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Top Dutch News – 6 February 2024

Stay up to date with the latest news from the Netherlands!  Enjoy reading!

The Netherlands is becoming a world champion of solar energy, combination with storage is becoming more important (Energy Storage NL)

 

Payroll bosses AFAS lift €40 million dividend from profit machine (Quote)

AFAS, a leading business software builder in Leusden, celebrates robust financials with a 17% boost in turnover to €290 million and a 16% profit increase to €108.7 million. With 638 employees, the impressive profit margin sees 38 cents remaining in profit for every euro. The family business, inspired by Christian values, allocates €8.5 million to the AFAS Foundation for charitable causes and plans to pay out €40 million in dividends. While AFAS employees benefit from strong financials, the company emphasizes exceeding industry averages in primary employment conditions. Founders Piet Mars and Ton van der Veldt stand to gain from the substantial dividend. Read more


Amsterdam-based DataSnipper bags €92 million Series B to take AI to the auditors arena (EU-Startups)

Amsterdam-based DataSnipper secures €92 million in a Series B funding round led by Index Ventures, valuing the company at $1 billion. Specializing in intelligent automation for audit and finance professionals, DataSnipper’s AI-driven platform aims to empower auditors by automating up to 90% of tasks, fostering business growth through cost reduction. After doubling its customer base and revenue, the funds will support expansion beyond external audit into sectors like internal auditing, tax advisory, and forensic accounting. The company, serving 400,000 auditors globally, is addressing industry challenges, including increased regulation, talent turnover, and data overload, with its innovative solutions. Read more

ASR Nederland to Sell Online Bank Knab to BAWAG for EUR510 Mln (Market Watch)

ASR Nederland is set to sell online bank Knab to BAWAG Group for €510 million ($551.8 million), enhancing its Solvency II ratio by approximately 13 percentage points. The Dutch insurer plans to transfer mortgage servicing management on Knab’s balance sheet after closing for an additional €80 million. The proceeds will contribute to ASR’s capital management plan as it focuses on integrating former Aegon Nederland businesses to become a leading insurer and financial services provider in the Netherlands. The transaction is anticipated to conclude in the second half of the year. Read more

Millions in fine for former Wehkamp credit subsidiary Tinka (De Telegraaf)

The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets fines Tinka, a former Wehkamp credit subsidiary, €1.75 million for shortcomings in post-payment and installment schemes for online shop consumers. In seven out of ten examined files, Tinka displayed information-gathering deficiencies, while two files involved lending excessive amounts. Tinka, spun off from Wehkamp in 2021, acknowledges unintentional deviations in the automated acceptance process, promptly addressing the issues. The company, owned by British private equity firm Apax, will not appeal the fine, pledging compensation for customers who incurred damages, including interest payments and loan-related costs. Read more

Groningen AI can grow faster thanks to the Curiosity investment fund (Investment Fund Groningen (IFG))

The Investment Fund Groningen (IFG) joins Amsterdam’s Curiosity investment fund to support AI startups in Groningen. IFG’s participation aims to benefit the local AI landscape, fostering growth opportunities in the northern region. Curiosity, focusing on early-stage AI investments in the Benelux, Scandinavia, and the Baltics, explores the untapped potential of the Northern Netherlands. The fund, led by experienced founders Herman Kienhuis and Maurice Beckand Verwee, emphasizes social relevance in AI applications, spanning cybersecurity, fintech, enterprise software, legal tech, logistics, and energy. IFG sees Curiosity not only as a financial partner but also as a source of valuable expertise and community support. Read more

Yandex: Owner of ‘Russia’s Google’ pulls out of home country (BBC)

The owner of Yandex, often called “Russia’s Google,” announces its withdrawal from Russia as its Dutch-based parent company sells the Russian operation for 475 billion roubles ($5.2bn). The sale, much below its estimated market value, results in Yandex’s Russian business becoming fully Russian-owned. The move follows accusations of withholding information about the Ukraine war from the Russian public. Despite its $5.2bn deal, significantly lower than its 2021 market value of $30bn, Moscow welcomes the development as a strategic move. Yandex’s co-founder, Arkady Volozh, left the firm in 2022 and faces EU sanctions for promoting Russian state narratives. Read more

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