Amsterdam-based community engagement platform inSided announces a 6 million Series A investment round, led by global venture capital fund Ventech, together with Fortino Capital and henQ. The investment follows after welcoming large enterprise customers and a fast international expansion.
“While many companies are active on external social media, inSided provides a company owned social platform for brands like Sonos, TomTom and Ahold” says Robin van Lieshout, CEO of inSided. “Many companies now build their online presence on borrowed ground, which can be dangerous in the long term”. While traditional forum-based communities have been around for decades, inSided has added technology to reach existing company business goals, with results like 80% less calls to the contact centre leading to over 3.5m saved per year for T-Mobile, or increasing NPS by 19 points for Rabobank.
“As more and more companies are investing in digital customer experience, we realized that inSided can make brands relevant again” says Duco Sickinghe, partner at Fortino Capital. “inSided provides a way for businesses to connect at large scale with their customers, and empowers these customers to interact efficiently amongst each other and with brands”. Customers can ask questions, find answers, co-create, share experiences and provide reviews on products and services - all on the owned digital channels. The platform runs on the Amazon cloud, and offers deep business integrations with systems like CRM and analytics.
“The ability to execute on their strategy and the strong company culture set inSided up for market leadership” says Coen van Duiven, partner at henQ. “This investment will be used to support the ongoing internationalization strategy as well as increasing the speed of product innovation”. inSided doubles in size every year and in the last months expanded to France, Germany, Ireland, Finland and Spain. In the coming 12 months, inSided will hire between 50 and 100 new employees worldwide to strengthen its team and market leadership.
“By investing together with henQ and Fortino Capital, we can leverage experience, effectiveness and operational strength.” says Audrey Soussan, Principal at Ventech. “Working with this international team of investors we are really excited to strengthen the global ambitions of inSided”.
As one of Europe’s leading venture capital firms, Ventech invests through offices in Paris, Munich and Helsinki into high-growth companies with activities in the digital economy (internet, media, e-commerce, mobile, software and communications infrastructures). With more than 650m raised since 1998, Ventech has invested in over 120 companies in Europe, China, Russia and in the US. Ventech has also been present in China since 2006, with a dedicated team based in Shanghai. In 2015, Ventech China announced the first closing of its new $ 110m third fund. Current active investments in Europe include successful high growth companies such as Augure, Believe Digital, Picanova, Speex, Stickyads, Unilend, Vestiaire Collective, Webedia or Withings.
Fortino Capital is an investment company founded in 2013 by former telecom industry executives. Fortino’s four senior partners employ their extensive operational expertise and professional network to support and guide ambitious companies to create value and to seamlessly overcome the challenges that come with above-average growth. Fortino currently manages 11 participations which include high-growth start-ups (venture capital) as well as more mature companies (private equity). Fortino’s investment focus comprises TMT, SaaS and consumer goods. Fortino has recently invested in Cabovisao, Melita plc, UnifiedPost and TrendMiner.
henQ was founded in 2006 by Herman Hintzen and Coen van Duiven. Floris van Alkemade (Solid Ventures) joined the team to set up the third fund. The henQ team has extensive entrepreneurial experience and loves software startups – both enterprise and SaaS. henQ invests at an early stage to generate smart international growth, without being in the driving seat of a company. Rather, it is a sparring partner on the road to success. henQ’s portfolio includes companies like Impraise, Mendix and Xite.
inSided helps companies to reduce costs, increase brand advocacy, drive sales, and empower their customers. The inSided community engagement platform powers many successful communities - attracting millions of visitors – for companies like Sonos, T-Mobile, SoundCloud, Philips, BNP Paribas and TomTom. Founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneurs Robin van Lieshout and Wouter Neyndorff, the company currently has 60+ employees and was awarded last year with a Deloitte Fast50 and Fast500 award, TechTour 25 award and Sprout Challenger 50 award. inSided corporate headquarters is located in the city centre of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with offices across Europe and the US.
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