COL gives Bondex another bright future
  • IT
  • Invest

Bondex 'It was death or gladiolas'

The platform was becoming more widely embraced. Nothing seemed to stand in the way of Bondex's growth. Until COVID-19 threw sand in the wheels. With the Corona Bridging Loan (COL) as a lifeline, the Groningen company can now slowly regain momentum.

Daan Ellens didn't want to leave anything to chance that Wednesday, April 29. The bridge loan for Bondex, the company of which he is CEO and co-founder, was too important for that. And so he opened his laptop as early as 6 a.m. in the morning. In three hours, the online portal for applying for the COL would officially go live. In the meantime, he could make the final touches. To prevent the site from overloading later, he wanted to be there as fast as possible. 'Fortunately, I was able to log in without any problems,' says Daan. Although time-consuming, the application procedure went very smoothly. Basically, you make a kind of investment application. And because we had already done several investment rounds, all the requested documents were virtually in order beforehand. That certainly contributed to us getting the green light relatively quickly.'

Bondex is best described as an exchange for SMEs. As a transparent and accessible platform where any company can issue and manage shares or bonds on the blockchain. 'Everything to do with listing securities is made possible by Bondex,' Daan explains. 'Employers, for example, can use the Bondex platform to allow employees to participate in the company. In the form of certificates of shares or other instruments. The platform also offers a low-threshold solution for organizations looking for additional funding through a share issue or for shareholders who want to capitalize part of their shares. The beauty is: they can do so in their own white label. Via a personal dashboard, in the look and feel of their company, they have continuous insight into their position on the platform and the possibility of trading the instruments in question. Because we use blockchain technology, we can keep costs low while ensuring insightful and transparent administration processes.'

Pass the time

The company was founded at the beginning of 2019. Not much later, with Shipfund, Groasis and Catena Power, Bondex already managed to secure three great customers. In the first two months of 2020, several more parties expressed interest in joining. 'In order to scale them up as well, it was important to further optimize the platform and really make it market-ready,' Daan says. 'The extra funding we needed was going to come from those new customers. So we were doing well, had big plans and seemed to be growing nicely. And then Corona came along. As a result, the parties that initially wanted to join us had to wait and see. Understandable, of course, but for us, to put it mildly, extremely annoying. Fortunately, our existing customers, who were also affected by the crisis, continued to use the platform. That saved us somewhat in the first period.

Fantastic moment

Nevertheless, Bondex needed money fast. Revenue was just enough to keep the team operational. Through LinkedIn, among others, Daan read about the arrival of the COL. This loan might get us through the corona crisis, he thought. He decided to go full steam ahead. It was, in his own words, death or gladiolas. 'A few days after submitting the application, I received an email from Klaas Kooistra of NOM with a few additional questions,' Daan looks back. 'Questions I had expected, which allowed me to tackle them quickly. I did ask Klaas if I could explain a few things over the phone. No problem, he replied. I really appreciated that. In the conversation that followed, I noticed that Klaas was positive. And he was, because a few days later I heard that the COL had been awarded. A fantastic moment. I really jumped in the air.

Growth Potential

The bridge loan was used by Bondex primarily to pay management. In addition, the money, combined with the income generated from existing customers, was partly put into further developing the platform so that the company could accelerate its marketing. 'Another three or four customers and we are already making a profit,' Daan emphasizes. 'Indeed, it's going that fast. The growth potential is enormous, especially also because the scalability of the platform has become so much better now. We can connect anyone, at relatively low cost, very easily. Including full onboarding with KYC, which makes you 100% sure that all local laws and regulations are met. Moreover, an investment is completed and, through the integration of IDeal, paid within a few clicks. Equally interesting is that investments can be traded via a so-called OTC desk. This means that securities, via the blockchain, can change ownership easily and free of charge.'


The COL has brought a lot to Bondex. It has helped the company survive and ensured that it faces the future with even more confidence. 'By granting the bridging loan, NOM has expressed confidence in Bondex,' says Daan. 'They believe in our concept. Besides the money, that appreciation is invaluable to us. I sincerely hope that this appreciation will translate into bringing in new investors in the short term.'

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