Many of our team members worked together for years before the idea of Valaa as a platform was born. Our clients included companies, universities, research groups, nonprofits and foundations with very niche audiences and specific issues they wanted to tackle. We used interactive content as a medium to address problems like unemployment and social exclusion, lifestyle diseases, brain injury rehabilitation, drug addiction and self-efficacy among elderly and many others.

In 2014 we shifted our focus towards narrative-driven content. We developed learning games that combined adventure, problem-solving and role-playing with the subject matter knowledge of our partners and clients. Like many tools before, the first predecessor of Valaa was born in 2015 out from the designers need to express themselves faster than developers could implement new features. The first chapter of our grand adventure was fittingly a piece of software for building adventure games.

Design Principles of Valaa

  1. Empower individuals to create new things
  2. Drive experimentation and exploration
  3. Make everything reusable and accessible
  4. Make sharing of everything the standard
  5. Be as expressive as any programming language
  6. Build a truly democratizing business model

The problems in democratizing the creation of interactive content are only partially related to technology. Tools are not useful if their users are not inspired, are unable to collaborate or can’t disseminate their ideas or reach their audience. In 2016 we formalized a set of design principles to tackle these issues. If we build our platform and designed a new social dynamic based on them, we could empower individuals and organizations to pursue digital transformation and express themselves through interactive content like never before.

Since then many brilliant individuals have joined our mission and we have grown into a multinational team spanning three countries and five cities. We are excited to see our vision taking shape and look forward to early 2018 when we are finally ready to show it to the world.

History in Numbers

94 clients and partners
33 major client projects
9 European Union projects
5 completed Valaa pilots


Ali Riaz CEO
Ville Ilkkala CTO, Co-founder
Johanna Roihuvuo Office Manager
Iridian Kiiskinen Chief Architect, Co-founder
Peter Petermann Head of Development
Ilari Kajaste Software Developer
Thiago Horta Software Developer
Dr. Jussi Holopainen Game R&D
Dr. Petri Nokelainen Pedagogical R&D
Dr. Tiina Kujala Pedagogical R&D
Henri Sokka Producer & Valaa Developer
Ville Kankainen Project Manager & Game Designer
Heidi Länsipuro Community Manager
Kari Ilkkala Chair of the Board, Co-founder
Davey Bakhshi CBDO, Co-founder
Youn Lee CFO