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Tech5: Fairphone named the fastest growing Dutch tech startup

Yesterday, the fastest growing Dutch tech startup was announced at Tech5 Amsterdam, an event organized by Adyen and The Next Web. These two ‘former startups’ had partnered up to investigate which tech startup grew fastest between 2012 and 2014. Winner: Fairphone.

The top five was invited to give a pitch, after which the winner was made public.

How did Adyen and The Next Web define the fastest growth? The ranking was based on the revenue growth between 2012 and 2014, as compared to the baseline revenue. Other criteria were that the startup has to be founded in or after 2010 and needs to have had a revenue of at least 200.000 euros in 2014. After thorough research, these five startups were selected: Bynder, The CloakRoom, Fairphone, imgZine and SendCloud.


Bynder offers online software that helps companies to automate their branding. They have offices in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and recently have opened new ones in London and Boston. Being called an industry disrupter by their own industry is one of the things they’re proud of. They’re born in the cloud and see the potential of it. One of their biggest challenges is to attract the right people, people who are talented, open-minded and can keep up with the fast pace.

The CloakRoom

The CloakRoom matches personal shoppers to men who don’t have time to shop for clothes. The personal shoppers select clothes based on the preferences and style of the men and send it to them in boxes. It has been a humble journey for the founders; they started in a living room, putting clothes in boxes themselves. Nowadays, the CloakRoom is active in four countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Denmark. Expanding their activities to reach time-starved women is not an ambition, because women are more picky than men and would send almost everything back, they think.


This social enterprise produces smartphones to motivate the electronics industry to address social and environmental issues in the supply chain. For example, they work on integrating conflict-free minerals as opposed to using conflict minerals, which are minerals mined in conditions of armed conflict where the profits are used to fund the conflict. Founder Bas van Abel looks at the Fairphone as a vehicle to create a movement, a way to show that doing business while being socially responsible is possible. The first model of 60.000 phones is completely sold out, and they’re now working on a new model which they expect to be available shortly after summer.


This company offers a publishing platform for companies’ internal communications, marketing and publishing. They’re proud of the fact that they’ve opened an office in Greece. The story behind this is as follows: one of the first employees is a Greek man who came to the Netherlands as an exchange student and started working for imgZine. His dream was to return to his family on Crete, even though unemployment rates are very high. His dream came true when imgZine opened an office on the island. With eleven persons in the office, imgZine is the second largest employer there. The company also has one employee in the USA and one in Australia.


SendCloud connects web shops to shipping carriers, thereby making the administrative processes involved in sending packages easier and less time-consuming. It started with a personal frustration from one of the founders, who owned a web shop. Every day, he manually had to fill in a document with shipping information, such as addresses. The idea for SendCloud was born and at present, the company has over 1500 web shops as customers. They are active in the Netherlands and Germany and think one of their biggest challenges is to connect more German carriers to the platform.

Fairphone wins

Fairphone was named the winner of the Tech5 competition. The jury thinks Fairphone is a confirmation that purpose and profit can go together. It shows that it’s possible to maintain a sustainable business, while putting social values first.

This Dutch event is part of a larger European competition. Similar events are organised in five other countries. Fairphone, and the other winners, are awarded a speaking slot at The Next Web Conference Europe in April 23rd and 24th 2015 in Amsterdam. This will give them the opportunity to present themselves to a big audience. At that time, the percentage of growth of the winners will be announced too. So stay tuned!

Image credit: Fairphone

Moniek Veltman
Moniek is a freelance text writer with a background in neuroscience and psychology.

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