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Dutch CEO Confident Amsterdam Can Rival London’s Tech Investment

  • Bynder raised 20 million euros from U.S. investor Insight
  • European startups going global spells VC interest, CEO says

Entrepreneur Chris Hall, whose startup Bynder announced Thursday it has raised 20 million euros from U.S. investor Insight Venture Partners, is betting Amsterdam will steal some of London’s thunder as the go-to for technology investments in Europe -- but not because of Brexit.

Delocalized cloud-based technology is making international expansion quicker and easier for companies like Bynder, whose software lets customers like KLM, Logitech and Spotify manage digital marketing, Hall said. That means more European startups in cities like Amsterdam are going global, and attracting interest from investors such as Insight, the New York-based venture capital and private-equity firm, he said.

“London will have competition because more European companies are going global, because with software-as-a-service and cloud-based products, it doesn’t matter where you’re based,” Hall said in an interview. “Brexit or not, European borders are disappearing anyway with digital.”

The U.K.’s vote to exit the European Union in June has raised questions about whether London will keep its spotlight as the region’s tech capital, and has prompted rival cities to try and lure investors. Venture capital firms from Partech Ventures, which recently raised a new 280 million-euro ($313 million) fund to back startups in Europe, to SoftTech have said Brexit could make it easier for hubs like Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam to outshine London.

Hall thinks Amsterdam, where his company is based, has what it takes. The Dutch market is so small that local companies like Bynder have to plan from the get-go for expanding abroad, he said. 

Bynder also has offices London, Barcelona, Rotterdam, Dubai and Boston, and makes half its business from the U.S. It has “well over” 10 million euros in recurring annual revenue, he said. Hall declined to discuss the company’s valuation after the fundraiser.

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