Dutch Finance Lab, a fintech startup, has a few weeks after its start raised a staggering 30 million euro. The round is led by Pieter Schoen, the co-founder of the recently acquired energy company NLE. The remaining part is financed by a bank. Neither the exact investment figure by Schoen nor the name of the bank have been disclosed. The largest part of the 30 million euro will be used as credit lines for Dutch Finance Lab’s (DFL) clients. A smaller part of the capital will be put to use to fuel the growth of the startup through acquisitions.
DFL is founded this month, January 2018, by veteran entrepreneurs Martijn Don, Louis Hofmeijer and Jeroen Smits. Martijn Don is mostly known as investor at Keadyn. Hofmeijer and Smits both hail from Alfa Finance. Previously, Hofmeijer founded multiple leading factoring companies and has been CEO of Euler Hermes, world’s largest credit insurance company.
Dutch Finance Lab as the name entails, offers a range of financial productised services. The label BizPay offers webshop owners the possibility to recoup their money after three days and enable their customers to pay with an invoice. Other solutions are Impact Factoring and Transaction Factoring. Solutions with which DFL offers working capital based on all debtors or for single purchase orders.
Focusing on SME’s and micro companies (less than 10 employees) the startup is after a big market. This group accounts for 99 % percent of the companies in the Netherlands. The freelance market in the Netherlands is the biggest in Europa, accounting for more than 67 percent of the 1.379 million companies in the country. The other one third is almost entirely SME’s. Large and corporate companies account for less 0,1 percent of the number of businesses.
But though, as it seems, the market DFL is after is sizeable, it’s also a very crowded. “At first sight the factoring industry is indeed pretty crowded, says Martijn Don to StartupJuncture. “But if you look closer the industry is quite a traditional B2B market. There are a lot of companies with a fresh looking front end, but we don’t see that much factoring companies with a fintech DNA.”
Don argues that their fintech DNA and their suite of products enables them to ‘customize’ their services to what the client needs. Don: “This sounds a no-brainer, but in fact is unique in the market.” Another competitive advantage of the company is its unlimited funding possibilties and credit insurance policies Don claims. “Because of the combination of access to volume at lowest prices we can provide collectives with funding and exploit our buy and build strategy”, he says.
Pieter Schoen, the lead investor in DFL, made his fortune with the energy company NLE (Nederlandse Energie Maatschappij) he co-founded in 2005. Interestingly, the investment follows just a few weeks after Schoen made his exit in a deal worth 200 million euro.
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