The objective of Digibon, part of Klippa, is clear and charming: an end to the endless stream of paper receipts in our wallets. How? Through smart technology that sends a digital receipt directly to a cell phone and stores it there or even transfers it directly to a banking environment or accounting package. A solution for individuals, but certainly also for entrepreneurs. In recent months, Flinc helped them launch their third investment round. Yeelen Knegtering is co-founder and talks about the innovation of Digibon.
It starts with the band-aid on the wound
'It actually started when I worked as a self-employed person myself and went really crazy with all the receipts I had to save, retype and enter. I thought it should be easier and faster. So together with four former fellow students and former colleagues we launched Klippa: an app that could scan these receipts and send them to an accounting package. That already saved so much work. The solution is available for both individuals and the business market, and of course the latter is where most of the pain is. They really have to store and process everything.' It is 2015 when Klippa sees the light of day and the start-up is growing rapidly with now 20,000 users. But the club of five doesn't actually think the solution itself is enough. Yeelen: "Klippa is a band-aid on the wound. We'd rather the wound just not be there. That's why we came up with Digibon.
A definite end to straddling
Digibon is software that connects to POS systems and produces a digital receipt, instantly available on the cell phone of the person paying. The software is "seamless"; no additional actions are required. Moreover, the receipts do not consist of a picture, but of data that are recognized and processed immediately by accounting packages. A definitive end to typing amounts and VAT percentages. And a considerable paper saving,' Yeelen laughs. 'Although there is still sometimes a misunderstanding that paper receipts have to be kept for the tax authorities. That hasn't been the case for a long time.'
The technology to eliminate the paper receipt is finished. Still, the company faces a major challenge: connecting the various POS systems, banks and accounting packages. Yeelen: "It's a fairly traditional market, so that takes time and energy. We need additional capital for that. We participated in the Startupbootcamp in Amsterdam, which is where Flinc saw us present.'
'Northern Netherlands has a comfortable mentality' Interest in the Groningen company appears to be high, they receive many requests. Still, they choose close to home. 'We are from the Northern Netherlands ourselves and we feel comfortable with the mentality here. That was important in our choice of Flinc. We really tiered the investment rounds. The amount we want to bring in with the help of Flinc is around €400,000 and gives us room to roll out Digibon to national coverage. We want to have that realized by 2020," Yeelen pronounced.
The money will be used for the further development of the products, but also for marketing and sales; connecting all parties is now the most important step. Yeelen: "We aim to fill in half of the funding through a subordinated loan and the other half with an investment from an (informal) investor in exchange for share capital. It would be nice if this investor has experience with SaaS and can offer a connection to an (international) network in retail or banking.
We want fast, faster and then even faster
The preparatory phase is complete and the cooperation is going well. 'Look, we are a start-up, we want to go faster than fast and then even faster. But that is simply not an option in this type of project. And it is also good to work carefully. Flinc looked at our business plan with us and step by step we filled it in in their format. Every aspect passes by and that is instructive. Flinc is not an investor itself and therefore looks with us more objectively, which is very valuable. We are looking forward to what is coming next. In any case, we are ready for the next step.
Bjorn Redmeijer, project manager at Flinc, was involved in the process with Klippa/Digibon
'Through Startupbootcamp I came into contact with Klippa and immediately saw that they have all the components of a successful start-up: a young, enthusiastic and complementary team, a working product with pilots in Groningen, Leeuwarden and Amsterdam, turnover and previous successful investment rounds. Moreover: their product really solves a problem, there is a market for it. We guided the entrepreneurs behind Klippa in refining their business plan and honing their funding needs. During that process we examined the entire business case and worked together toward an 'investor ready' business plan. It is great to hear that the entrepreneurs have found the process with Flinc to be valuable so far. The next step is to match them with our extensive network of financiers so that the growth of Klippa and their Digibon can actually be realized. I am very confident that we can match them with interesting investors. So as far as I'm concerned, from 2020 we will be completely receipt-free in the Netherlands. And then the rest of Europe as well.