Speedinvest Blog

Investing in People: It’s Always a Team Effort

by 

Speedinvest

July 30, 2020

We’re excited to welcome Jeroen Arts to the Speedinvest Partnership as an Associate Partner. From the day he joined the family, Jeroen has used his diverse experience and contagious passion to support the growth of both our Network Effects team and Speedinvest.

Great teams are built by team players. Jeroen Arts knows and lives this principle. As a successful founder, former manager of Olympic athletes, and a startup investor, he has built his diverse career on establishing strong partnerships with colleagues, clients, and founders. Ensuring those around him reach their fullest potential is Jeroen’s top priority.

Jeroen joined Speedinvest with a unique combination of skills that immediately drew my attention. He was clearly mature beyond his age: self-reflective, culture-driven and keen to develop not only as a business leader, but as a person. In an industry with plenty of ego and showmanship, these traits immediately resonated. Especially as they were paired with massive drive and ambition, similar to the competitive athletes with whom Jeroen spent a lot of his formative years.

— Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Oliver Holle

So in 2017, when Mathias Ockenfels was tasked with establishing a dedicated Network Effects team that would focus on early-stage marketplace startups, he immediately called a young founder he had invested in a few years earlier — a driven, down to Earth entrepreneur.

A Team Player From Day 1

Jeroen started his career in 2010, interestingly enough, as a manager for Olympic level track and field athletes. The company, Global Sports Communication, managed over two hundred international athletes at the time — including the current marathon world record holder, Eliud Kipchoge.

The beauty of working there was that it was very much a people-first business. We would scout talents from a young age and try to support them throughout their careers as best we could. So, similar to investing, we would take a long term perspective on people. Our goal was to build enduring careers, rather than quick flashes.

This formed the foundation for how Jeroen would approach his next big step.

The Founder’s Life

Starting in 2013, Jeroen dove into the deep end of entrepreneurship as the Founder and CEO of Deskbookers.com, a VC and angel-backed SaaS-enabled marketplace where people can flexibly rent work and meeting spaces on an hourly basis.

With Deskbookers I went through the early stages of building a company and experienced all of the struggles that come with trying to find product-market fit, fundraising and (most importantly) building a team to make the vision of Deskbookers come to life.

Six years of being on the other side of the VC table proved to be invaluable when Mathias came to him with an offer to join a VC building something new.

A Focused Team From the Ground Up

When Jeroen joined Mathias, he was tasked with building deal flow and helping develop a team of focused and knowledgeable marketplace experts worthy of the trust of founders. The hard work paid off. In addition to building successful partnerships with marketplace startups, such as CoachHub, Packhelp and Kodit, he’s also built strong relationships with those working alongside him.

I tried to contribute to a team culture where people feel they can bring their own unique skills and assets to the table, where they are motivated to get the best out of themselves, and where they feel appreciated and valued for their contribution.

These efforts, without a doubt, contributed to the rapid success of the team. Since launching in February 2018, their portfolio has grown to include more than twenty companies in seven countries. The team also co-hosts The Marketplace Conference, a bi-annual event that brings together the best marketplace minds from around the world, and publishes a monthly newsletter, The Marketplace Snippet (they’re launching a new version next week, subscribe now!).

What Does the Future Hold for Jeroen?

He’s excited to further hone his personal investment thesis, specifically in new areas of development in the marketplaces space.

We are living in exciting times. I am particularly excited to double down on investments in the future of work and living, as well as back more phenomenal entrepreneurs who are finding innovative ways to enable equality of opportunity for all.

Opportunity for all. Jeroen insists the support of his colleagues and the opportunities and mentorship provided by our Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Oliver, Partner Michael Schuster and (certainly not least), Mathias, led to his success at Speedinvest.

Speedinvest Network Effects (and the larger Speedinvest family) would not be where it is today if not for the tireless effort our team has put in. It is, therefore, very important to me to recognize each and everyone’s contribution to this success. It shows what a great team can achieve when all parts work towards a common goal.

Again, great teams are built by team players. Jeroen is proof. We are incredibly appreciative of his contributions to the Network Effects team and Speedinvest family, and we are thankful he will be continuing his professional journey with us as an Associate Partner. Welcome to the Speedinvest Partnership, Jeroen. You’ve earned it!


Speedinvest is a leading pan-European, early-stage venture capital firm. Our portfolio includes Wefox, Bitpanda, TIER Mobility, GoStudent, Curve, CoachHub, Schüttflix, TourRadar, Adverity, and Twaice. Sign up for our newsletters to get our exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.

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