SanomaVentures invests in Fosbury: campaigning tool for Apple Passbook

Amsterdam, 7 May 2013 – SanomaVentures invests in start-up Fosbury: a platform to design, manage and distribute Apple Passbook campaigns. Companies can set up and maintain their Passbook campaigns within minutes via a simple web application. Fosbury also offers an API for integration with corporate applications. Passbook campaigns can contain mobile coupons, loyalty cards or gift vouchers.

The Fosbury platform offers companies a central point to activate and reach their existing users via a Passbook; a platform for design, management and distribution of iOS Passbook campaigns. The web application enables companies to rapidly and easily design stunning Passbook campaigns, distribute these via all relevant platforms including Facebook, Twitter, newsletters and websites and review progress on a dashboard.

Herman Kienhuis, Investment Director SanomaVentures: “Apple’s Passbook, the app for digital vouchers, is still in its early days but is already reaching millions of users across the world. We are convinced this is a very interesting medium for companies to communicate with customers in an effective, personal and location-based way. Fosbury offers companies easily accessible tools for global deployment of this platform and in the near future also Samsung’s equivalent: Samsung Wallet.”

On the Dutch market SanomaVentures also sees cooperation opportunities with Scoupy, the leading consumer application for mobile couponing, in which it invested in 2012.

Lucas Tieleman, CEO Fosbury: “This investment is a great step for Fosbury. With Sanoma as investor we have both the means to further develop and accelerate our product, as well as a strategic partner to strengthen and market it.”

Fosbury was launched on March 28; more than 300 corporate customers signed-up already, creating and distributing thousands of Passbook passes. It has been founded by Willem Spruijt, Martijn de Kuijper and Lucas Tieleman. Willem and Martijn previously founded Yunoo, in which Sanoma also invested. The start-up, selected as Dutch website of the year in 2011, was sold to AFAS software in 2012. Lucas was co-founder of 94Wines and Repudo, winner of an Accenture innovation award in 2011. |

Read also the article on TechCrunch covering Fosbury’s launch.


SanomaVentures invests in e-commerce software provider Nosto Solutions Ltd

SanomaVentures invests in a Helsinki based e-commerce marketing software provider Nosto Solutions Ltd together with Open Ocean Capital and a number of angel investors.

Leading the round Open Ocean Capital joins existing investor SanomaVentures and a number of angel investors to participate in Nosto Solution Ltd’s seed investment round raising € 2.2 million in total funding including debt funding and grants.

Nosto’s platform-independent SaaS solution enhances customers’ online shopping experience by enabling personalized product recommendations in real time. Its plug and play solution makes the technology easily accessible to online stores of all size, automating marketing activities and increasing conversion, customer retention and store revenues as a result. Nosto’s first handpicked customers include leading brands like Angry Birds, Outnorth, Reima, Rajala, Budget Sport and Sanoma’s Huuto.

Sanoma Group is committed to build new positions and offerings in digital media and in e-commerce according to its strategy. SanomaVentures supports these objectives by investing in the most promising start-ups operating in Sanoma’s strategic core areas.

“Nosto fits SanomaVentures’ investment scope very well since Sanoma is clearly able to support the company in many ways in its early growth phase. The common objective is to enhance consumers’ e-shopping experience, grow both parties’ e-com network and all parties’ revenues. We are very excited. There are a lot opportunities for us in this field”, says Juha Jaskara, Investment Director, SanomaVentures Finland.

Juha Valvanne, CEO, Nosto Solutions Ltd comments: “We are delighted to have Sanoma and Open Ocean as investors. This is an exciting time for Nosto and we look forward to working closely with new investors as we continue our work to bring personalized shopping experience, inspiration and pleasure to online store visitors.”

For more information:
Juha Jaskara, Investment Director, SanomaVentures, ,
Juha Valvanne, CEO & Founder, Nosto Solutions Oy, , 

SanomaVentures invests in kids fashion platform Brandkids

Unique and high quality range of new, outlet and vintage children’s clothing

Amsterdam, 10 April 2013 – SanomaVentures is investing in the online children’s clothing platform, Brandkids is a new webshop that offers a unique and divers collection of kid’s clothing from premium brands and a platform for buying and selling high quality second-hand or vintage kids clothing.

With Brandkids parents can shop online just like they do offline, combining new, outlet and second-hand items. Using the fast, one-stop Brandkids webshop, parents can buy the very finest and cheapest clothing for kids from 0 – 14 years, and can just drop everything simply and easily into one shopping basket.

The simple-to-navigate site enables quick searches on boy/girl, size, clothing category, brand or style. What’s more, the Brandkids’ Lookbooks of participating fashion brands and the inspirational Brandkids TV videos offer true inspiration for every parent.

Brandkids started with an extensive range of kid’s clothing from 17 premium kids fashion labels, including Finger in the Nose, Bomba, Il Gufo, Blue Rebel, Relaunch, IKKS and Noppies as well as brands such as Tommy Hilfiger. These top labels’ entire collections can also be viewed in their own brand shop environments on Brandkids, such as the IKKS collection on

As well as a webshop for new kid’s clothing, Brandkids is also a platform where consumers can sell their high quality second-hand or vintage kid’s clothing. Once a sellers’ account has been created, it’s super-easy to put items up for sale in the Brandkids webshop. Brandkids takes care of the online payment en ensures that sellers receive their money as soon as they have dispatched the product to the buyer.

From inspiration to sales
SanomaVentures Investment Director, Herman Kienhuis: “Parents with young children are an important segment for Sanoma and we already provide a lot of inspiration and information through publications such as Ouders van NU, and Kek Mama. Brandkids’ unique range of premium children’s clothing and its vintage children’s clothing sales platform both connect very well to this.”

Hans Lormans, co-founder of Brandkids: “Sanoma offers Brandkids fantastic access to its target group: young, smart-shopping families searching for beautiful kids clothing. Sanoma’s expertise in web & app development, user experience, online marketing and consumer knowledge is also invaluable to us.”

About Brandkids
Brandkids is an innovative webshop for kids fashion. You can purchase the most beautiful clothing from top brands for children from 0 – 14 years at You can also shop like many parents already do offline: combining new, outlet and second-hand clothing. And you can just drop everything simply and easily into one shopping basket! At Brandkids you can buy from the top labels’ latest collections or from the outlet. And as your little one grows, you can sell the clothes on again via Brandkids; keep an eye on your purse while caring for the environment. The Brandkids range can be viewed and selected from its contemporary, beautiful and functional website, with safe payment methods and continuous focus on the very highest level of service. Brandkids was established by Hans Lormans and Peter Sorber and was launched in the Netherlands in March 2013. | |

Peerby, Scoupy ánd SanomaVentures nominated at TNW Dutch Startup Awards

For the first time, international tech blog TheNextWeb organizes the TNW Startup Awards in 12 European countries. For the Dutch edition 5 nominees for each of the 7 categories have been selected and the audience can now vote. The winners will be announced on February 15.

Two SanomaVentures-funded companies: Peerby (‘best web-app’) and Scoupy (‘best mobile app’), and SanomaVentures (‘best investor’) have been nominated for this Dutch Startup Awards final. If you think we should win, cast your vote here!

We think this is an amazing result and compliment, only 10 months after the start of SanomaVentures and hope it is just of start of things to come. Thanks for your support!


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SanomaVentures invests in fitness platform VirtuaGym

Leading online fitness app provider experiences fast international growth

VirtuaGym, a provider of workout apps for home and gym, has announced it closed an investment round with Sanoma Ventures. The money will be used to finance the company’s ongoing strong international growth. Besides its end-user solutions VirtuaGym offers tools for health clubs and lifestyle coaches as well, allowing them to use their apps for efficient online coaching. The website and apps for iOS and Android have over 2.5 million users worldwide.

VirtuaGym offers users of all fitness levels tailor-made nutrition and workout plans. The exercises are instructed by virtual trainer Brad Fit and can be accessed and tracked anywhere using the mobile apps. Besides nutrition and exercise tracking VirtuaGym offers progress tracking of values like weight, BMI, fat percentage and provides motivation through over 250 badges, which can be earned. VirtuaGym is an open platform, which supports third party products like body weight scales and activity monitors.

Over the last four years VirtuaGym has become one of the leading providers in the fast-growing health and wellness app space with over 2.5 million users world-wide.

Herman Kienhuis, investment director SanomaVentures: “The health and wellness space is an important field of interest of Sanoma. Over the last couple of years VirtuaGym has built a leading position with its health and fitness solutions. We believe we can help leverage VirtuaGym’s potential and support product development to increase its user base.”

The basic version of VirtuaGym is completely free to use, so anyone can get started to make this year’s New Year’s resolutions a reality. Additionally, the framework is available as a white-label solution for health clubs and personal trainers to improve their efficiency and service level. This makes VirtuaGym a unique solution in the market.

Paul Braam, Co-founder VirtuaGym: “VirtuaGym offers great tools for both endusers as fitness professionals. The timing for this new investment round couldn’t be better since at the beginning of each year a lot of people decide to get active. It allows us to build out our leading position in this market at an increased pace.”

About Virtuagym:
VirtuaGym is an Amsterdam based company, which has been revolutionizing the health and fitness space since 2008. It offers a complete ecosystem of health and fitness applications, within a social environment. It got seed funding in 2008 from DCIF, a seed capital fund set up by four large media companies, including Sanoma. Since then the company has been self-funded. With over 2.5 million users worldwide and support for web, iOS and Android, VirtuaGym is one world’s leading solutions for health and fitness management.

About SanomaVentures:
SanomaVentures is an international investment fund and part of the European media group Sanoma Corporation [SAA1V]. Its goal is to support innovative companies in the field of digital publishing, entertainment and education with funding, media exposure and expertise. SanomaVentures focuses on early-stage startups in online consumer services, e-commerce, mobile, video, advertising and e-learning. It has offices in Amsterdam and Helsinki. The Amsterdam office started in 2012 and has invested in, Scoupy, Peerby and Truly Yours.

Scoupy voted for as best startup of 2012

On December 31, 2012, The audience of Dutch online entrepreneurs magazine voted for Scoupy as ‘best startup of 2012′ made a shortlist of 12 start-ups and asked the audience to vote; in an online poll which ran from December 10 till December 30, Scoupy was able to gather 47% of all audience votes. Scoupy (and others) did use some creative ways to get more votes

Peerby, another SanomaVentures portfolio company, came in third after WakaWaka, the solar-powered led light for electricity deprived areas.




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SanomaVentures invests in Truly Yours

Discover and try service for beauty products

Amsterdam, 3 December 2012 – SanomaVentures is to invest in Truly Yours. Inspired by the successful American company Birchbox, Truly Yours is a Dutch initiative selling subscriptions for luxury boxes containing samples of cosmetic products.

In January 2012, Marte Kau, former editor of the glossy magazine Red, launched Truly Yours as a ‘discover and try’ service for sophisticated beauty junkies. Each month, subscribers to Truly Yours receive a stylish box containing five small size packages of high-end beauty brands, special niche brands or new products freshly discovered by the Truly Yours team. Over the last few months, a substantial number of people have become Truly Yours subscribers and it already has more than 6,000 Facebook fans. The box containing the luxury samples is highly valued. Each time a new box appears, the products cause a furore on blogs and are discussed extensively through various social media channels. The ‘un-boxing videos’ on YouTube have become a popular phenomenon.
From the perspective of the participating cosmetic brands, the Truly Yours box is an entirely new way of introducing the target group to their brands and/or new products, as well as enabling new customers to be reached. Truly Yours actively encourages its subscribers to put reviews of the products on In addition, Truly Yours carries out supplementary market research to assess reactions to the products; invaluable information for manufacturers.

Marte Kau: ‘When it comes to reaching women, Sanoma is a market leader, and this applies to the area of beauty products as well. It is, moreover, a party with considerable knowledge and contacts in the cosmetics industry and consequently, as an investor, Sanoma offers us particularly high added value.’

Herman Kienhuis: ‘Through its successful start, the Truly Yours team has shown that even with limited resources it can achieve great things. The Truly Yours activities perfectly complement those of Sanoma and we are, therefore, well placed to help them expand their position.”

About Truly Yours
Truly Yours is a box containing luxury samples of beauty products for you to try out in the privacy of your own home; the products range from high-end brands and special niche brands to cult classics. Each month, the Truly Yours team handpicks these products and has them delivered to your home address in a slick package. It is the coolest beauty gift you can give yourself! | |

About SanomaVentures
SanomaVentures is an international initiative of the European media company Sanoma; its aim is to support innovative start-ups in areas of digital information, entertainment and education by providing access to capital, media exposure, expertise and its business network. SanomaVentures focuses on early stage investments in start-ups with a working product and a growing customer base in online consumer services, e-commerce, mobile & tablets, video & TV, online advertising or e-learning. SanomaVentures has offices in Amsterdam and Helsinki. The office in Amsterdam, was established in 2012 and focuses on the Dutch start-up scene. Companies in which SanomaVentures has invested include, Scoupy and Peerby. |

SanomaVentures investing in sharing platform Peerby

Unique local peer-to-peer sharing platform

SanomaVentures is investing in Peerby, a Dutch startup aiming to change the way people consume durable goods. Peerby is a platform that allows you to borrow or hire stuff from people in your neighbourhood using the internet, your mobile phone and through social media channels. Peerby is capitalising on the trend of ‘collaborative consumption’, where access to goods is more important than ownership.

Peerby, participated in the RockStart Accelerator program and launched publicly in August 2012, focussing on the Amsterdam region. In September, Peerby was awarded a second place in the prestigious Green Challenge run by Dutch national lottery, the Postcodeloterij. Currently it has started welcoming users from other cities and regions in the Netherlands as well.

Daan Weddepohl, founder of Peerby: “Sanoma’s investment is going to help us to develop faster and to reach a broader audience. Sanoma Media’s expertise and communication channels add a lot of additional value to its financial investment.”

Asking around
Peerby uses an innovative demand-driven approach: it does not ask people to put stuff up for rent, like existing peer-to-peer classifieds sites, but instead let users indicate the goods they need and subsequently facilitates asking around in their neighbourhood via email, website and social media. This matching mechanism will become more effective over time when more people start using Peerby. To see how it works, watch the video.

Herman Kienhuis, investment director at Sanoma Media: “I really believe in Peerby’s potential; they could create a whole new market for sharing durable goods. By supporting them at this early stage, we hope that we’re able to give them a flying start. And Peerby is perfectly compatible with Sanoma’s mission to help people with their daily (information) needs, enriching their lives and making them easier”








About Peerby
Peerby is about borrowing or hiring stuff from your neighbours. On, you can find stuff by asking round your neighbourhood, which is what makes Peerby one of a kind. It also means that you can get in touch quickly and easily with someone who can help you. That way, Peerby promotes contact between neighbours and it’s easy on your wallet. Moreover, seeing as no less than an eighth of all global CO2 emissions are caused by the production and consumption of goods, it is also very sustainable. Peerby was launched by Daan Weddepohl together with Jonas Matser and Eelke Boezeman. Daan completed The Founder Institute programme, after which the Peerby team was selected for Rockstart Accelerator. In September, Peerby won 100,000 euro in the Postcodeloterij Green Challenge. They had previously received a subsidy from the Stichting DOEN foundation. |   |

About SanomaVentures
SanomaVentures started in 2012 as the international venturing initiative of Sanoma Corporation, a leading European media and learning company. Its aim is to support innovative initiatives in digital information, entertainment and education by providing start-ups with capital, media exposure, expertise and access to its professional network. SanomaVentures focuses on early stage investments in start-ups with a working product and a growing customer base in online consumer service, mobile & tablets, video & iTV, online advertising, e-commerce and e-learning. SanomaVentures has offices in Amsterdam and Helsinki. |

SanomaVentures invests in mobile couponing start-up

SanomaVentures announced today that it is investing in Scoupy, a mobile couponing application for smartphones. The SanomaVentures stake is the second large investment received by Scoupy within a month. PostNL subsidiary Netwerk VSP acquired a minority interest in the app earlier this month.

Director Valentijn Bras, one of Scoupy’s founders, says, “The close partnership we’re entering into with SanomaVentures is the next big step for us in accelerating Scoupy’s growth. The last step, with PostNL, was aimed primarily at enrolling as many interesting retailers as possible. This partnership will now allow us to also reach the widest possible Dutch consumer base. As one of the largest multimedia companies in the Netherlands, Sanoma can get us millions of consumer eyeballs. This will not only significantly increase awareness of the Scoupy app, but also help bring participating retailers to the attention of those millions of consumers at the just the right moment.”

Scoupy Growth Potential
Herman Kienhuis is Investment Director for SanomaVentures. “Over half of the people in the Netherlands now own a smartphone,” he says, “and they are increasingly using them to look up product information while they shop, such as using product checker apps (e.g., the Dutch Kieskeurig Productchecker app) or to download special offers, such as with the Scoupy app. Sanoma Media heads the pack in developing mobile marketing products and therefore knows how to reach a large part of the Dutch population. We’ve had our eye on the growth market for mobile discount coupons for a while now. The promising launch and starting position of the Scoupy app and its potential for future growth, not to mention the entrepreneurial team behind it, all make this investment relevant for SanomaVentures.”

The Scoupy App
Scoupy is a free app that gives consumers access to over 3,000 discount offers in their immediate environment at almost 2,000 participating locations, including retail outlets, events, amusement parks, hotels, bars and restaurants. Since its official launch in October 2011, the free Scoupy app for iPhone and Android smartphones has been downloaded over 150,000 times. The company now has 25 staff members actively working to successfully expand the concept and sign up thousands of SMEs, retail businesses, events and amusement parks.


SanomaVentures supports startupweekend Groningen

November 2 to 4, there will be another Startupweekend in Groningen. After the positive response to our contribution to Startupweekend Amsterdam, SanomaVentures decided to also support this initiative. We hope it can further stimulate growth of entrepreneurial activity in the Netherlands, and in this case specifically in the remarkable capital of our northern province: Groningen!

“Yes, the rumours are true – Startup Weekend is set to return to Groningen!

Startup Weekends are weekend-long, hands-on experiences where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable.

Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a Minimal Viable Product. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts.”

SanomaVentures’ investment director (and university of Groningen alumn) Herman Kienhuis will participate as member of the jury that will assess the startup teams pitches on sunday November 4, and will select a winner. We hope to see you there! Sign-up here if you want to join: 

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