We are looking back at a dynamic year in which we accomplished a lot. We had to partly reinvent ourselves, as our team grew from around 8 to around 26 people ( around 16 FTE). We had to deal with scale-up challenges, like knowledge transfer, new governance, and maintaining the culture, while keeping up our performance are realizing our ambitions. Now we are better equipped and ready than ever to dive deeper, deliver better, operate faster and grow further. And we will do so with even more focus on serving our members’ needs as the centre point of our attention and energy.
As we have grown to around 350 member organizations, we need to get beyond every question, every contact person and every input to be able to understand what organizations and people need. Therefore we will make an increased effort in building relationships and delivering everything within one membership, to strengthen our relationship, ensure delivered value, and work together with our members to set the agenda for the future.
Of course we are very proud of many things we accomplished on 2017, like getting Money20/20 to our hometown Amsterdam, our Fintech Vortex event in September, a trade mission to Switzerland and the launch of our new website, and much more. Our review of 2017 below shows how much we did to deliver knowledge and leverage our network for our members, for business, funding, talent and regulations.
Today we share with you an overview of our highlights of the past year, and provide you with a glimpse of what will come in 2018. We will be doing more research, more events, help more members progress into the future, and inspire more people to embrace the power of technology.
Don & your team at Holland FinTech
A great year started last January, full of surprises and exciting events in the financial sector. This key period in the industry was kicked off by a lively Meetup at the Dutch Payment Association offices in Amsterdam. The event gathered more than a hundred of fintech professionals to attend start-up presentations from GuardSquare, OutSystems, Virtual Affairs, and CashRocket, who pitched their innovative solutions before engaging with our network during the traditional networking session. This year started also with an imposing challenge for some of our members. Financial veteran Kempen & Co. acted then successfully as financial advisor in the USD 2.5 billion public offer of NN Group for Delta Lloyd. Some partnerships occurred as well in our network, with for instance Onegini and Incentro which combined their forces to offer customers a safe and personal cloud environment. NEOS Business Finance and Spotcap announced this same month their collaboration to provide a broader range of financial services to their customers.
February 2017 was an intense month for Holland FinTech’s members. Dutch micro-finance software start-up Musoni, after winning the BBVA’s Financial Inclusion Award, won the BBVA Open Talent Award Europe 2016. Another remarkable event, Swedish payment and banking company Klarna acquired German payment firm BillPay, aligning with its strategy to invest the German market. Frenns, the SME invoicing start-up, launched its financing pilot programme. In the beginning of the year, Holland FinTech in partnership with logistics intelligence company Dinalog launched the Logistics and Fintech programme, which aimed to establish bridges between the two fields. Supported by the Dutch government, Dinalog and Holland FinTech prepared for one year of research to connect solutions developed by the fintech industry to needs existing within the logistics sector. February was a time of growth for our organisation, and companies such as Privacy Valley, Synechron Business Consulting, Acapture, Robeco, Exact and Lindorff amongst others joined us to drive forward innovation in finance. Throughout 2017 we have organized a variety of events around our Logistics & Fintech project. Get to know more on logisticsandfintech.com
In March, our monthly Meetup was a great afternoon, gathering start-ups such as personal finance app Budgently, lending platform Milestone, data security start-up Encedo and other fintech companies on stage to pitch their solutions. The event was hosted by Delta Lloyd and attracted quite a large attendance, in collaboration with Startup Bootcamp Fintech & Cybersecurity. Some impactful events happened in our network, for instance in the banking field, as BinckBank acquired robo-advisory firm Pritle, in order to increase the growth of its online portfolio management. The acquisition was a big moment for Pritle. March was an important step as well for Crowdfunding platform Collin Crowdfund, as the start-up stroke a deal with the Royal Dutch Metal Union to provide alternative finance to its 14,000+ members, an important progress for alternative finance in the Netherlands.
This was a big month for fintech and cybersecurity. We kicked off April by co-organising an informative roundtable for interested professionals with the Dutch Payments Association on PSD2, and by attending the Startupbootcamp Fintech & CyberSecurity Demo Day 2017. Holland FinTech member Cybersprint, a cybersecurity and software startup, secured EUR 700,000 in funding to accelerate its international growth, while NIBC, a Dutch corporate bank, acquired a 30% stake in Flinqer, a fintech startup—both are also Holland FinTech members. Additionally regarding cyber security, Holland FinTech member Qafis Biometrics Technologies announced a partnership with Assured Enterprises Inc. to enhance digitally-based, global security protections. Meanwhile, the Dutch Central Bank launched a digital supervisory portal.
We began May by announcing that Holland FinTech member Nocks had raised EUR 34,000, funds that would be used to reach their goal of developing and open and independent payments platform that affects the entire financial landscape. Additionally, our members Rabobank and Signicat launched a Digital Identity Service Provider to smooth digital transformation transition for financial services providers. Besides Nocks notching a win, Holland FinTech member NovitasFTCL played a critical advisory role in San Francisco-based leader in enterprise search solutions Lucidworks’ acquisition of Twigkit, a software firm. In other international member news, Interoute, provider of Europe’s largest and most advanced networks and owner/operator of a global cloud services platform, announced that it expanded its object storage capabilities in Switzerland. Besides the above highlights from our members, Holland FinTech founder Don Ginsel appeared on a discussion panel at a NRC Live event titled De Fintech-Realiteit. This even was created in cooperation with KNAB bank, Topicus, and Capgemini—the latter two are Holland FinTech members. Additionally, in cooperation with KPMG, which is also a member, and the Koninklijk Actuarieel Genootschap, Holland FinTech organised the inaugural PensionTech Summit. The summit brought together a range of thought and industry leaders to discuss and explore the impact technology can have on the pension sector.
This month saw Holland FinTech busy with event-related activities, with Holland FinTech organising a Logistics and Fintech meetup, a June meetup hosted by the Dutch Payments Association, and securing a major interview with Professor David Yermack, the Albert Fingerhut Professor of Finance and Business at the NYU Stern School of Business on the future of fintech. In acquisitions news, our member Basefarm, acquired Unbelievable Machine in a move to expand beyond the Netherlands, where it is based, and the Nordics to become a major European player in online solutions. Additionally, Holland FinTech member iSignthis, global provider of end-to-end on-boarding services for merchants, officially announced the cross listing of its shares in the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
In the first week of July, our member and IT services company Levi9 celebrated receiving a 100% recommendation score from Giarte’s Outsourcing Performance report, for the third year in a row! More member company successes happened in this month, as internal data security innovator GuardiCore was selected by the biggest commercial bank in Brasil, Santander Brasil, to provide advanced data security.Furthermore, digital transformation leader Atos announced its collaboration with National Bank Germany to upgrade the bank’s IT systems and eight of our members were nominated for the Accenture Innovation Awards. Alongside our member successes, we hosted the monthly Meetup in the inspiring venue of Startup Village Amsterdam, together with our member Moneyou. For the July edition, MoneYou, Declaree, SDK.finance and Fraud Dynamics pitched their ambitious financial technology applications, followed up by young entrepreneurs presenting their solutions originated in the 48-hour long banking hackathon.
In the month August, payment service provider Wirecard kicked-off the month’s member successes with a partnership with O2 to offer a mobile point-of-sale solution for Czech retailers, allowing them to comply with new governmental standards. Coinciding with Wirecard’s announcement was the launch of cloud and network company Interoute’s global cloud storage service. Using Cloudian’s technology, Interoute started providing a low-cost cloud-based service to store archives, unstructured data or backups. On Friday August the 11th, Holland FinTech celebrated the summer with a relaxed Meetup at WeWork Metropool Amsterdam. Crowdfunding company Seedrs took the stage in a educational session followed by a nice networking session and a few drinks. To conclude the month, financial services consulting and technology service provider Synechron announced a distributed ledger technology collaboration with software firm R3, together working towards developing a KYC solution.
To dive right into September, together with the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM), the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) and the Dutch Central Bank (DNB), we hosted Fintech Meets the Regulators at the DNB’s premises in Amsterdam, on Friday the 1st. The event attracted approximately 100 attendees, where the speakers covered eight different, current fintech topics. Following the event some notable member-company partnerships were formed. Starting with Accenture, who entered a partnership with Apple to build enterprise apps, helping businesses transform how people engage with their customers. Half way through the month, Holland FinTech member MoneYou announced its partnership with innovative payment solution provider Bankable, enabling access for MoneYou to Bankable’s e-wallet and card-technology. To conclude the month September, Holland FinTech co-initiated Fintech Vortex. In the event, start-ups had the opportunity to present their business models, consequently receiving feedback from a jury of 4 experts. After the sessions, the start-ups could receive feedback and network from their stands on the premises.
The October Meetup, despite being on unlucky Friday 13, was a success discussion around bitcoin & cryptocurrencies hosted in partnership with Master of Finance of the University of Amsterdam. This meetup was the start of a bigger partnership between the Amsterdam Business School and Holland FinTech. Dutch mobile trading app BUX secured over EUR 10 million in funding on October 22. They then launched a crowdfunding campaign. Shortly afterwards we featured them in our Holland FinTech Member Spotlight to celebrate yet another member’s great fintech developments. BUX has over 1.2 million users globally. Importantly, in October ING launched a 300 million EUR fintech fund called ING Ventures. This is part of their increasing amount of partnerships with fintechs and startups; one example of these partnerships is with SME lender Kabbage. The last week of October brought 18 of South Africa’s top fintech companies to the Netherlands to explore the Dutch fintech ecosystem. The goal of the delegation was to share lessons about how emerging markets operate. Read more about the delegation in the Netherlands here: Banking the next billion: the role of fintech in Africa.
The PSD2 Roundtable was hosted by Baker & McKenzie for Holland FinTech. Two-dozen lawyers, bank managers and fintech executives attended, providing them the opportunity to exchange opinions with important stakeholders. Implementation was the main discussion, including the Dutch timeline. On 16 November, The Logistics and Fintech Seminar took place in B1. Amsterdam, hosted by IBM and organized by Dinalog and Holland FinTech. Amongst pitches by fintech startups, the seminar explained how blockchain improves trustful data-sharing, transparency and traceability in supply chains. On 24 November, Holland FinTech organised a Capital Markets Roundtable at financial services company IHS Markit’s Amsterdam offices. The event was attended by trading platforms and asset management companies as well as fintech solution providers, recognising the digital transformation of value chains in capital markets. The same week, ING released its blockchain solution for data protection: zero knowledge proof. Blockchain this year has come leaps and bounds in terms of usability in multiple markets. The last months for 2017 were filled with talk of the PSD2, MiFIDII and GDPR as companies ramped up efforts to be ready for 2018 regulatory changes. One such development came from member AxonIQ, who launched their GDPR compliant module in the last week of November.
At Holland FinTech, we don’t slow down for the holidays. In addition to a very Dutch Sinterklass celebration to educate our international staff, we had a busy December with lots of events and member news. Kicking the month off was a Dutch-language work session for Logistics and Fintech as to how data innovation can prevent theft and damage in the logistics. The December MeetUp at Rockstart gave four fintechs the chance to pitch their products. The focus this month was on developments in digital lending and investing with Holland FinTech CEO reminding the audience of the eIDAS regulation and presentations from Signaturit, Lender&Spender, Investormatch and Limitless. The final challenges presentation for the Logistics and Fintech project was on December 13. The project identified three challenges encountered by logistics companies and then sourced two promising fintech companies who could solve each challenge. The pitches at the Challenges event were received by an interested audience passionate about innovation. Also on 13 December, Holland FinTech member Saxo Payments Banking Circle, was named the Best Corporate Payments Initiative for its Virtual IBAN at the Banking Technology Awards 2017.Curious what we are up to in 2018? Check our calendar here.