2014 has been a great year for Dutch startups. Not only did they raise more than half a billion euros, the start of a special Startup Delta program might just be the bump we need. But what’s ahead of us next year? We sought and found promising startups that might break through in 2015.
In terms of ‘promising’ and ‘breaking through’, the startups that made it to this list are already profitable, have a lot of customers or gained traction very fast. Some of them are just undiscovered gems or have an innovative idea in a difficult market. Long story short: these are the startups interesting enough to follow.
In random order:
Brain Science Tools, activating academics
Brain Science Tools is a medical device manufacturer specialized in MRI and neurostimulation technology. The startup got worldwide sales. Most important: this is one of the few recent academic spinoffs of an university (Universiteit Utrecht / UMC Utrecht) that got some good ol’ traction – making it a poster child for fellow academics to do the same.
Bundles, wash away your spilling sin
The subscription model has proven to be quite interesting. Very applicable to clothing, food and media. Bundles has the same model…. for washing machines. Instead of owning a washing machine, users pay for it when they use it – saving water and money along the way.
Straight out of the 2014 Rockstart Smart Energy class, this startup raised 300.000 euros from several angel investors and Miele – already partnering with Bundles. Also, the startup raised 110k through crowdfunding in just three days to finance its hardware.
Blendle, beyond the clickbait
Hard to not mention Blendle. Sure, the ‘iTunes for journalism’ already got a lot of attention in Dutch media. And let’s be honest, the technology isn’t top notch yet. But what makes Blendle so interesting is its potential to grow internationally.
Here in the Netherlands Blendle might not get profitable very fast, but in countries like the US and Germany (New York Times and Axel Springer invested 3 million euros) they can – because of volume ánd because people are already used to pay for online news there.
What we at StartupJuncture like the most about Blendle is that this startup really puts some innovation in modern day journalism – where news media tend to ‘innovate’ only with clickbait. Let’s see if they can live up to the hype.
Nerdalize, energy from nerds
When a sustainable source of energy is at stake, a startup soon has our interest. An often difficult and competitive market however usually makes the road to success long in this particular market.
Nerdalize nevertheless seems to have made this road a little smoother as it heats buildings with existing computer power. By using the same energy twice, Nerdalize energizes houses for free whilst selling the generated computing power to clients.
Smart, sustainable and profitable, reducing energy bills, computation costs and the usage of energy in general. This in our view must raise some eyebrows at existing energy companies. The only choice now is to fight it or embrace it.
Snappcar, shared economy
Another more sustainable as well as profitable example is Snappcar. Yes! The shared economy executed within a robust revenue model. Bringing car owners and people without this too important form of transportation together in order to share the joy of driving a car.
Whilst the owner gets a reimbursement for renting out his vehicle and insurances are covered, the user of the car may lose its interest in owning one. Ultimately this may result in in less cars in our world, less pollution and less energy usage. Everybody happy.
Fastned, fast charging
And since we are talking about cars, we must not overlook the growing importance of electric cars. The way forward! But only if these cars are able to make enough miles on a single battery and when there are just as many possibilities of fast charging along the route as there are gas stations.
Fastned help is on the way, co-founded by the brother of our former president – Bart Lubbers, whom was also involved in Epyon (now ABB), this must be a company that knows how to grow fast. Fastned is building fast-charging (15-30 min) stations for electric cars along the highway powered by wind and sun.
Lubbers has stated he wants to build a new station every week (link to article in Dutch) and have national coverage fast before crossing borders. Competition so far seems limited, whilst the market for electric cars grows.
4 million euros were secured with investors and some subsidy will come from Europe. But Fasted needs another 40 million to grow. And to achieve this, everyone can buy shares via the website. Exiting times ahead for this company for sure.
Leapfunder, makes the world go round
Indeed, money makes the world go round. And although we know there are probably many more startups to watch this year, maybe even ones we haven’t heard of yet (please do e-mail us!), we would like to conclude with a startup that makes money a little more accessible: Leapfunder.
This company makes the need for that single big investor disappear as it bundles those whom are willing to make a small investment, angels, friends, family and fools together in one platform.
When investors are convinced of the quality of a proposition they can invest directly. Investors from all European countries can buy Leapfunder Notes in a company. The Leapfunder Note is a convertible note and has Interest, a Discount, and a Cap.
Co-founder Tienko Rasker calls (link to article in Dutch) his company an ‘enabler.’ “We get ten investors on board for your company instead of one and we are a lot cheaper than a lawyer.”
Photo: Wikimedia Commons