The word is out, as Jouk Pleiter wins the LOEY Award 2017 with his digital engagement banking software company Backbase. Initially, he was a co-founder of Tridion, a software developer for content management. In 2003, however, he saw opportunities in a new market and therefore founded Backbase. While the company is now a market leader of digital engagement banking software for financial organizations, it has now won the LOEY Award 2017.
The best entrepreneurs of the industry
Pleiter’s win was announced this Monday by the chairmen of the jury, Daniel Ropers. 250 of the best online entrepreneurs were present at the event. A special guest was also present, namely queen Maxima, as she is a member of the Dutch committee of Entrepreneurship & Financing. The LOEY Awards are an independent institution awarding the best entrepreneurs in the Dutch online industry. Successful entrepreneurs will get visibility because of LOEY, while extending online initiatives and partnerships even further.
According to the foundation LOEY, the innovative power of the online sector is enormous, making the importance of online entrepreneurship evident. Starting 8 years ago, the foundation has tried to contribute to the growth and innovation of online entrepreneurship. This year, the 8th edition of the event was held, with a jury consisting of Daniel Ropers (Bol.com), Bernhard van Oranje (Levi9), Corinne Vigreux (TomTom), Joost Romeijn (Sundio Group) en Bas Beerens (founder of WeTransfer and winner of the LOEY Award 2016). The LOEY Awards 2017 is a joint initiative of Endeit Capital and Peak Capital.
Jouk Pleiter was driven by multiple software developments and also market developments during his time at Backbase. This lead to him having to redesign his business model two times. In 2003, Backbase first introduced a software toolkit for making user interfaces, that would help companies creating great applications. In 2009, Pleiter made a transition to a new market following the increasing amount of competition coming from free, open source alternatives. Backbase went on to focus on gathering and integrating information from different business systems into one easy-to-use application. Subsequently, Backbase had some evident success after this transition. In 2012, however, he made another transition: to focus solely on the needs of the financial sector. As a result of the financial crisis, banks had to transform digitally, according to Pleiter. And he was going to offer just that with Backbase.
It provided him with the differentiation that the company needed. The right focus was achieved and in the last 5 years, Backbase has grown to be the worldwide market leader of digital engagement banking software. The company now has big worldwide clients like HSBC, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, ABN AMRO and Deutsche Bank. In total, Backbase has 73 million daily users in 42 different countries. The complete Backbase team consists of 600 employees active in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boise, Cardiff, London, and Singapore.
Daniel Ropers also had some final things to say about Pleiter’s win. “Jouk is a very involved entrepreneur who has earned his marks in the early stages of the online industry. He did this by offering smart online solutions for more efficient processes in organizations. Pleiter shows remarkably well how online entrepreneurship can have a big impact on the customer experience. He also shows how online entrepreneurship has become essential to multiple sectors in the industry.”
And while the LOEY Award 2017 was won by Jouk Pleiter, the LOEY Talent Award was won by Danique Wiltink of Nimbles. The company has built a market place for parents to find the right tutor for their children. This is the second time the award has been given to an ambitious and talented online entrepreneur who has achieved growth and innovation. After the personal videos of the three finalists were shown, the audience chose Wiltink by public vote.