do it because we have so much forestry expertise in the company, a third of our employees have a forestry background. Honestly, there is no equivalent to us in all of Europe, maybe not even globally.

ForestX office Sisjön 2018ForestX office Sisjön 2018ForestX office 2020ForestX office 2022ForestX office 2023ForestX EuropeForestX office GöteborgForestX office GöteborgForestX managementForestX office UppsalaForestX office UppsalaForestX office VäxjöForestX office VäxjöForestX office VäxjöForestX office Falun
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How has ForestX grown?

 

Christer Lindqvist: We have grown entirely organically with a well-thought-out method based on an open and flexible model to be able to collaborate in various forms of ecosystems with our customers and partners. Within the framework of our business concept, we want to operate in the entire forest value chain from seed to finished product, but in practice we have so far mostly worked in forestry and the wood industry.

Carl Barck: Geographically, we have gone from having been focused on Sweden and Scandinavia to now, after five years, seeing the whole of Europe as our main market. In practical terms, we have established offices in several Swedish cities and in two locations in Europe. In addition, we have our team in India.

”Honestly, there is no equivalent to us in the whole of Europe,
perhaps not even globally.”

ForestX Pune IndiaForestX Pune IndiaForestX Pune IndiaForestX Pune IndiaForestX Pune IndiaForestX Pune IndiaForestX Pune IndiaForestX Pune IndiaForestX Pune IndiaForestX Pune IndiaForestX Pune IndiaForestX Pune India
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Any milestones to mention?

 

Christer Lindqvist: They are many! From our first office in Gothenburg until we were able to inaugurate our office in India in the spring of 2023. Then I remember things like the first license deal for Optinex at Pfeifer in Austria and when we implemented CFHarvest at HedeDanmark . The Gaselle award we received in autumn 2023 from Dagens Industri confirms and summarizes how steady our growth journey has been.

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Carl Barck: I would especially like to mention our deals in Europe with Pfeifer, Mayr-Melnhof and Rubner that has been significant steps. At home, I want to highlight the work with Trimble Forestry CFHarvest at Sydved. The latest big thing is our project with Holmen. It is an important deal for us, it is the first Connected Forest deal in Sweden. We have felt stability and security in our collaboration with Trimble in working on this deal and others as well.

TrimbleCollective CrunchRemsoftPfeiferSetraRemsoftTrimble
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”During the pandemic years, we actually had our
strongest growth to date.”

Pandemic, war in Europe and a troubled outside world – what has it been like to start a company under those circumstances?

 

Christer Lindqvist: Of course, the unrest in Europe and the world has shaped us and nothing can be taken for granted anymore, we are enormously humbled by this. The pandemic years did not stop us. Through the model we had, we were able to expand and deliver our projects in a more efficient way when we had to take away offices, physical meetings and other activities from the workplan. On several occasions, it was striking to us how empty the office could be despite the workshop being in full swing. During the pandemic years, we actually had our strongest growth to date.

Carl Barck: We can see how the economic crisis has affected our customers in 2023 – many have had poor profitability. But for that reason, they have worked even more with us to strengthen their competitiveness. Our solutions also become our customers’ solutions to their problems.

Why is it important that the forest and wood industries continues to be digitized?

 

Christer Lindqvist: Today, the industry is under stronger pressure than ever to change in order to meet new climate goals and other EU regulations. Today’s forestry is also strongly questioned in its current form. New forest owners place new demands on forest companies but also see new areas of use for their forest, from the investor side we also see a greater interest in forest ownership.

 

The increased rate of digitization affects and has affected all industries. The forest industry is both behind and ahead of other industries, but what is most affected is increased availability of information, the ability to process large amounts of data, new technology that can facilitate time-consuming manual work and the great demands on environmental effects and sustainability.

”New forest owners make new demands on forest companies, but also see new areas of use for their forest.”

Carl Barck: On the wood side, it is about maintaining competitiveness. It is about becoming more efficient in resource utilization and how to use your staff. The forest has a challenge in the changes that will take place where we move towards more control and knowledge about the forest and the forest land. Felling will be less. IT solutions and digitization are the key to maintaining production.

What needs do you see the forest industry having going forward?

 

Christer Lindqvist: Regardless of which areas are changed and/or made more efficient, new digital systems and tools will be central. We see that companies like ForestX will be perfectly positioned in this change.

Carl Barck: We see an increased need for better decision support. You get that with the help of optimization and AI in planning and control.

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What lessons have you learned as entrepreneurs from the years with ForestX?

 

Carl Barck: It is a challenge to go from the small startup company where you have to manage everything yourself to the large established company where you have to work in a different way. During 2022 and 2023, we have actually created a new company in terms of structure. We had to make that shift, we are now approaching 60 coworkers.

Christer Lindqvist: Some of the most central lessons as entrepreneurs and specifically the forest industry that we have worked in are:

  • The importance of a clear and focused business model.
  • Long-termism and perseverance, that is, we must always believe in what we are doing to reach our goals.
  • Team delivery. We always work cross-skills in our assignments and respect each other’s contributions.
  • Relationship, relationship and relationship. We do business and projects with people with whom we build a long relationship.

Where will ForestX be in another five years?

 

Carl Barck: We do what we do now, but in more places, more customers and in more branches of the forest industry.

Christer Lindqvist: We are simply present in more industries within the forestry value chain. Our collaborations with our partners are even stronger. Our team in India has further developed and has a stronger presence in all our deliveries.

Trainee

ForestX’s first trainee: Theo Bohlin does his internship at ForestX

Växjö

 

Theory from studies meets reality at ForestX. Theo Bohlin is ForestX’s first trainee.

 

Theo Bohlin is studying the program ”Digital Business Development” at Linnaeus University.

He is spending the first semester of the third and final year of the program as an intern at ForestX’s office in Växjö.

– I’m grateful ForestX accepted me. It is fun to see how everything works in reality in forestry.

Digital business development

The program has informatics as its main field of study with a focus on digital business development and leads to a bachelor’s degree. Theo Bohlin tells us more about the studies:

 

– The focus of the program is simply how to use information. What is the benefit of the data? Which data is valuable? It is of course also about how to streamline operations with digital support and various technologies, says Theo.

 

– During the program, we analyze operations, visualize them and find different work processes. The program is very broad. We study in parallel with those who study systems science, but we also study business administration, leadership, marketing, and information systems, for example.

Agile working method in reality

In the internship, the more theoretical knowledge from the studies meets the reality of the business developers at ForestX’s office in Växjö.

– I get to sit in and listen to meetings with customers. You can read about a lot, but it’s a completely different thing to follow along and see how projects are managed in reality. For example, I get to see what agile project work looks like in different companies, says Theo.

– Later, I will try to work with the support for CFHarvest. It’s a bit nervous, but it’s also good to throw yourself into it and try it out.

At ForestX’s Växjö office, business developers Patrik Anderchen and Andreas Elling work together with solution architect Andreas Fagerberg.

Name: Theo Bohlin

Job: Intern from the ”Digital Business Development” program

 

Favorite tree:

Willow

”A beautiful tree that was in my courtyard as a child. Great memories of all the games played under that tree”.

 

Best nature experience:

Mountain hiking in Jotunheim, Norway

”A fantastically beautiful environment that I really love and always long to return to”.

 

Favorite apps:

TikTok

Spotify

Google

 

Frequently visited pages online:

Aftonbladet

YouTube

LinkedIn

ForestX awarded for being fast-growing and successful

Since the start in 2018, ForestX has grown both fast and stable. ForestX is now appointed Gasell 2023 by leading Swedish business newspaper Dagens Industri.

– This is an award for all our employees! Without their competence and commitment, we would not have received the award. We are a fantastic team, says CEO Carl Barck.

ForestX offers digital solutions and business knowledge for the entire forest value chain, from forest to finished product. Customers and users are located in Sweden, Denmark and Central Europe.

VD Carl Barck och marknadschef Christer Lindqvist

– An important part of why we have grown in this way is that we have innovative and forward-thinking customers. Our customers can see every day how our solutions help them make good and profitable decisions, says Carl Barck and continues:

– I dare to say that our combination of deep understanding of the complex requirements of the forestry and wood industries and top competence in IT development, AI and digitalization is unique. You won’t find it anywhere else.

The solutions and know-how ForestX offers provide information and decision support from everything from planning harvesting to how a sawmill best optimizes its use of the timber.

– The award also shows that our offer with solutions that support sustainable forestry and wise use of resources is the right way to go, says marketing manager Christer Lindqvist.

ForestX was founded and is headquartered in Gothenburg. The company also has offices in Falun, Växjö and Uppsala. In Europe, ForestX has employees in Germany and in Austria/Italy. A subsidiary with developers is located in Pune, India.

More on the Gasell award:

The Gasell award from Dagens industri, a leading Swedish business newspaper, is an annual recognition that is given to the fastest-growing and most successful companies in Sweden.

The award is named after the concept of a gazelle, which in this context symbolizes businesses that are agile, nimble, and able to achieve rapid growth.

The Gasell award is highly prestigious and is seen as a mark of excellence and success in the Swedish business community. It acknowledges companies that contribute to economic growth and job creation in Sweden.

How ForestX meets the criteria of Gasell:

Gaselle requirement 1:

A net turnover exceeding SEK 10 million, according to the latest annual report.

ForestX turnover 2022 – 44 million SEK

Gazelle requirement 2:

At least ten employees, according to the latest annual report.

ForestX 2022 – 15 average number of employees (in Sweden).

Gazelle requirement 3:

At least doubled its turnover, comparing the first and last financial year of the four-year study period.

From SEK 16.6 million to SEK 44 million.

Gazelle requirement 4:

Increased their turnover every year for the last three years.

2018/19 (18 months) – SEK 16.6 million

2020 – 19.9 million SEK

2021 – 30.2 million SEK

2022 – 44 million SEK

Gazelle requirement 5:

A positive overall operating result for the last four financial years.

2022 +

2021 +

2020 +

2018/19 +

Gazelle requirement 6:

Essentially grown organically, not through acquisitions or mergers.

Yes

Gazelle requirement 7:

Sound finances.

Yes

More about ForestX

ForestX was founded in 2018 in Gothenburg, Sweden. The founders and employees have extensive experience from the forestry and sawmill industry. In the fall of 2023, the company has around 50 employees.

CEO Carl Barck is a trained forester and has extensive experience from both the Swedish and international forest industry.

Marketing manager Christer Lindqvist has previously received three Gazelle awards between 2006 and 2008 and has extensive experience of building profitable companies from scratch.

One third of ForestX’s employees have a forestry education. Together with experienced solution architects and developers, there is a great knowledge of the needs of the forestry industry and digital solutions.

ForestX collaborates with several world-leading product suppliers such as Trimble Forestry and Remsoft. ForestX also develops its own product Optinex, which is a planning and optimization tool for sawmills.

Optinex is currently used at sawmills and in the production of glulam and CLT in Sweden and Europe.

ForestX grows in Europe: Torben Hansen on site for projects in Germany

Gothenburg/Hamburg

ForestX expands further in Europe as Torben Hansen joins. He sees great opportunities for German forestry to draw inspiration from Scandinavia to better integrate forestry and wood industry.

 

During its five years, ForestX has grown both in Sweden and within Central Europe. The company offers digital solutions and business knowledge for the entire forest industry value chain, from forestry to finished product. Torben Hansen believes that the German and Central European market can benefit from the holistic perspective that ForestX represents.

– We need to see forestry and the wood industry as one. In Central Europe the two are not integrated in the same way as in Scandinavia. It becomes inefficient when forestry doesn’t do what the market ultimately requires, just because of lack of information, says Torben Hansen.

– We need to focus more on business in forest management in Germany. We have a strong silvicultural perspective, yet we need to create good business processes as well.

Extensive forestry experience

Torben Hansen has extensive experience in forestry, both in Germany and internationally. He has previously worked for a state forestry company. After that, he worked as a consultant to private forest owners with forest valuation and forest management planning, as well as some software development. After that, he worked with acquisitions and assessments of forest properties in North America. The work involved everything from investment strategies to setting up a management team with local actors. He has also worked with a software company for business solutions that had forestry clients, among others.

Already during his studies, Torben Hansen established his first ties to the Swedish forestry industry. He studied his master’s degree in Sweden at SLU.

– Swedish forestry is progressive. There’s a strong international connection through Swedish companies operating all over the world. So they draw on a wide range of experience and expertise. Sweden is also a very nice country, and it is possible there to study in English!

These are experiences that are now being combined in Torben Hansen’s assignment at ForestX.

– Forestry in many regions of the world needs more modern business processes and management practices. Good information flows are key. We will learn from others and from other regions. In Sweden you will find many state of the art practices, the country has strong forest and wood industries with many international connections. We should exchange knowledge, not reinvent the wheel locally all by ourselves.

Work smart and data-driven

The basis for improved working methods are technology and digital solutions that help the exchange of information.

– For me, it’s about becoming data smart and to work data-driven. We have to use the latest management methods, says Hansen.

This way of working does not mean that local presence or human skills are unimportant.

– If you have a big organization and you don’t manage information properly, you can’t use the local experience and intuition. If you want to make overall decisions, you have to have the information and the data. It’s not technology versus people, it’s about integrating technology with people. Experience and local knowledge can be enhanced by technology, says Torben Hansen.

– There is not just one answer in forestry, you can do many things. It’s all about the goals and what the stakeholders want to achieve.

Based in Hamburg, Torben Hansen is close to the teams and colleagues in Gothenburg.Markus Mueller, HessenForst and Torben Hansen, ForestX.Based in Hamburg, Torben Hansen is close to the teams and colleagues in Gothenburg.
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Fall of 2023 has begun with an intensive week with many visits to interested forestry companies in Germany. There is great interest in ForestX’s solutions and expertise.

– I am in Germany primarily for the German customers, but I see that the needs also exist in, for example, Poland and the Baltic States. ForestX already has Florian Peterlunger in Tyrol. I am also close to the team in Sweden, so I am by no means alone. I look forward to more people joining us in the future!

Solutions for the whole value chain

Torben Hansen is looking forward to continuing to work with ForestX, both for himself and for the forest industry as a whole.

– I want to improve the sector and do what is right for the industry, and in ForestX I see that I can achieve that. The company has so much knowledge about solutions for the whole value chain, not just individual pieces of it. For those companies that only work in one part, we can help connect them to the other parts. It becomes more efficient, and companies become more business-driven. Everyone can make more money, you take better care of your resources and you know what you’re doing. This makes you a good steward of forest resources.

More about ForestX

ForestX was founded in 2018 in Gothenburg, Sweden. The founders and employees have extensive experience from forestry and sawmill industry. In the fall of 2023, the company has around 50 employees.

CEO Carl Barck is a trained forester and has extensive experience from both the Swedish and international forest industry. One third of ForestX’s employees have a forestry education. Together with experienced solution architects and developers, there is extensive knowledge of the needs of the forest industry and digital solutions.

ForestX has completed and has ongoing projects with Rubner and Pfeifer group in Austria, among others.

ForestX collaborates with several world-leading product suppliers such as Trimble Forestry and Remsoft. ForestX also develops its own product Optinex, which is a planning and optimization tool for sawmills.

ForestX has its own team of developers in Pune, India, to ensure high competence and deliveries.

Focus on the product offering: Magnus Lundblad joins ForestX’s management team

Gothenburg

Magnus Lundblad joins ForestX’s management team. He comes with extensive experience of running and developing consulting companies in combination with the development of software products.

Magnus Lundblad, forestry and IT have met many times during his career.

Magnus Lundblad is responsible for products and partners in ForestX’s management team.

He was previously Chairman of the Board of Imano, the company in which several of ForestX’s founders and employees previously worked. Imano also worked with IT solutions for the forest industry, but exclusively for the Swedish market.

He has also been responsible for Evry Systeam’s industry focus on forestry and sawmills and the company’s development of software products for that segment.

Why did you choose to join ForestX?

– There is great potential in digitizing the forest industry, it is an exciting niche to be in. It is also fun to be part of businesses that are growing! So when this opportunity arose, I jumped at it, says Magnus Lundblad.

The colleagues and corporate culture were also attractive.

– I worked closely with many of the team before. I know there are fun people and a good culture. In a consulting company, it is important that people enjoy themselves. I perceive ForestX as an open company. We dare to highlight both what works well and what needs to be improved. This makes employees feel seen and noticed. It creates a good atmosphere, there are no big secrets but everyone is involved in the company’s development, says Magnus Lundblad.

Magnus Lundblad’s assignment at ForestX includes working with and running the company’s various product offerings. Among other things, ForestX develops its own optimization and planning tool Optinex. Optinex is currently used at sawmills and in the production of CLT in Sweden and Europe. The assignment also includes developing the collaborations ForestX has with various product partners. This includes, for example, Trimble Forestry and the work with the various products in the Connected Forest suite.

Johan Bergström, Magnus Lundblad, Carl Barck, Christer Lindqvist, Christina Coupland and Johan Eriksson is the ForestX management team.

Today, ForestX has partners, customers and commitments all over the world. From collaborations with global Trimble, via customers in Europe to its own company with developers in India. Nor is international work unfamiliar to Magnus Lundblad.

– I have previously worked a lot internationally and have been involved in setting up operations in India, actually in Pune, where ForestX is also located.

Magnus Lundblad

Responsible for products and partners at ForestX


Favorite tree:

Birch, mostly because it is a beautiful tree and is good at drinking a lot of water from our otherwise too wet lawn.

Best nature experience:

Definitely a boat trip in the fall when it’s lobster premiere, an early morning on the way out to put lobster pots in the sea with good friends. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Most used app:

I do not know if you can call it an app, but I am curious and ”google” a lot.

Three bookmarks in my browser:

Had to look, right now it’s Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, the buy and sell site Blocket (always looking for something) and the weather website SMHI (it’s almost vacation time).

New employee in Europe: Florian Peterlunger

Tirol Europe/Gothenburg

As the number of customers and projects in Europe increased, so did the need of employees. Florian Peterlunger is ForestX’s first employee in mainland Europe.

 

In recent years, ForestX has had several projects in Austria. As the assignments became more numerous and larger, the need to have someone on site increased.

 

Close to the customers

Florian Peterlunger lives South Tirol, in the Italian Alps, with Austria as his closest neighbor. From here he can easily get to ForestX’s customers in Austria. He’s working as a project manager for Optinex with the customers. In Florian Peterlunger, customers also have someone to speak German with.

 

– The customers are satisfied, there is always terminology that can be difficult to get right in English. I am close by and can be on site, says Florian Peterlunger.

 

With a technical/mechanical background, Florian Peterlunger previously worked for a company supplying equipment to the saw and wood industry. There he supported developing the after-sales department.

 

In parallel with his work at ForestX, Florian Peterlunger is studying industrial engineering and management, and is now aiming to complete his master’s degree in a year and a half.

 

Motivated team

Taking the step to a Swedish company and becoming the first person on-site for the company in the region can be seen as a bold decision.

– I was impressed by the motivation of the ForestX team. Here I can be part of the development, I can be involved from the beginning and can influence the work and be involved in building the team.

 

Develops Optinex

Florian Peterlunger’s work at ForestX is very much about the development of the planning and optimization tool Optinex.

We have weekly meetings with customers where we get feedback and discuss additions and changes. Internally, we also discuss what we can do and what would be interesting and valuable for customers.

 

The sawmill and forestry industries are large in Austria and the surrounding regions. Half of Austria’s surface is covered by forest, which corresponds to about four million hectares. The Austrian wood industry has an annual production value of EUR 10.4 billion. Together with tourism, the wood industry accounts for the country’s largest foreign exchange earnings. The industry is diversified, ranging from sawmill industry, construction industry, furniture industry, wood and wood composite industry to ski industry.

ForestX expands in Europe: “Our growth demands a local presence.” 

ForestX expands in Europe: ”Our growth demands a local presence.” 

Gothenburg/Tirol 

 

ForestX has been working with Austrian customers for a long time. Now the company is deepening its involvement in Europe with its first employee in the region. 

 

For several years, ForestX has carried out various projects and collaborated with major forestry and sawmill companies in Europe. Now the involvement in Europe continues with an employee on site. 

– It was time for us to take this step. Now our continued expansion and development requires a local presence, says Carl Barck, CEO of ForestX. 

Carl Barck, VD ForestX.

Growth in every market

Florian Peterlunger is located in South Tirol, in the Italian Alps, with Austria as the closest neighbor. He will work on ForestX’s ongoing projects in Austria.  

– We are very pleased that Florian has chosen to join us. We see strong growth in all our markets and this is just the beginning of a larger establishment in Europe, says Carl Barck.  

Florian Peterlunger, Project Manager ForestX.

The establishment means that ForestX’s expertise comes closer to both new and old customers in Europe with the same solutions as in Scandinavia. In the business areas of forest and saw, ForestX can offer products together with an industry-specific business knowledge. One third of ForestX’s employees have a forestry background and education and the company cooperates with several well-known product suppliers.  

 

Digitalization of forestry

The establishment is a first step in ForestX’s larger investment in Europe. 

– We see great opportunities in Europe. We see that digitalization in forestry and sawmills are priority areas for everyone. We have a lot to contribute there; we have extensive experience, and we combine our solutions with deep forestry business expertise.  

– Above all, we can also help with how to work and organize around the new tools. This is crucial to the success and profitability of a project,  says Carl Barck.  

Leading planning tool integrated with SAP S/4HANA for glulam industry in operation at Pfeifer in Austria

 

ForestX in new major European project: Tactical operational planning at Rubner

New office in Pune

In March 2023 we could finally have an inauguration of the ForestX office in Pune!

We now have a spacious office for our team in Pune. Here we have modern work desks, small rooms for meetings and a big conference room. In the kitchen we have a coffee machine so we always can have a Swedish “fika”.

You’ll find our office at:
E-4030, Solitaire Business Hub,
Opp. NECO Garden Society,
Clover Park, Viman Nagar, Pune
















Office in Falun!

After several years and a pandemic, we finally have a real office for our employees in Dalarna!

ForestX’s team in Dalarna consists of five experienced solution architects and project managers. From here, much of our development work on future sustainable and digital solutions for the forest and sawmill industry in Sweden and Europe is led.

Do you want to be part of our gang in Falun? We are now looking for experienced solution architects, developers and business consultants to Dalarna. We have the office at Engelbrektsgatan 16.

Contact Stefan Jönis to find out more!

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New office: ForestX moves into Videum in Växjö

Växjö

 

On the first of December, ForestX will open an office in Videum, Växjö.

 

Together with the office in Gothenburg, the office will be the base for ForestX projects in southern Sweden. Among other things, they are currently working on the implementation of CFHarvest from Trimble at Sydved.

 

– It will be very exciting to open an office in Växjö and that our second employee will soon start in Växjö. Videum feels like a very creative environment with many interesting companies in the area that allow our ideas to grow. We also see the proximity to the university as a strength both for future recruitment but also with inspiration from research, says Patrik Anderchen, business developer at ForestX in Växjö.

 

ForestX currently has around fifty employees in Sweden and India. In Sweden, we have offices in Gothenburg, Växjö, Dalarna, Stockholm/Uppsala and Umeå. In the Indian IT city of Pune, the company has 14 developers.

 

Photo: Videum