ZEEF raises EURO 400K investment from Maarten Beucker Andreae during The Next Web Boost

Maarten Beucker Andreae has high expectations for the Dutch content curation platform and will, in addition to giving financial support, become a strategic advisor as well.

28 APRIL 2014, AMSTERDAM, NL
Summary
Last Friday, during The Next Web, Klaas Joosten and Maarten Beucker Andreae agreed on a €400K ($550K) investment in ZEEF, the Dutch content curation startup. Maarten Beucker Andreae has high expectations for the Dutch content curation platform and will, in addition to giving financial support, become a strategic advisor as well.

In February, ZEEF was selected for The Next Web Boost as one of the most promising startups. Earlier this year, the company of Klaas Joosten was picked by Red Herring as one of the 15 most promising startups of The Netherlands.

ZEEF went in public beta stage in July 2013 and went live in February this year. The content curation platform can be seen as a link directory 2.0, which utilizes crowdsourcing and a revolutionary business model. The team at ZEEF is convinced that people are capable of making much better and more accurate selections of relevant information than algorithms.

The slogan of The Next Web Conference 2014 was ‘power to the people‘, which fits very well with this ZEEF vision.

With ZEEF widgets, a revolutionary curated advertising tool, website owners can now embed relevant top-5 lists in their content. Especially for bloggers who prefer a clean design and optimal reader experience, traditional advertising has become a ‘necessary evil’, because its promotional content has been optimized by advertisers to distract readers away from your content and to their promotional content. 

So far, testing these widgets versus other online advertising methods shows improvements in click-through-rates (CTR) ranging between 4x and 15x.

Promising business model

Maarten Beucker Andreae, who sold his succesful classified ads website 2dehands.be to eBay in July last year, also founded internet company TTY Internet Solutions. As CEO of TTY, he leads the company on its mission to bring together experienced entrepreneurs, innovative ideas, technical skills and investors to successfully launch new internet companies. He sees a lot of opportunities and disruptive applications for monetization of online content that ZEEF offers with their cutting-edge affiliate marketing technology and experience. ‘With ZEEF widgets, Klaas Joosten and his team have successfully implemented a business model with incredible potential and exciting new possibilities for online advertising. Amongst website owners, there is, and has been, a widespread need for new monetization models. By integrating ZEEF in addition to traditional advertising tools like Google AdSense, websites can now add additional relevant information to their content. ZEEF Widgets are styled to smoothly integrate in their design, to reach the right audience for their advertisers’ products in an informative and value-adding way. Without the need of tracking cookies which are subject to privacy discussions lately. Because the supply of these lists is crowdsourced, it’s a very scalable model.’, says Beucker Andreae.

Reaching a large audience

Klaas Joosten, founder and CEO of ZEEF, is excited about the investment of Beucker Andreae, who will also become a strategic advisor in addition to his financial support. ‘It’s very important for us to build a large community and get a lot of user signups in the short-term future of the company. We aim to reach a global audience and achieve worldwide market penetration. Maarten has a lot of experience with this and will serve as advisor to us in regard to these aspects.’

Klaas Joosten previously founded the first Dutch affiliate network M4N in 1999 with his brother Thomas Joosten. In his role of Chief Technology Officer, he was the technological thought leader of M4N, the market leader in affiliate marketing in the Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourgh markets and was responsible for processing and tracking 400 million euro in consumer sales annually. In 2011 the European market leader zanox acquired M4N and hired Thomas Joosten as their new CEO. With his platform ZEEF, Klaas Joosten is now ready for his next adventure, but this time with a global ambition.

Funding round

Joosten is currently raising €1M ($1.4M), increasing total invested capital in ZEEF to €1.7M ($2.4M). Beucker Andreae already assured his participation in potential future funding rounds.

About ZEEF

ZEEF offers curators a platform to efficiently curate and rank websites on any subject they are knowledgeable about and organize these in categorized lists of links (Widgets).

Links to products, web shops or services are automatically monetized through affiliate marketing. These categorized and ranked Widgets are utilized as an advertising model, a highly promising alternative to Google AdSense.

ZEEF provides consumers with high quality widgets and makes advertisements valuable to visitors instead of annoying them.

More information

Klaas Joosten

Klaas.joosten@ZEEF.com

+31626062213

Maartje van Oeveren

Maartje.van.oeveren@ZEEF.com

+31643440042

Images
Spokespeople
About ZEEF

ZEEF offers curators the platform to efficiently curate and rank websites on any subject they are knowledgeable about and organize this in categorized lists of links (Widgets).

Links to products, web shops or services are automatically monetized through affiliate marketing. These categorized and ranked Widgets are utilized as an advertising model, a highly promising alternative to Google AdSense.

ZEEF provides consumers with high quality widgets and make advertisements valuable to visitors instead of annoying them.