Brussels, 11 December 2017 - Good news for the Belgian BRM (Business Relationship Management) start-up Howaboutsales: due to solid interest from the investor community, the tech company launched a seed funding round at the beginning of this year and recently added some well-known names from the world of business angels to its list of investors (e.g. Netlog founders Toon Coppens & Lorenz Bogaert, Jonas D'Haenens and Wim Derkinderen). This summer, Howaboutsales achieved total fund raising of € 1.6 million. The investors were particularly interested in the potential of Howaboutsales, which proves that digitization offers new growth opportunities for companies that sell their products through sales partners or distributors. With the amount raised, Howaboutsales will expand its market position in indirect sales. A further rollout in Germany is also on the programme for this autumn.
Digitization for companies that work with intermediaries in, for example, financial services, has been going on for some time. The coming years will be crucial for intermediaries such as local brokers and bank branches to reconsider their role and recognize and prove their added value. Insights from the entrepreneurial world show that business partnerships have an annual growth of around 25% and that 1/3 of the income of many companies originates from their direct partner network. Still, 60% to 70% of these partnerships fail.* Howaboutsales developed a BRM (Business Relationship Management Software) that boosts the performance of intermediaries by digitizing the commercial relationship. On the basis of feedback from customers, Howaboutsales estimates a performance increase of between 10% and 20%.
*Harvard Business Review
€1.6 million after seed funding round with Belgian investors
In the first phase of its capital raising, Howaboutsales went to entrepreneurs and organizations, and only recently turned to professional investors. A conscious choice says Friedrich Pétré, CEO of Howaboutsales: "About a year and a half after our launch, we are still actively expanding our team. After an initial seed funding round late last year, we decided to raise even more financial resources to double our sales team and fine-tune the user experience of our product. At each investment phase we attach great importance to the belief and trust in our product. That is now the case again and we are very proud of our new ambassadors. "
Some well-known Belgian entrepreneurs-investors were convinced about Howaboutsales’ niche segment and the related market. Among these is Lorenz Bogaert (Netlog, Twoo, Realo): "I am investing in Howaboutsales because I believe in the uniqueness of the product. It is nice that they focus on an unexplored area and I think many changes are possible in the CRM and BRM market. I also have a very good feeling about the founders of Howaboutsales."
In addition to the contribution of these professional investors, Howaboutsales also received co-financing from PMV and Belfius bank and a subsidy from the city of Brussels on account of its innovative project.
Many companies have already taken a step in digitization by implementing a CRM system, which focuses on registering and maintaining customer data. Howaboutsales BRM software can be linked to an existing CRM system and can also be used separately.
"After listening to customers for a few years and consulting them, we saw that no other market player focused on digitizing the commercial relationship and the agreements made between head office and agent. Howaboutsales wants to acquire this niche, especially for customers who work with indirect sales," says CEO Friedrich Pétré.
Howaboutsales is a start-up that offers a BRM solution. A tool that can function independently or be linked to an existing CRM to improve the performance of company intermediaries. The tool was developed in co-creation with customers. Using its own BRM tool, Howaboutsales wants to bring companies and intermediaries closer together, so that the customer can ultimately be helped faster and better.