News Roundup

Innofest receives funding, Catawiki founders go on a new adventure, Voys acquires a new company and more. Check out our latest news roundup:


Voys acquires

For the first time in the company’s history, Voys announced it will acquire another company to grow its market share. Voys currently focuses on providing VoIP telephony for larger companies, but with the acquisition of, they can now expand to provide for smaller SMEs and independent contractors as well. One of the reasons for this, is that Voys wants to grow large enough to make an impact in improving freedom and equality of communication around the world. A little while ago, they set up their to do just that.


Catawiki founders revive platform for collectors

Catawiki was originally designed as a website where collectors could manage and keep track of their collections online. But as the company grew explosively, more and more emphasis was placed on the auctioning part, rather than the collectors’ catalogues and the community, which still has around 350,000 collectors.

Founders René Schoenmakers and Marco Jansen are avid collectors themselves, and decided to go back to their original passion and revive the catalogue and community, called LastDodo. The platform currently has around 4 million rare items, like rare stamp and comic book collections. Their first step was to change the look and feel of the platform and the two are currently working on trying to find a new business model for it.


Innofest receives funding for the next 4 years

Innovation program Innofest gives impact startups an opportunity to test their prototype at 11 different festivals in the Netherlands and helps them kickstart their success. And with the current pandemic they’re also testing a lot of new innovations digitally. This week, Innofest announced it has received €200,000 from the Province of Groningen (and the same amount from the Province of Drenthe a week earlier), to continue the program for another 4 years. In 2017, Innofest also won the European Enterprise Promotion Award, for best entrepreneurship program in Europe.


Groningen entrepreneurs come up with social distancing device

Adri Hendriks (Golftime), Leon Fock (Culterra Holland), Henk Smid (Variass) and Niels de Bruin (CLB Group) came up with a portable device that sends out a signal when someone is closer than 1.5 meters, the required distance to prevent COVID-19 infections. Called The Distancer, the device basically looks like a wearable traffic light; green is good, orange is a distance between 2 and 1,5 meters and red being closer than 1,5 meters. The device was originally designed for use in healthcare (specifically disabled care), but can be used for any workspace. The first 1000 devices are currently being rolled out.

Photo credit: Deon Prins