After having been contracted to design a virtual game and chat called Lumisota (Snow Wars) for a Finnish internet service provider, they were contracted for another project. Aapo, Sampo and Dee Edwards, an entrepreneur from the UK, wanted to create an international business based on the virtual hotel concept, drafting a plan in Autumn 2000, and raised finance.
By the end of January 2001, Habbo Hotel had been launched in beta mode.
The service began in 2000 and has expanded to include nine online communities (or "hotels"), with users in over 150 countries.
Habbo stemmed from a 1999 hobby project by creative designer Sampo Karjalainen and technologist Aapo Kyrölä entitled Mobiles Disco, for a Finnish band.
It was a virtual chat room running on Aapo's Fuse technology. It launched in August 2000 on the ISP's web portal.
Post which, the users enter a 30-second video date where they can chat up their potential match.
If the two users like each other, they can give their date a kiss and see if they return the affection.