What do you get when you group five entrepreneurs together? Right, new ideas. In december 2018, Patrick Kerssemakers, Hidde Hoogcarspel, Laurens Groenendijk, Eric Veeneman and Bas Beerens decided to bundle their experience and know-how to help founders scale their potential. Meet the Dutch Founders Fund.
Yes, we know that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That’s why we are a venture capital fund that focuses on what we do best: B2B marketplaces, platforms and SaaS companies.
We have personally built companies from ideas to IPO, and know exactly what founders need to grow their businesses. Our approach is hands-on and pragmatic: we work side-by-side with all of our portfolio companies to help with all kinds of challenges. From hiring to pivoting, we are here right beside you.
You can say that Laurens knows his way around the Dutch startup ecosystem. Having previously founded Just-Eat, Treatwell, Miinto and nano-satellite challenger Hiber, he knows his fair share of building and scaling businesses.
As one of the co-founders and managing partners of the Dutch Founders Fund, Laurens is largely concerned with helping our portfolio companies in what he does best: growing marketplaces, driving sales and advising on e-commerce. He likes founders who dream and do big. Those who can scale with lightning speed and those who are not afraid to fail.
On the weekends, you can find Laurens on the hockey field or playing padel.
Patrick is one of the co-founders and managing partner of the Dutch Founders Fund. Being a pioneer in online retailing as one of the early founders of Fonq, Patrick brings in over 20 years of operational- and practical experience in e-commerce, online marketplaces and strategic partnerships.
Patrick has a strong customer-focus and knows a great deal of growing both teams and businesses. He likes founders with creative business models and those who dare to step out of their comfort zone - much like himself.
He is the chairman of the LOEY foundation, an organization that stimulates online entrepreneurship in the Netherlands.
Hidde is one of the founders and managing partners of the Dutch Founders Fund. He is an experienced finance professional with a strong interest in combining data with creativity.
Before starting the Dutch founders Fund, Hidde was one of the founders of the Spacebuzz Foundation, an organization that introduces outer space to every child on earth. He is also one of the founders of SchoolKassa, a platform that makes parental contributions more transparent.
Hidde likes to transform businesses to make them future proof. What does that mean you ask? Becoming tech-enabled and data-driven. He is passionate about building ecosystems in which people can learn from each other - much like our fund.
How do you define success?
Success is when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts: combining different skill sets to form an unbeatable team or product.
Bas is the founder of WeTransfer, one of the biggest file-transfering services in the world. As Venture Partner, Bas advises our portfolio on a broad range of topics. He blends his creative background with entrepreneurial grit: having scaled his company from ideation to a world-leading file transfer service, Bas knows exactly what questions to ask and on what metrics to measure.
With a customer-centric approach and an entire pallet of creative skills, Bas looks beyond spreadsheets to enable hyper growth.
As our Venture Partner, Remco supports our fund and portfolio companies on a broad range of topics. Bringing in over fifteen years of board-room and strategy experience, Remco advices C-level executives on how to enable hyper growth. With prior roles at BCG, Booking, Zalando and now currently at Vinted, Remco blends corporate diligence with entrepreneurial grit.
His expertise ranges from digital transformation to strategic marketing and from finance to people management. Remco holds a MSc in Corporate Finance from the University of Groningen and a MBA from the Kellogg School of Management in Illinois.
As our principal, Mart oversees our investment processes. He has over 5 years of investment experience in tech-enabled companies. Prior to joining Dutch founders fund, Mart has been working with many clients, ranging from startups to more mature companies. Previously, he was an associate at private equity firm NPM Capital.
Mart has a strong quantitative focus and helps our founders scaling their business with strategic & financial support. He likes to be at the forefront of innovation and is constantly looking for opportunities that lie on the intersect between technology and business.
When not working with startups, you may find Mart hiking in nature or training for a triathlon. Mart holds a MSc in Financial Economics from the Erasmus University Rotterdam
Next to managing our portfolio companies, Sam is involved with our investment process. He started his career at NRGValue, a PE-owned fuel retail business, where he was part of the strategy & deal team. Following the in-house led exit of this company three years later, he had a three year stint at his own boutique advisory firm. There he provided strategic and investment support to clients ranging from listed companies to early-stage ventures.
With his broad experience and analytical rigor he is always on the hunt for complex problems to turn into simple solutions. He supports our founders with his strong financial background and knack for operational excellence.
Sam loves Italian language, culture & cuisine and on weekends you’ll often find him on his road bike or sailing on Dutch waters. Sam holds a MSc in Business Economics from the University of Amsterdam.
As Communications & Program lead, Leonie focuses on the DFF brand, communications, events, and building an international network through (inter)national events.
Leonie has spent the last 6 years working with tech founders. She's one of the original members of a team called StartupDelta, led by former EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes. She then worked for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an advisor in innovation and entrepreneurship in Lisbon. Next, she worked at tech incubator Yes!Delft while returning to Techleap (formerly known as StartupDelta). Within Techleap, Leonie was responsible for hosting international trade missions to CES, SXSW, WebSummit, Slush, Innovex/Computex, and Hannover Messe.
Leonie's final project has been setting up a comprehensive peer2peer program for NL scaleup founders called Rise. It's her objective to bring the learnings and knowledge of this program to DFF's portfolio companies: emphasising that we're more than just a regular VC.
In her time off, you can find Leonie dancing on her bike at one of the Rocycle venues.
Coming all the way from the Fjords of Norway, Karlo is no stranger to the world of venture capital. With previous roles at nFront ventures and tech-hub Technoport, he knows the Nordic ecosystem like the back of his hand. Karlo is our first-in-line deal flow guy, meaning that he is the main point of contact for all incoming decks.
On the weekends, you can find Karlo in the gym or reading up on the latest trends in tech. Karlo holds a Masters degree in Journalism and is expected to finish his MBA at Imperial College London at the end of this year.
As one of our analysts, Olivier is concerned with screening, analysing and supporting investment opportunities. Prior to joining Dutch Founders Fund, Olivier worked as a technology consultant at VentureIQ, a tech-enabled market research consultant. Besides his study, he was active a the Young Consultant (de Kleine consultant), assisting startups, SMEs and NGOs with strategic advice. After his graduation, Olivier was a participant in the Dutch National Thinktank, applying his sharp mind to the housing problem in the Netherlands.
Olivier holds a masters degree in Experimental Physics from the University of Utrecht and the Dutch National Institute for Subatomic Physics. When Olivier is not in the office, he is usually found climbing mountains in the Swiss and Italian Alps.
Bas is in charge of the BeNeLux sourcing and operations, meaning that he is concerned with our outbound dealflow, communication, investor relations, PR and positioning of our fund. Bas likes founders with big ideas and small egos. Equipped with a staggering amount of energy, he is always on the go.
Prior to joining our Team, Bas was one of the directors of ASIF Ventures, the first student-led venture capital fund of the Netherlands. He was also one of the co-founders of Wout, where he supplied offices and households alike with trees for indoors.
Reach out to him if you are an early-stage founder building a marketplace in the BeNeLux area.
As our HR Advisor, Anouk supports our fund and our portfolio companies with attracting the best-in-the-biz. From finance to sales and from operations to marketing - Anouk makes sure that the right people end up at the right companies.
She is the founder of Scale Force Talent, an agency that specialises in talent-recruitment for fast growing start- and scale-ups.
As our data expert, Ela helps our portfolio companies to become fully data-driven. Ela was named as one of the most influential people in Data and Analytics in 2022. As Director of Data Science at Deliveroo - one of the UK's most valuable startups - she managed one of Europe's largest Data Science teams. Prior to Deliveroo she ran the audience data team at the Guardian. Outside of work, Ela enjoys baking (and eating) cakes, encouraging her kids to speak Austrian slang, and DIY.
Charis supports our fund on all things ESG and process optimisation. Don't try to challenge her on any rules or regulations regarding venture financing, cause she'll win. Charis is our go-to support whenever complex processes need to be visualised.
Besides her role as Fund Supporter, Charis is currently working at TNO, the Dutch organisation for applied scientific research, where she is broadening her knowledge in the field of Brain & Cognition sciences.
She is a big fan of photography and yoga, and likes to check out the latest trends in interior design. Charis holds an MSc in brain & cognitive sciences from the University of Amsterdam
As one of our advisors, Tom helps our portfolio companies on a broad range of topics. Although he has a background in biology and economics, Tom knows his way around pretty much any business- and development process.
Tom likes to dive into complex business models and advanced hardware to make them future proof. He is a big fan of companies that challenge unconventional sectors - preferably with high entry barriers.
Tom is the founder of Cloud Garden and Wall Flore, smart climate solutions that provide vertical gardens and air purifiers.
Bas Rieter from Dutch Founders 👋
Did you know we have open office hours every Friday?
Ask us all of your marketplace-related questions every Friday between 4:00 and 5:00 pm.