Husky Marketing Planner has recently increased its capital by €600,000 through an investment of the current management and tech entrepreneurs Guido Van der Schueren and Luc De Vos. Thanks to this investment the company can further invest in new product features, strengthen the sales and marketing team and prepare the project for becoming a European scale-up.
"The planning problems in marketing departments have a global dimension," says CEO Peter Desmyttere. "From the start, we opted for a two-sided approach. On the one hand, we operate proactively and locally (in Belgium and the Netherlands), combining technology with training. On the other hand, we want to be globally visible and findable for marketing teams looking for a digital solution for their marketing planning." This approach is working well for the company that has been built around 4 founders for the time being. It has built up a nice portfolio in the short term and has among others the retailers HEMA, Bristol and Mediamarkt, the insurer Nationale Nederlanden and the publishing group Lannoo as a customer in the Benelux. "But we also have customers in the US, Australia, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe who came knocking on our door."
"Being self-breeding as a startup is hard but also a great lesson," Desmyttere says. "It forces you to put your business model in perspective and to focus 100% on the customer's needs. But also to get a return on the shaky balance between product development and sales & marketing. The investors' input now has arrived at an ideal moment. We have found the product market and are eager to expand our team. Within a period of one and a half years, we want to have a professional in each key position in the team and we want to make optimal use of the key to scalability. Our ambition is to set up sales offices in neighbouring countries by 2020 at the latest. With Guido Van der Schueren and Luc De Vos, we are definitely getting 'smart money' in the company. Both entrepreneurs know the software world like no other and know how to scale up a company step by step within a European and global context."
Husky is a joint venture between the Ghent-based marketing consultancy firm of Peter Desmyttere (Desmyttere Marketingadvies) and the tech developers Code-On from Aalst. The consultancy firm has been providing advice and coaching on marketing planning since 2007. From their own experience, they saw marketers and marketing teams struggling with the planning of marketing projects and campaigns. "It's astounding how much time marketers waste on their marketing planning organisation," says Peter Desmyttere. "Most companies' marketing planning is connected with dozens of Excel, Word and Powerpoint documents. We want to put an end to this lack of efficiency with our digital marketing planner Husky. Based on our practical experience, we developed software that enables marketers to make their organisation much more efficient. Digitalisation is an important issue for many marketing departments now, so we are keeping up with the momentum."
Guido Van der Schueren has decades of experience in the graphics industry as a manager and as a serial entrepreneur. Currently, through the personal holding company Powergraph, majority stakes or reference interest is held in HYBRID Software (world-leading graphics prepress & enterprise workflow software), Brand Quadergy (brand activation & deployment agency) and Global Graphics (the leading developer of platforms for digital inkjet printing and type design). Besides investments in the graphics industry, Powergraph is the key shareholder of Keyware Technologies and supports numerous start-ups active in the development of software and/or technologically innovative applications.
Luc De Vos was a pioneer in the field of the internet in Belgium and Europe. He was founder of the EUnet (International) group as the first commercial Internet Service Provider (ISP) in Belgium and as the first pan-European large ISP, acquired by Qwest Communications in 1998. Luc De Vos has been involved as an entrepreneur in the creation or development of more than 60 companies.