As the year comes to a close, a final set of funding rounds has been announced. Next generation trading app BUX follows VanMoof in its footsteps and launched a successful crowdfunding campaign after having raised €10.6M in a Series C funding round. Startup Bundles raises €900.000,- to subsequently grow and further the transition to a circular economy, as well as to become the platform for “stuff as a service”. Concluding, Ikbenfrits secures €2M during its series A funding round from Finch Capital.
Next generation trading app BUX has raised a total of €1.289.892 from 2047 investors in just two weeks of being live on equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs. The Dutch-based company surpassed their initial €1M target within just 24 hours of their public launch. The money raised during the crowdfunding campaign will enable BUX to expand internationally. Also, BUX aims to become the one-stop-shop for all investment interests.
Out of the €1.2m invested, the majority of funds came from first-time investors in the Seedrs platform. 1537 new investors, 75% of the total, invested €1.053.865 into BUX’s campaign. These investors came from 34 different countries. However, the largest group originates from BUX’s home country of the Netherlands. Interestingly, the crowdfunding also attracted members of BUX’s own community. The exact amount of “BUXsters” that have invested during the campaign is not known.
Following up on a crowdfunding campaign
The company’s campaign follows its very successful series C funding round. Held in early October, BUX raised €10.6M. The funding round was led by Germany’s Holtzbrinck Ventures, one of Europe’s most successful venture capital firms. Following up on a successful funding round with a crowdfunding campaign seems to be a trend, as startup VanMoof also did this last October. Velocity Capital also supported the round together with a number of influential angel investors. Some examples are former Booking.com CMO Arthur Kosten and Thierry Schaap, co-founder of online brokerage firm BinckBank.
Improving and enhancing the BUXster experience
BUX intends to use the funds raised from the crowd to expand its product offering in order to offer a full suite of apps by 2020. Nick Bortot, CEO and founder of BUX, also made a statement regarding the successful crowdfunding campaign: “We were delighted to reach our investment target within 24 hours of opening the round to the public and are thrilled with the result of the total round. We’re overwhelmed by the interest we received and are excited to welcome the whole new team of investors, advocates, and hopefully users.”
“We would like to say a huge thank you to the BUXsters and supporters who have recognized the potential of BUX; their dedication and support of the brand over the last three years is what has helped us get to where we are today. We continue to be committed to developing our products in order to improve and enhance their BUXster experience.”
As stated earlier, Bundles has raised €900.000,- during its latest funding round. This amount of money came from a couple of impact investors leading the round like Anne-Marie Rakhorst of Duurzaamheid.nl. The funding round will enable Bundles to grow and become a platform for “stuff as a service”. And as the Dutch coalition Rutte III is focusing more and more on the sustainability of the environment, Bundles is named as a shining example because of its emphasis on the circular economy.
Paying for the total package
Since 2014, Bundles has been working together with Miele on a showcase. At this showcase, Miele devices were offered in the form of subscriptions coming with numerous services. According to Marcel Peters, CEO of Bundles, this is the future: “The modern customer doesn’t want to own stuff anymore. However, they are willing to pay for a total package.”
A custom-made experience
By connecting the devices to the internet, Bundles is able to collect valuable data. These pieces of data help the company exploit the devices as a service to its customers. As a result, Bundles reduces the number of people abandoning their subscriptions by delivering a more custom-made experience. However, Peters also acknowledges that the biggest challenge of Bundles is convincing customers of its subscriptions. A subscription to a product has to become cheaper than owning the product.
Offering products as a service
Peters: “We have learned at the showcase what a traditional manufacturer needs to offer its products as a service. This investment will enable us to invest in our platform and algorithms, subsequently helping more and more manufacturers in different fields. Bundles also finds out what is needed to make an impact in the fields of sustainability and customer friendliness in each category. We also like to work together with other companies, so we’re always looking for new partnerships. In fact, there are some very interesting partnerships coming up in the near future!”
The online mortgage broker, operating from its offices in Amsterdam, was founded in 2015 to provide a more efficient service and focuses on the Dutch residential mortgage market. Ikbenfrits has now secured a series A funding round of €2M from Finch Capital. This company invests in innovative technology companies that are driving the transformation of the financial services industry from its offices in Amsterdam, London and Singapore.
An effective alternative
Ikbenfrits offers customers a combination of personalised service with automation for mundane tasks such as document submission and checking, finding and getting the deal accepted instantly. This gives users a more cost effective alternative to traditional brokers. The company also has the largest online market share in the Netherlands for the refinance mortgage niche. The company has already handled over €150M worth of mortgage applications.
A less frustrating process
Michiel Lensink, CEO and co-founder of Ikbenfrits, has commented on this latest funding round. Lensink: “Buying a house is one of the largest financial decisions of a lifetime. Our offering makes the process of getting a mortgage less frustrating and more transparent compared to traditional mortgage brokers. Finch Capital’s experience and sector focus is a real asset for our company and its investment will enable us to accelerate our growth.”