The Peaks App Is Helping the Youth of Today Invest in Their Tomorrow

What's in a Corporate Startup with Willem Knaap, Senior Innovation Manager at Rabobank

Like most great ideas, this one was born from a very REAL need in the market. Entrepreneur Sijbrand Tieleman noticed that young people weren’t thinking about their financial futures, let alone making any long-term investments. If only there was an app for that… 


Once the market need had been identified, it was clear to founders Rutger Beens, Sijbrand Tieleman and Tom Arends that they wanted to take on the challenge. Their mission? To make it possible for anyone with a smartphone and bank account to save, invest and get one step closer to financial freedom.

The concept is quite brilliant: An easy-to-use App that rounds up the cost of each purchase made, and saves the remainder to be invested in a user-chosen portfolio. All savings are deposited directly to the bank and a monthly savings budget can be fixed beforehand. 

As explained by Willem Knaap, who was heavily involved during the first 18 months of the startup process, Peaks was initially pitched as a venture project and received quite enthusiastically at Rabobank. It wasn’t long before it became a fully functional corporate startup with its own office, development team and partners.

“I did a lot of stakeholder management internally, with HR or with IT, to set up the connections for the bank accounts of Rabo, even talk to the legislators, started visiting potential partners…that’s quite a broad pile of roles and jobs to be done….15 months further we began to shift into different types of roles and the tasks that come with that. I began to focus more on business development and the commercial side of the company”.

Willem Knaap, Senior Innovation Manager at Rabobank

Like most corporate startups, Peaks initially leveraged quite a few synergies from within Rabobank, including IT and legal services. Having a connection with Rabobank also helped to legitimize the startup in the eyes of clients and potential partners and increased their chances for market entry. After all, they had a very reputable bank vouching for them.   

It was a very ambitious project to undertake, and each of the founders took on their own specific roles to keep it moving forward. The rest is history. 

The Peaks App has come a long way since its creation in 2016, operating as an independent startup, but maintaining strong links with Rabobank. They’re still going strong helping people everywhere achieve a brighter financial future.

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Afonso Rebelo de Sousa

Afonso Rebelo de Sousa

Senior Venture Builder