One to Watch: Reetu Kainulainen, CEO and Co-Founder of Ultimate

January 2023

Reetu Kainulainen laid the foundation for the virtual agent platform Ultimate at a hackathon in Helsinki in 2016. Fresh out of university, he saw the customer support staff at the event struggling, created a demo for a support chatbot and won first place. This led to Kainulainen cofounding Ultimate, pioneering a multilingual AI in Finnish, an extremely complex language.

Industry-leading brands like Finnair naturally became a client due to Ultimate’s linguistic capabilities. At the same time, Ultimate attracted the attention of German software giant SAP and moved to Berlin through SAP’s Techstars accelerator program. Ultimate soon secured its first ever German customer, Zalando, and now has brands like Gorillas and Trade Republic as customers. It continues to build on its momentum, investing massively in R&D, creating an inclusive team with 40 percent women, and promoting sustainable growth.

“Ultimate is rooted in technological innovation and cutting-edge research. Finland fostered these underlying values, and we then needed a bigger arena to tap into our full potential. Moving to Berlin, with its booming tech scene and fiercely ambitious talent pool, opened massive opportunities for us as a company,” Kainulainen says. “Today, we’re scaling customer support worldwide: We have a product that’s lightyears ahead of old-school chatbots, and we have global hubs in the US, UK and Finland, and a brilliant team with over 40 nationalities.”

Reetu Kainulainen ©


Quick facts

Name: Reetu Kainulainen

Job title: CEO

Nationality: Finland

Qualification: Master of Science in Technology, Information and
Knowledge Management

Company name: Ultimate

Location: Berlin

Industry: Virtual agent platform working in 109 languages

Berlin office: Community, sales, operations, product and engineering