Martijn Hamann is co-owner and partner at Endeit Capital, a venture-capital firm investing in growth-stage European companies, former member of the Executive Directors team at television producer Endemol, and board member, brand mentor, and contributor across numerous Dutch and international startups. So, we’re especially proud to have him as one of our Advisory Board members.
Adcombi has grown a lot since our first launch. Today we’re delivering AdTech innovations on an international scale, to some of the world’s largest advertisers, and with brands like Heineken, Coca Cola, Honda, and many others. We owe that success to our people and our teams. In this blog series, we’d like to highlight those people, their skills, personality, and the unique ways they contribute to the company.
Martijn graduated from the Erasmus University with a Master's in Business Administration, briefly taking on a role in a merger and acquisition firm, before being hired for M&A at Endemol. Here, he would play a leading role in the television producer’s growth, via more than 50 acquisitions, participations, and start-ups.
“I wanted to do something in a dynamic world, work in an international and disruptive industry, and in those days, the media industry was that. The big monopolies were breaking apart, big publishers and tv stations had been very state owned and it was breaking up into competitive industries – and that was very interesting to me”
Emdemol became one of the most successful television producers in the world, with shows like The Voice, Big Brother, and others competing with the (previously) dominant Hollywood television.
“U.S. content was ruling the world at the time with soap operas and scripted TV and gameshows. When we started rolling out local media in Europe – like Dutch game shows, films, soap operas, it was the first. It was the first creative industry in Europe to go head-to-head with the U.S., and that was interesting from a career perspective. It was cool to have successful international hits coming from this tiny country, the Netherlands. Of course, you see the same now with Netflix, which is having great success with locally produced content – but I think we were really pioneers in liberalizing content in the 90s.”
Martijn worked with Endemol as head of Mergers and Acquisitions for just over 5 years before moving into a role as Director of International Operations, where he was directly responsible for managing subsidiaries, developing and starting new businesses, and rolling out to new markets.
When Endemol sold in 2,000, it was for €5.5 billion. Martijn would stay on with the company for a few years longer, helping to take the company public again in 2005.
“Selling Endemol was a personal triumph because we worked so hard on globalizing the company and with such a young group of people. We were a relatively small company in Holland, and we sold it for €5.5 billion, it was unbelieveable, it was an international business going head-to-head with the biggest competitors in the world – I thought it was proof that with the right spirit, you can actually become a top 3 player from anywhere – and we achieved that. It felt like anything was possible.”
Martijn is a husband, father of two teenagers, and as invested in growth, disruption, and entrepreneurialism in his private life as in his business life.
“I like autobiographical books – like Elon Musk or Steve Jobs – they make such a big impression on me, starting with nothing and creating companies that are game-changing for humanity”
Martijn is also into sports, ranging from skiing and sailing to ice skating and – since the pandemic – golf. He’s also passionate about flying, taking on the challenges of flying in Amsterdam’s crowded airspace.
“It was always one of my dreams to go flying, so when we sold Endemol, I took some time and I learned how to fly. I earned my pilot license for small planes. It’s always such a surreal experience for me – when you go flying you are completely reliant on the plane and your skill using it – and you can’t really get that same experience anywhere else.”
Martijn started investing, in internet startups like Paylogic, Advance, CIC and many others. When his long-term colleague, Hubert Deijmers started Endeit, a venture capital firm investing in growth stage European companies, he joined that as well.
“It was a new step in my life, selling Endemol meant I could do more with private money, and try to achieve that success again from a different angle”
While Endeit’s portfolio is diverse, it primarily focuses on internet startups.
“It has to do with the spirit of disruption. If you invest in young entrepreneurial companies, they’re open minded, willing to break the rules and break into markets – they have nothing to lose. And that’s specifically what I love to invest in and to try to help them create this disruptive environment in the economy.”
“That’s what’s really great about the current world – young people with limited resources and money can still do a lot in the digital world. That wasn’t the case in the 90s, you needed a lot of money to build a small piece of software and now, anyone with an Amazon account can start a company, it creates a lot of disruption and I love that.”
Today, Martijn is invested in helping growth stage companies to grow.
“I’m working on buying and selling companies, helping entrepreneurs, and helping them grow. One thing I really love is helping companies move to the stock market – going public. I’ve worked on two of those projects and it’s a really complex process, but it’s really rewarding, because it’s the ultimate way of helping a company to become independent. People believe in your company and your story, so they invest, and it’s impressive when entrepreneurs can get that kind of buy-in for their ideas”.
“If you look at my work with Endemol, localized media was always something I’ve invested in, and Adcombi just takes that a step further with hyperlocal”.
“You can argue that some advertising campaigns are wasted when you go nationwide. You have to tailor them to demographics, audiences, neighborhoods. That wasn’t possible until recently, but Adcombi is making it happen. “
“I think hyperlocal advertising is also leading the curve of sustainability and less intrusive advertising. Ad blockers and cookie restrictions are limiting how advertisers can reach you. So, ads cost more, therefore it’s important to find other ways to make them relevant and hyper localization is one way to do that”.
“Adcombi is disrupting local advertising – they're helping big brands like Unilever, Coca Cola, Heineken, which have traditionally relied on flyers, to directly connect to their consumers via software – with the tracking, tailoring, and dynamic ads of digital advertising. But I also really like that the software adds value in bigger purchases like car sales as well – you can target ads to dealerships and retail spaces – using location as an indicator of buying intent – and making ads that much more relevant.”
If you’d like to learn more about Martijn Hamann, visit his LinkedIn page.