Photo by team Rake Boat
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Harkboot.nl can scale up with help from NOM

Harkboot.nl is going fast. The startup in Roden that invented a unique way to remove unwanted (invasive) aquatic plants is about to scale up even faster. A new funding from the NOM helps in this regard.

Harkboot.nl 's vessels pull unwanted proliferating (invasive) aquatic plants from the bottom with roots. And that is a much more effective and sustainable method than mowing water plants. The latter causes the aquatic plants to return faster and even to multiply. It is therefore logical that water boards, municipalities, provinces, water managers, harbors and fish associations are increasingly consulting Harkboot.

''We are growing about 150 percent annually,'' says operations director Peter van der Wal. ''We now have ten boats and work at home and abroad.'' That rapid growth brought a lot. Now it is time to set up the organization efficiently, improve the structure and provide peace of mind so that the next step can be taken.

The market is huge and Harkboot.nl is the leader when it comes to this sustainable method. That is the way it should stay, says Van der Wal. ,,We are developing new machines to be able to control other types of water plants as well. That way we can meet even more demands. We are also looking at more autonomously operating vessels. That is the future after all.''

In that future, more Rake boats must be used and more and more people are working to control rampant aquatic plants. ''That's why we are in the process of describing the whole process, so that we can work as effectively as possible. From the manufacturer of the boats to a manual for the end users, we are writing it all down very precisely.''

To finance all that, Harkboot.nl knocked on the NOM's door (again). The first funding was provided in 2018, now growth money is being added. ''We have a lot of confidence in Harkboot.nl,'' explains NOM investment manager Chantal Leijendekker. ,,They are growing very fast and have good plans. Apart from that, we are impressed with their way of doing social and sustainable business.''