The business of the Pon family has its roots in a retail shop established in 1867 near Amsterdam. In 1900, the Pon family firm started importing Opel bicycles. Later, also cars from Opel and other manufacturers were imported. Today, Pon Holdings B.V. is a major retail and service company in the Netherlands that offers services for vehicles as well as road construction. Furthermore, the firm owns major bicycle manufacturers like Derby Cycle and Gazelle. In 2021, the firm had revenues over €8.1BN, making the families one of the wealthiest in the Netherlands. As a consequence, the family established its family office Knop Investments in 2021.
Single family office from Groningen: Knop Investments
As a first step, the Groningen-based Pon family office hired Maurits Koning as investment director and Lennart Klooster as finance director. Also, Eric-Jan Vink, who was formerly head of private equity investments for PGGM, joined the firm. Koning joined from Pon’s corporate venture capital firm Ponooc. The first hires lead to the assumption that Knop will – at least partly – invest in private equity and venture capital deals.
Venture capital deals of Ponooc
An outlook of Knop Investments’ investment focus might be possible by looking at ponooc, the venture capital arm of Pon Holdings. Ponooc mentions on its website three major elements: creating a sustainable future, investing in energy and mobility as well as being a proactive shareholder. Recent investments include Laka (e-mobility insurtech) Vianova (mobility data platform) and Bikemap (cycling maps). The investments are all in some way related to the products of the Pon Group, who is also a bike manufacturer.
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