Ghent, 9 March 2021 – Belgian start-up Hoplr has just completed its third capital round for an investment of 2 million euros. Thanks to the investment funds of Belfius, Matexi and CAREvolution, Hoplr will be able to further realize its international ambitions for neighbourhood care.
Hoplr was founded in 2014 as the social network that brings neighbours closer together. On the platform, local residents get in touch with each other, organize neighbourhood activities, exchange items, find a babysitter or local plumber, report problems, and so on. Hoplr stimulates online connection, which facilitates offline meetings. This in turn activates the social capital of the neighbourhood. Today, more than 500,000 families in 2,000 neighbourhoods use Hoplr, of which 78% does so weekly or more.
Hoplr collaborates with more than 100 local authorities in Belgium and the Netherlands which use the platform for community care, neighbourhood-oriented communication and citizen engagement. COVID-19 and the increasing digitalization have accelerated the growth of the digital neighbourhood network. Several international organizations took notice, as in 2020, Hoplr was awarded 3 prestigious international awards: the ‘European Social Services Award’ for best Social Technology Tool, the ‘World Summit Award’ in the Government & Citizen Engagement category and the European Commission’s ‘Seal of Excellence’ quality label for corona related innovation, implementation and impact. Part of the raised funds will be used to achieve further internationalization of the neighbourhood platform.
The COVID-19 crisis has once again demonstrated the importance of a high-quality neighbourhood, with sufficient greenery in the vicinity, local amenities and above all social contact. In an increasingly digital world, people more than ever need social interaction – in person – with other people. Hoplr is the ideal app to make this happen in every neighbourhood. I am proud that Matexi, as an investor, has been participating in the rollout of Hoplr in numerous cities, towns and neighbourhoods for the past five years. I myself am also a regular user of Hoplr in my own neighbourhood.Gaëtan Hannecart, CEO of Matexi
We currently do not know how big the socio-economic impact of the corona crisis will be or how quickly the local economy and social fabric will recover. Together with local governments, we are building caring and sustainable neighbourhoods, where the local community can play an active and crucial role in a swift recovery of the local ecosystem.Jennick Scheerlinck, founder of Hoplr
Supporting the Belgian scale-up Hoplr is perfectly in line with Belfius’ purpose: ‘meaningful and inspiring for the Belgian Society. Together’. By connecting neighbours, both online and offline, Hoplr meets the need for social cohesion in our society (and not least in times of COVID-19), the fight against loneliness and caring for each other. With the new resources from the three Belgian companies, this team full of Belgian talents is ready to further grow Hoplr in Belgium and scale internationally.Frédéric Van Der Schueren, CFO of Belfius Insurance
Innovating neighbour help
Hoplr generates revenue by offering services to local governments and other public institutions. Intermunicipal entities, contractors and various utility companies make up some of Hoplr’s clientele. In addition to further local and international expansion, the new investment funds from Belfius, Matexi and CAREvolution now ensure that Hoplr can further diversify its services. In the near future, Hoplr also wants to use neighbourhood dynamics as a basis for allowing people to live longer at home. With the entry of CAREvolution, the investment fund of the Partena health insurance funds, Hoplr gains access to the necessary knowledge and expertise. Brussels will be the first city in which Hoplr launches a new and innovative community care concept.
The challenges posed by an ageing population require complementary solutions to the already existing forms of assistance. Neighbourhoods in which generations can mean something to each other and where the local assistance offering is easily accessible, have an important role to play in this. We are convinced that Hoplr is a good catalyst for this.Jo Dumortier, CEO CAREvolution
We believe it is important to continue to innovate, diversify and build a future-oriented organization. In addition to Belfius and Matexi, with CAREvolution we are once again choosing a Belgian and socially committed partner. Together we want to invest in community care.Jennick Scheerlinck, founder of Hoplr
Photo de couverture: Joachim Van Belleghem