SanomaVentures is investing in Springest. Springest supports consumers, employees and HR professionals in their professional development by allowing them to search and compare an extensive range of trainings, courses and study programmes. Visitors can browse over 25,000 reviews to gain better insight into the value of a wide range of training programmes.
Springest, established in 2008 by Ruben Timmerman, received seed funding in 2011 from reputed Dutch entrepreneurs Marque Joosten (co-founder funda.nl), Patrick Kerssenmakers (co-founder fonq.nl) and Floris Rost van Tonningen (co-founder hyves.nl) and from Dutch bank Rabobank. In the past two years, Springest has developed into the leading comparison site for training and personal development programmes in the Netherlands. Additionally, organisations like Aegon, Alliander, Getronics and Vattenfall all use Springest Go: a dedicated portal that allows them to map out specific training options for their staff and process enrolments. In 2012 Springest also launched activities in Germany and the UK.
The Amazon of Learning
Springest has the ambition to develop into the ‘Amazon of Learning’. Ruben Timmerman: ‘With its international scope, media reach and online expertise, Sanoma is an excellent partner that can provide us concrete support in the realisation of our plans. One of our key investment areas is product development. Springest Discover, for example, which suggests suitable training options based on your LinkedIn profile. Working in partnership with Sanoma, we intend to increase our reach in the Netherlands from 2.5 to 5 million unique visitors per year. In addition, over the next two years we aim to establish a leading position in Germany and the UK, and we will be launching local sites in other European countries. Through Springest.com, we will take our first step in the comprehensive comparison of all e-learning tools – a quickly expanding segment, particularly in the US.’
Growth potential for Sanoma in education and comparison sites
SanomaVentures’ Investment Director Herman Kienhuis: ‘Springest is a major success in the Dutch professional learning market, a sector which we believe has considerable online growth potential. Through this investment, we aim to help Springest consolidate this success and accelerate its international expansion. In this context, they can also benefit from our experience with comparison sites like Kieskeurig.nl and our participation in FashionChick.com, which has been rolled out internationally as well.’
Springest.nl is the Netherlands’ largest independent comparison website for professional courses, trainings, study programmes and in-company L&D programmes, offering visitors over 34,000 training products from 2,900 providers and over 25,000 reviews. According to a NIDAP study, Springest is the most frequently consulted source of independent information among HR professionals. For organisations with over 1,000 employees, Springest offers a tailor-made catalogue of business training programmes: Springest Go. Each month, Springest welcomes some 300,000 visitors from the Netherlands, Germany and the UK. In addition to learning programmes, trainings and courses, visitors are also offered e-learning products, articles, a FAQ, tests and personal recommendations.
SanomaVentures is the venturing arm of European media & education group Sanoma Corporation (SAA1V.HE). Its aim is to support start-ups by offering capital, media exposure, expertise, network and strategic and financial support. SanomaVentures focuses on early-stage strategic investments in innovative companies within the following six segments: consumer web, mobile & tablet apps, video & TV, online advertising, e-commerce and e-learning. SanomaVentures has offices in Amsterdam and Helsinki and has invested in FashionChick, Scoupy, Peerby, Truly Yours, Vault79.com, VirtuaGym.com, Brandkids.com, Nosto.com, Fosbury.co, WappZapp.tv, ippies.nl, MijnAutoCoach and FashionQlub.