In a recent interview with Startup Juncture, Herman Kienhuis, Director of Sanoma Ventures, said he will continue to invest in the same fast pace in Dutch startups as in the first year of inception of the venture arm of Sanoma Media.
Today, almost a month later, Sanoma Ventures has announced its investment in Springest, following its involvement in fashion startup FashionQlub in November.
Springest.nl is the self-proclaimed largest independent Dutch comparison website for professional courses, study, training and corporate in-house learning and development programs. Founded in 2008 by Ruben Timmerman the site provides visitors over 34,000 training products from 2,900 providers. The site has amassed over 25,000 reviews.
Leading organizations using Springest are, among others, Aegon, Alliander, Getronics and Vattenfall. Last year Springest was launched in Germany and the UK.
Partnering with Sanoma enables Springest to accelerate growth, both domestic as well as internationally. Springest believes it will benefit from the experience Sanoma has gained with Kieskeurig.nl and the international expansion of FashionChick.com Both comparison sites as well.
Timmerman says Sanoma is the ‘excellent partner’ to enable the site to increase its reach from 2.5 to 5 million unique visitors per year in the Netherlands. “Over the next two years we aim to establish a leading position in Germany and the UK and we will be launching local sites in other European countries,” he adds.
Having gained a steady foothold in Europe the company plans to enter the US market with springest.com. Timmerman: “Through Springest.com, we will take our first step in the comprehensive comparison of all e-learning tools – a quickly expanding segment, particularly in the US.”
Timmerman hopes to build Springest into the ‘Amazon of learning.’
Springest is big success in the Dutch professional learning market, Kienhuis contends. “A sector which we believe has considerable online growth potential”, he says in a press release issued today. “Through this investment, we aim to help Springest consolidate this success and accelerate its international expansion.”
Last year Springest raised €850.000 in angel funding. The amount funding raised in this latest round is undisclosed.