Michiel joined Northzone in 2016. His areas of interest are mobile, marketplaces, fintech, AI and data analytics. His portfolio includes Catawiki, Personio, FreightHub, and Aidence, and he has previously invested in companies such as Fiverr, Vinted, KNC and Packlink.
Michiel joined Northzone in 2016 from Accel London. Originally from the Netherlands, Michiel spent the early years of his career at BCG before founding Digital Jones, an artificial intelligence company, in Silicon Valley.
“I was blown away by the entrepreneurial drive I saw in the US, and their ability to think big. I knew I had to be a part of it. Starting and growing Digital Jones taught me the importance of tenacity and respect for the fundraising process. We pitched to 104 VCs before we got funding, and only raised a small amount of cash, which forced us to really think about revenue. That, in turn, is was what saved us in the dot com crash.”
The company went on to be acquired by shopping.com, with Michiel joining as VP Operations. “I remember sleeping under my desk two nights a week while the shopping.com deal was closing!”
After a period learning all about business consolidation as he helped turn shopping.com round from a $25 million loss to a $25 million profit, Michiel went on to start an online marketing company for the beauty industry. He joined Accel in 2011, bringing his experience of building businesses to the other side of the table.
“When you’re building a startup, you are not just learning to fly the airplane, you’re trying to build it mid-flight. You have to make tough decisions, and market feedback becomes your best friend. Strategy is all well and good but you really have to test learn, and re-test, quickly.”
Michiel has a graduate degree in physics from Delft University of Technology and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Outside of Northzone, you’ll most likely find him being bossed around by his 7-year old son or trying out new Peruvian and Indonesian recipes.