SanomaVentures expands portfolio of internet companies
The European startup scene is developing fast and startups are finding their way to growth capital. The introduction of various incubator and accelerator programmes has also improved the quality of the startups. SanomaVentures, the external venturing arm of Sanoma Corporation, expanded its portfolio significantly and summarises the year in the SanomaVentures 2013 infographic (http://bin.ilsemedia.nl/m/7ofyup2u3y7e.jpeg).
Startups are an important factor in the development of the European economy and their number is increasing, particularly in the Internet sector. One of the reasons is the greater readiness of young people to start their own business and the emergence of incubator and accelerator programmes. Programmes like Startup Bootcamp, Startup Sauna, and the recently announced Startup Europe Partnership, supported by the European Commission, help accelerate new startups in the early stages by offering seed funding, facilities and active coaching and support. This results in more and better quality startups.
15 startups, 161 jobs
Dutch startups seem to know how to find their way to growth capital. In 2013, SanomaVentures’ Amsterdam office received over 400 investment requests, talked to 150 companies and negotiated with 33 entrepreneurs, which ultimately resulted in 9 investments. The 15 startups in which SanomaVentures has so far invested, currently offer employment to over 161 people, and 20 more are being recruited.
Smart money in new businesses
The strategy of SanomaVentures focuses on investing in early-stage startups which have launched a product but whose turnover is still low and which are particularly focused on attracting new customers. Sanoma looks at long-term partnerships with these businesses and therefore seeks Internet companies which have a strategic connection with Sanoma. Sanoma can boost the success rate of these startups significantly by contributing its media reach, industry and target group knowledge and access to its business network, as well as providing working capital.
For 2014, SanomaVentures is focusing even more strongly on three strategic domains: digital consumer services, e-commerce and education.
Herman Kienhuis, investment director at SanomaVentures: “In television, healthcare, retail and education, mobile internet technology will be bringing massive changes in the coming years, which will offer new opportunities to startups. People will be watching more on-demand and online TV; they will use sensors to constantly monitor and make adjustments to their health; consumers will get inspiration in physical stores but will buy through screens; and teachers will use digital teaching methods which can adapt to any child or student.”
SanomaVentures expects the growth in entrepreneurship in Europe to continue and aims to keep pace with these developments and is planning further international expansion. Besides its office in Amsterdam, SanomaVentures is also strengthening its presence in Helsinki, Finland and is exploring the possibility of opening an office in Berlin.
SanomaVentures is the venturing arm of European media & education group Sanoma Corporation (SAA1V.HE). Its aim is to support start-ups by offering capital, media exposure, expertise, network and strategic and financial support. SanomaVentures focuses on early-stage strategic investments in innovative companies within the following six segments: consumer web, mobile & tablet apps, video & TV, online advertising, e-commerce and e-learning. SanomaVentures has offices in Amsterdam and Helsinki and has invested in FashionChick.com, Scoupy.nl, Peerby.com, Truly Yours, Vault79.com, VirtuaGym.com, Brandkids.com, Nosto.com, Fosbury.co, WappZapp.tv, ippies.nl, MijnAutoCoach, FashionQlub.com, Springest.com and Wugly.nl.