Later on, other clever minds joined in the development of the platform. Still working at Flexim, Eljas Saastamoinen and Niklas Kaustinen were looking for partners worldwide to join the team. After a long search, Jan-Erik Ekberg and Pekka Laitinen joined the team. Jan-Erik today is an adjunct professor at Aalto University and has a computer science PhD. At the time, he was working at the Nokia Research Center. Pekka was working at the national digital and population data services agency but had earlier worked at the Nokia Research Center together with Jan-Erik for 16 years.
Says Jan-Erik Ekberg: “Actually it all started about 15 years ago when we were making a pilot for an access application in New York to access the local train in Long Island. The pilot included a smart card reader at the station, an application in users’ phones to check whether the ticket had been paid or not, and a background supporting system.” Jan-Erik started to develop Bitwards’ lock software, and Pekka created the mobile software.
Like in any good story, something unexpected happened: in 2016, AssaAbloy corporation acquired Flexim Security. Bitwards founders negotiated to purchase the technology for the Smart Key Platform. They obtained all the IPR- related technology, and Bitwards was launched in December 2016 by founders Eljas and Niklas and co-founders Jan-Erik and Pekka.