Stay up to date with the latest news from the Netherlands! Enjoy reading!
Dutch Klarna rival Billink adds €29.5M to its cart; enter the German market (Silicon Canals)
Dutch Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) firm Billink secured €29.5M in funding from German Varengold Bank for expansion into the German market. The funds will also enhance services for the top 50 Benelux web shops and support Billink’s goal of ensuring secure online transactions. Billink, competing with Klarna and Riverty, pioneers a post-receipt payment model, serving 3 million customers. CEO Frank Waagmeester emphasizes their local expertise, high customer retention, and a 4.7 Trustpilot rating. The funding partnership with Varengold Bank aims to solidify Billink’s position as a reliable online payment method with ongoing innovations in customer experience and AI applications. Read more
Dutch govt presents vision for GenAI; identifies these 4 principles for responsible AI development (Silicon Canals)
The Dutch government unveils its vision for generative AI, emphasizing the need to address challenges and opportunities. Minister for Digitalisation Alexandra van Huffelen stresses the importance of maintaining control and aligning AI development with public values. The government aims to stay at the forefront of AI innovation, investing in generative AI to compete globally. Six action lines focus on responsible AI development, including labor impact assessments and public education campaigns. Funding for open language model GPT-NL and the AINEd program is announced. Risks and challenges are acknowledged, prompting the establishment of four guiding principles for generative AI development in the Netherlands. Read more
Research: law to prevent bankruptcy works less well for SMEs (fd)
The Dutch law, Wet homologatie onderhands akkoord (Whoa), designed to prevent unnecessary business bankruptcies, has been evaluated, revealing its effectiveness in avoiding the collapse of viable companies but highlighting challenges for smaller businesses. The Whoa, implemented in 2021, allows companies to restructure debts through agreements with creditors. The evaluation indicates that while the law has successfully prevented numerous business failures, it is less effective for smaller businesses due to unfamiliarity and high costs. Researchers suggest improving information provision and reducing court fees for smaller businesses to enhance the Whoa’s suitability. The study advises a follow-up evaluation in five years. Read more
Strong start to the year fuels optimism about investments in tech companies (fd)
The Dutch tech investment landscape is off to a robust start in 2024, with €565 million in growth capital raised, signaling renewed optimism after a period of decline. Key investments include Soly (solar energy), Onera (sleep disorder equipment), and Qphox (quantum computer modem), reflecting a positive shift in investor sentiment. The Quarterly Startup Report notes the first signs of growth, with government investments, acquisitions, and IPOs expected to further bolster the startup ecosystem. While investments dipped in Q4 2023, recent funding announcements and optimistic signals suggest a more favorable climate, with expectations of a stronger year ahead in 2024. Read more
Fortunately, the pension law holds (fd)
The Dutch pension sector is relieved after the House of Representatives debate on the Pension Act, as concerns of a frontal attack by NSC, Pieter Omtzigt’s party, were minimal. NSC did not oppose the ongoing preparations to convert collective pension capital into personal pots, avoiding a motion for a referendum on entry. The author argues against a referendum, citing potential delays, lack of representation, and a propensity for misinformation. Despite critics highlighting conflicts with property rights, the author emphasizes the fairness achieved through extensive preparation, parliamentary debates, and expert involvement in the pension reform. Read more
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