Dutch startup news update: Hotelchamp, Homey, WakaWaka

Here’s everything you need to know about the startup scene in The Netherlands. 

News & Funding

VRee, a VR startup based in Eindhoven, got a seed investment from the regional fund Brabant Development Agency (BOM) and accelerator LUMO Labs.

Amsterdam-based SaaS startup for the hotel booking industry Hotelchamp has been named the ‘Sprout Challenger of 2016’. (Link in Dutch)

The company, founded in 2015 by Kristian Valk (CEO) and Kasper Middelkoop, was chosen out of 50 companies that “challenge their markets” the most. Hotelchamp wins the title and some consultancy hours from EY as well as media attention.

The startup offers a solution to hotel chains, and particularly the smaller ones. When someone books a hotel room via Booking.com, the hotels pay quite the fee. The software from Hotelchamp allows the hotels to get more direct bookings with sophisticated conversion techniques, thus skipping the middleman.

Hotelchamp recently secured a 1.75 million euro seed investment from several informal investors.

Out of 600 applicants, 10 companies were selected by the Oranje Handelsmissie Fonds in order to help them expand abroad. The companies, including Dopper, Zazu and Yalp, will be guided in the coming year by organisations such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ING, KLM and MKB-Nederland. (Link in Dutch)

Delft-based medtech startup EXO-L managed to sign Dutch soccer club Go Ahead Eagles (link in Dutch) as a customer. The club will be the first of the Premier League to use this startups solution to prevent ankle sprains. Seven players will start playing with the brace of EXO-L.

The company was founded in 2012 by Marcel Fleuren.

Athom, a startup from Enschede, just launched its voice controlled assistant for smart devices on the Dutch market.  The device, called Homey, is available online as well as in stores such as Mediamarkt and iCentre.

“This makes Homey the first successful Dutch Kickstarter campaign to reach nationwide retail availability”, says the company.

Haarlem-based social enterprise WakaWaka still has a week to go, but already secured almost 200 percent of its crowdfunding goal on OnePlanetCrowd. 186 backers secured over 700K euro. WakaWaka therefore changed its goal amount from 400K to 1.5 million euro.

The company makes lamps and phone chargers that work on solar energy and recently expanded its team to the US. With the help of 9 crowdfunding campaigns over 700.000 WakaWaka’s were already sold in over 40 countries to help victims of crisis, such as the earthquake in Nepal, the war in Syria and the Ebola areas in West-Africa.

Monday reads

WeTransfer rebrands its logo as ‘We’- Read all about the design choices here (DesignWeek)

What happens when you send a bad cold email to Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon? It could turn into public humiliation. (Yahoo Finance)

From a sales perspective: how (and why) to charge money for products that don’t exist yet (Chargify).

Image credit: WakaWaka

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