Sharefunding platform Broccoli chooses OPP to handle cash flows
Broccoli is a Dutch sharefunding platform. It helps sustainable entrepreneurs in the food and agribusiness sector obtain equity in exchange for shares. In doing so, it offers a strong alternative to traditional financing. Moreover, it helps innovative entrepreneurs who, among other things, are building fairer food chains and making production processes more sustainable, to grow further. To ensure that money flows smoothly between investors, the companies and the platform, and to meet the requirements set by the crowdfunding regulation, Broccoli chose platform specialist Online Payment Platform (OPP).
Broccoli raised 18 million euros in its first year, of which as much as 40 percent came from its own network. Unique within Europe. According to founder Wouter Hagoort, this is also due to the company's strong focus. "At Broccoli, profitability and impact go hand in hand. People who invest through us do so with an investment that is three times higher than average and very consciously choose the sustainable food sector."
"Through our platform, buying shares in the companies we support is as easy as buying a book through Bol.com," Hagoort points out. The platform was built with a strong focus on usability. The smooth payment flow that Broccoli set up with OPP also plays an important role in this. The investor creates a user, identifies with Broccoli, then a knowledge and experience test follows and one can check out via OPP. Then, OPP ensures through multi-split payments that the money reaches the companies and that a percentage goes to Broccoli. Automatic payment of returns and dividends is also set up through OPP.
Focus on platform essential for success
Broccoli previously worked with another payment service provider. In doing so, Hagoort found that a focus on platforms was lacking. "Working with the right payment provider, who understands what we do, is essential to our success. As a sharefunding platform, where large amounts of money are involved, you have to deal with large responsibilities and different regulations and processes than is the case with web shops."
An additional regulatory challenge came for Broccoli in 2023, in the form of the new crowdfunding regulation. This imposes stricter obligations on, among other things, the handling of payments by crowdfunding platforms that Broccoli also falls under. The regulations also impose stricter quality requirements on partners, including the payment service provider.
Fast, personal and customer-friendly
Hagoort: "OPP is a platform specialist and has the processes and knowledge to respond to this challenge. We also had the best click with OPP's team and they offer the best scalable solution. Relatively little needed to be done to integrate OPP's solution into our platform. Moreover, communication with OPP's team is approachable, fast and personal. Truly customer-friendly. This also made the cooperation between our IT partner Bloqhouse and OPP very smooth." Bloqhouse, a hugely successful software vendor for investment management platforms, played a key role in facilitating the integration between Broccoli and OPP through their custom solution with OPP. This solution is enabling businesses like Broccoli to easily automate payments ensuring a smooth customer journey for their clients.
A special service Broccoli offers investors is to trade their shares among themselves on the platform after a certain period of time. This so-called secondary trading is done through a digital marketplace on the platform. Here, another investor can bid on these shares and, upon agreement, a transaction takes place. Here, too, OPP is a crucial link with its marketplace knowledge and experience. If there is a deal between buyer and seller, the buyer automatically receives a payment request through OPP. The seller receives confirmation when the payment has been made.
"All cash flows on our platform are set up with OPP. This gives a good feeling. Also, expanding to other countries in Europe is not a problem because of the international payment methods OPP offers. For example, we are now working on a new project in Ireland. With OPP as payment provider, we can continue to grow together and build on the sustainable ambitions of our company," said Hagoort.