Amsterdam-based Veylinx started as an academic project in 2015. Anouar El Haji – its founder and CEO, was working on his PhD at the University of Amsterdam when one of his fellow researchers was trying to understand why a particular product wasn’t selling that well.
“The product was developed by a large, well-known consumer electronics giant. The company spent millions on (market) research and development but once launched the product fell completely flat. I wondered why a company of that size can’t predict in this day and age whether one of their innovations is going to be successful,” Haji mentions in a blog post.
This got him interested in the question of how to predict what people are going to buy. “I have a background in behavioural economics and I found these massive companies, with huge financial resources, were still relying on the old fashioned and conventional market research method of using surveys. But there was a huge disparity between what products were priced as and what people were willing to spend for them. And that is how it got started, as an academic project. My studies revealed these disparities when we applied skin-in-the-game to find out what people were actually willing to pay for products. I then started Googling for similar platforms, but found none! So I began building Veylinx as an academic project in 2015,” Haji reminisces while talking about the inception of Veylinx with Silicon Canals.
The company eventually spun off from a university endeavour into an independent company, and today, Veylinx has announced that it has raised $2M (approx €1.6M) in a pre-Series A round of funding.
Investors in this round
The round was led by venture capital firm Dutch Founders Fund. The investment round also saw participation from investors including Hidde Hoogcarspel, Laurens Groenendijk, and Patrick Kerssemakers.
Additionally, serial entrepreneurs also took part in this round including Saeed Younesi, Robbert Flipsen (Recruitee COO), Mitch Barns (former CEO of Nielsen Holdings).
Besides, all existing shareholders and the leadership team, including Veylinx CEO Anouar El Haji, CCO Hein Willemse, and CTO Adil Naimi have invested in this round.
Amsterdam-based Dutch Founders Fund is a venture capital fund focused on fast-growing marketplace, platform, and SaaS companies.
Use of the funds
Veylinx will use the capital to expand and grow teams across Europe and the US, accelerate product development, and launch a new platform – “Veylinx Platform” – that will enable their customers to obtain unique and actionable behavioural insights on products and services.
Haji says, “This investment allows us to expand and release the first genuine behavioural insights platform. Our unique show-me-the-money approach to consumer insights in combination with a scalable platform enables our customers to make the right product decisions faster and with more certainty.”
The pain point
Common research methods have been relying on what people say, which has, in time, shown to be unreliable. Because, what people say they will do hypothetically, which is known to be biased and does not assure the trust necessary to make impactful business decisions.
“Hypothetical biases found in traditional market research methods can be a plague on businesses, costing them millions of dollars,” says Anouar El Haji, Founder, and CEO of Veylinx.
The consequences of businesses using unreliable consumer data and misrepresented market research are manifold and lead to failed product launches and even complete business failure.
Nobel prize-winning approach
Founded by Haji, Veylinx is a behavioural insights platform to answer with confidence major business questions surrounding new products and services during all stages of the development cycle. Veylinx claims to obtain its behavioural consumer insights using a Nobel prize-winning approach in which consumers have real skin-in-the-game to reliably measure demand.
Veylinx claims to be solving the above problem and in a way standing out from conventional methods. It provides insights into real consumer behaviour, helping customers mitigate product failure risks and identify business opportunities with confidence.
The company realises that people ‘speak’ most truthfully with their wallets and hence, it is on a mission to deliver unrivalled realism in the market research world. “This is why I founded Veylinx,” says Anouar El Haji, “To empower businesses to truly understand their consumers’ wants and needs and make more intelligent product decisions.”
Veylinx helps various brands, both big and small, reveal realistic insights and innovate the way they study consumers. Thirty Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) customers, primarily Fortune 500 companies, have undergone multiple projects in more than twenty countries with Veylinx.
According to the company, Procter & Gamble Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive, and Reckitt Benckiser are using Veylinx’s solution.
“We have been able to double our revenue year after year and more than half of our revenue comes from the US. What has been surprising is the attention we received from Fortune 500 companies so quickly, but it is because we tackle the most fundamental business question, the question about demand,” Haji tells SC.
Veylinx currently has 35 team members and is hiring across the board – specifically sales and marketing, operations and product.