After ten years of crowdfunding, Lendahand co-founder passes on the torch

Written by Lynn Hamerlinck on 3 June 2024

The number of people who are investing has increased in recent years. The need to do something good for the world also gained interest among many people. Both developments come together in crowdfunding platform Lendahand, which has consequently grown considerably in ten years. Since its inception in 2013, over 180 million euros have been invested in projects for entrepreneurs in developing countries; the platform is expecting to reach two hundred million by the end of this year. Co-founder and CEO Koen The thinks it is time for new leadership; he is making way for Arno Hoogenhuizen.

Lendahand finances projects in developing countries to support the work of entrepreneurs who are too big to qualify for microfinance but too small for a bank loan. The investments stimulate the local economy and provide employment for people who really need it. Investing in the projects can start from as little as ten euros and offer interest rates as high as eight percent. Koen The, an experienced banker, was one of the co-founders in 2013 along with Peter Stolze and Peter Heijen. The: “We started Lendahand from a hotel lobby in Maarssen, with little money but with a strong desire to fight poverty.”


Growing into a successful investment platform

Under The's leadership, Lendahand became a major player in the Dutch crowdfunding market. Over 180 million euros was invested by funders in ten years. In addition, Lendahand was voted best crowdfunding platform in the Netherlands three times, ABN AMRO Sustainable Impact Fund (AA SIF) took a stake in the company, and they acquired a French investment platform in 2022. “Together with our investors, we have made a positive impact on the lives of over a million people. We have given entrepreneurs in developing countries the opportunity to grow and in doing so, Lendahand itself has grown. I am convinced that Lendahand can become the impact investment platform of Europe,” says The. Now that the platform has a solid foundation and a team of 20 professionals, the co-founder believes it is time for a changing of the guard. This month, The will step down and pass the torch to Arno Hoogenhuizen.


New goal: A billion euros of investment money

Hoogenhuizen has a product background. Since last year, he has been Chief Product & Technology Officer at Lendahand and led the launch of 'automatic investing' (Auto-Invest) - this functionality went live last month. Hoogenhuizen has a proven track record when it comes to building out teams. Although Lendahand's mission remains unchanged, he will focus on optimizing the platform and its technology. “Lendahand is more relevant than ever. Our crowdfunders contribute to eight of the 17 SDGs with their investments and receive a fair interest rate in return. A win-win formula with which we intend to grow substantially in the coming years. The goal is to invest one billion euros over the next decade together with the Lendahand crowd,” Hoogenhuizen explains. 

Get our newest blog posts straight to your inbox

Enter your email below to receive an email every time we publish a new blog post.