Who is Timo Toikkanen? CEO of Varjo and the future of immersive tech

  • Timo Toikkanen, the dynamic CEO of Varjo, is at the forefront of revolutionising the virtual and augmented reality landscape. 
  • Toikkanen’s career journey is marked by his extensive tenure at Nokia, where he began in 1995 and held various executive roles that underscore his strategic leadership and global business acumen. 

Timo Toikkanen’s leadership at Varjo has been pivotal in propelling the company to the forefront of the virtual and mixed reality industry. Under his direction, Varjo has excelled in innovation, particularly with its high-fidelity VR and XR solutions that have set new benchmarks for realism and precision. Toikkanen’s strategic partnerships and global expansion efforts have solidified Varjo’s position in diverse markets, driving significant adoption across sectors like aerospace and healthcare. However, some critics argue that while Varjo’s technology is cutting-edge, its high cost may limit widespread accessibility. Nonetheless, Varjo continues to impress with its commitment to pushing technological boundaries and delivering unparalleled immersive experiences.
–Miurio huang, BTW reporter

Timo Toikkanen, the dynamic CEO of Varjo, is at the forefront of revolutionising the virtual and augmented reality landscape. With a visionary approach and a relentless drive for innovation, Toikkanen has been instrumental in steering Varjo to new heights, positioning the company as a global leader in high-fidelity VR and XR solutions. Under his leadership, Varjo continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible, creating immersive experiences that blend the digital and physical worlds with unparalleled precision and realism. Toikkanen’s strategic insights and commitment to excellence are transforming industries and setting new standards in the realm of immersive technology.

Early background

Education background

Timo Toikkanen, the CEO of Varjo, possesses a solid educational background that has significantly influenced his career in technology and leadership. He earned a Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in Electrical Engineering from the Helsinki University of Technology, which is now known as Aalto University. This institution is renowned for its emphasis on innovation and rigorous engineering education, providing Toikkanen with a strong technical foundation. His academic pursuits equipped him with essential skills and knowledge in electrical engineering, laying the groundwork for his pioneering role in revolutionising the virtual and augmented reality landscape at Varjo.

Career Background

Timo Toikkanen’s career journey is marked by his extensive tenure at Nokia, where he began in 1995 and held various executive roles that underscore his strategic leadership and global business acumen. 

Initially focusing on Mobile Phones sales growth across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, Toikkanen later established legal operations for Nokia’s Mobile Phones in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore. 

This ambitious man create Varjo

His career at Nokia spanned roles such as General Manager for Hong Kong and Macao, Vice President of Sales for China South, Vice President of Greater China Sales, and Senior Vice President overseeing Middle East and Africa operations, Customer and Market Operations, and Distribution West. 

Notably, he also served as Senior Vice President of Strategic Business Operations and Head of Business Development. 

Beyond his corporate achievements, Toikkanen has been actively involved in business councils, including chairing the Hong Kong Finnish Business Council and holding a Vice Chairman role at the European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. He continues to contribute to the industry as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Hong Kong Wireless Technology Industry Association. 

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The Varjo

Timo Toikkanen founded Varjo, which manufactures VR, AR and MR headsets and software for automotive, aerospace, training, simulation, engineering and research.

Financing situation

Varjo has successfully secured a huge amount of funding over the years.

In September 2017, the company closed a $8.2 million Series A funding round led by EQT Ventures. Later that year, in December, Varjo received an additional $6.7 million investment from Finnish business development group Tekes. Building on this momentum, in October 2018, Varjo announced a substantial $31 million Series B funding round led by Atomico, with participation from Next47, EQT Ventures, and Lifeline Ventures. The company continued to attract investment, closing up to $54 million in Series C funding on August 12, 2020. Most recently, in September 2022, Varjo announced another milestone with $40 million raised in Series D funding, bringing their total funding raised to $160 million.

“Twenty-five percent of the world’s Fortune 100 companies rely on Varjo, and we have transformed the workflow for thousands of industry leaders in many fields.”

Timo Toikkanen

Product features

Varjo products are celebrated for their cutting-edge features that redefine the possibilities of virtual and mixed reality technology. 

Key attributes include high-resolution displays utilising advanced optics, delivering industry-leading clarity and immersion. 

Varjo VR-3 and XR-3 headsets employ foveated rendering technology to dynamically adjust detail based on user gaze, optimising performance for realistic simulations. 

Designed for seamless integration with 3D modeling tools, Varjo headsets excel in professional applications like design and training. Enhanced by integrated eye tracking, Varjo models offer insights into user behavior and enable precise interactions. 

The XR-3 model further expands capabilities by blending virtual and augmented reality, fostering diverse industry applications. Varjo prioritises user comfort with ergonomic designs and offers a robust software ecosystem supporting content creation and enterprise integration. Emphasising enterprise-grade security, Varjo ensures compliance and protection of sensitive data, cementing its leadership in high-fidelity virtual and mixed reality solutions for professional and regulated industries.

The product of Varjo

Industrial applications

From aerospace and automotive sectors to healthcare and education, Varjo Reality Cloud enables immersive experiences and precise collaborative environments. Its advanced features like high-resolution visualisation, real-time data integration, and seamless interaction across remote locations have revolutionised training simulations, design reviews, and complex data analysis. In aerospace, for instance, it facilitates detailed aircraft design evaluations and flight simulations. In healthcare, it supports surgical planning and medical training with unprecedented realism. This versatility underscores Varjo Reality Cloud’s impact, enhancing productivity and innovation across diverse professional fields.

Global touch

Also, Varjo has made a significant international impact with its innovative virtual and mixed reality solutions.

Its high-fidelity VR and XR technologies are widely adopted across diverse industries such as aerospace, automotive, healthcare, and education, enhancing training, design, and simulation capabilities globally. The company’s strategic partnerships with leading global technology firms, educational institutions, and industry leaders drive innovation and expand its market presence worldwide. With strong footholds in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and beyond, Varjo meets global demand for immersive technologies, recognised for their quality and performance. As a leader in the VR and XR market, Varjo shapes the future of immersive experiences through continuous research and development efforts, influencing global standards and enhancing productivity across global markets.


Miurio Huang

Miurio Huang is an intern news reporter at Blue Tech Wave media specialised in AI. She graduated from Jiangxi Science and Technology Normal University. Send tips to m.huang@btw.media.

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