19 May Member Spotlight: Amsterdam inbusiness
Amsterdam inbusiness – the official foreign investment agency for the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area – helps foreign companies to become established in Amsterdam by providing the essential resources these firms need to effectively navigate Amsterdam’s thriving investment environment.
Amsterdam inbusiness is a publicly funded organisation established in 2008 through a cooperative effort between the four cities that make up its metropolitan area: Amsterdam, Almere, Haarlemmermeer, and Amstelveen. Its core objective is to help foreign companies to setup and grow in Amsterdam. To achieve this goal, Amsterdam inbusiness (AIB) works closely with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency – a part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs that holds offices around the world in which it directly contacts foreign firms to discuss possibilities for expansion in the Netherlands and Europe. Not surprisingly, many international companies now see Amsterdam as an ideal location to set up shop within both the Netherlands and Europe.
In addition to its well-known cultural highlights and excellent quality of life, for the world of business, Amsterdam serves as a gateway to the rest of Europe, well connected by land, water, and air alike. The business ecosystem for start-ups, as well as multinational firms is superb, and the 3,000 plus international companies invested in Amsterdam serve as clear evidence of this. Several key sectors form the core of Amsterdam’s business landscape, namely: financial services, business services, IT, life sciences, and within the creative realm – advertising, gaming, and fashion. Over the years, countless international firms from across these sectors have made the move to Amsterdam, often with the help of invaluable services provided by Amsterdam inbusiness, which it delivers free of charge and on a confidential basis. By nurturing foreign business investment in this and other ways, Amsterdam benefits from improved job creation, both direct and indirect, as well as enhanced local competitiveness.
Around 30 professionals currently work for Amsterdam inbusiness, with the core team operating out of its offices in Amsterdam. Within the team, senior project managers take the lead on engaging with firms in specific concentration areas, each focusing on a specific geographic region(s), major sector, or combination of the two. AIB’s approach is highly flexible: it adapts to the latest market trends and developments, shifting focus to emerging niche sectors as need be. Point in case – one of its key areas of emphasis in 2017 is the advancement of Amsterdam as both a European, and global fintech hub.
Amsterdam’s fintech ecosystem is a force to be reckoned with
With Brexit negotiations looming, many European cities have been clamouring to unseat London as the leading fintech hub in the EU, and potentially around the globe. A strong financial sector and rapidly expanding ICT ecosystem have helped make Amsterdam an ideal hotbed for fintech disruption that now hosts more than 350 active start-ups and established fintech players. It is therefore hardly surprising that Amsterdam inbusiness chose to make fintech a central priority in 2017. For regulated firms in particular, Amsterdam potentially offers a highly appealing option for firms looking to relocate while maintaining access to the European market. Some of the world’s leading financial technology innovators have planted their roots in Amsterdam, including Funding Circle, Paypal, Worldpay, and Seedrs – to name a few. Currence, the Netherlands’ resident leader in online payments, and bunq, an innovative young mobile-only bank, are just a few among many financial and payment services providers that have seen success in Amsterdam; and, in part thanks to AIB’s efforts, more and more international firms are now actively exploring the opportunities that the Dutch capital has to offer.
An apt example of these efforts was the recent announcement by UK-based financial payments firm, World First, about its plans to open offices in Amsterdam. In 2015, AIB played an instrumental role in helping New York-based global provider of regulatory reporting software, Advise Technologies, to establish its European headquarters in Amsterdam. In more recent news, AIB reported earlier this month that the fast-growing fintech firm Equiniti KYC Solutions – which was established in 2016 with the acquisition of the Dutch firm KYCnet by British financial services provider Equiniti – has experienced outstanding following its decision last year to abandon plans for expansion in the UK, instead opting to move operations to Amsterdam. Other efforts that the AIB is involved in have likewise helped to generate considerable interest from firms looking to secure access to the EU post-Brexit; and, according to senior manager of foreign investments at Amsterdam inbusiness and the human force behind its fintech-focused team, Hugo Niezen, the organisation is currently in contact with around a dozen different UK fintech firms.
Amsterdam inbusiness & Holland FinTech
For the large majority of our members and readers, Amsterdam’s rise toward becoming one of the world’s most important fintech ecosystems will not come as news, as many will have likely played a key role in its growth as a global player in financial technologies [see our most recently updated infographic – the Dutch Fintech Landscape 3.0 – here]. In line with its 2017 objective of further advancing Amsterdam’s position in the world of fintech, AIB is involved in a variety of efforts to help it serve this purpose, one of which is its freshly initiated membership within the Holland FinTech community. According to Hugo Niezen, AIB sees Holland FinTech as, “an ideal platform, able to offer valuable support to the international fintech firms it consults with as they make the business case for Amsterdam.”
The timing could not be better for these two organisations, as Holland FinTech continues to welcome more and more new member companies from outside of the Netherlands this year. Just last week, AIB helped to connect a British crowdfunding platform with our network. With a service that comes at no cost to the international firms it helps, Amsterdam inbusiness serves as an excellent sparing partner for companies that are exploring the opportunities that the Netherlands’ capital city has to offer.
* Is your [non-Dutch] company considering setting up offices in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area? Amsterdam inbusiness may be able to offer valuable support! Its services come entirely free of charge, in a flexible manner that is based on each firm’s specific requirements.
To learn more about Amsterdam inbusiness and find out how it can help your [fintech] firm to set up shop here in Amsterdam, you can contact Hugo Niezen by email – here.