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Niels ’t Hooft Co-Founder and CEO

Niels ’t Hooft
© Lars Beekman


My startup in a nutshell: Immer reimagines book reading for modern humans, allowing readers to turn any long-form text into a phone story. We’re currently launching a product for avid e-book readers.

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Our team: 

Niels ’t Hooft (co-founder & CEO)
Lennart de Meij (co-founder & CTO)
Spencer Williams (engineering lead)
Mateusz Kita (engineer)
Tim Hengeveld (user experience)
Ties Alfrink (visual design)
Bram Ruiter (video)
Cindy Eijspaart (communication)
Marc Vekemans (marketing)

Our founding history: 

The seed for Immer was planted when a novel by Niels was published as an e-book for the first time. It was an underwhelming experience, and with a background in both video games and literature, he decided to start developing more compelling futures for digital reading.

After a few prototypes and promising test results, Niels teamed up with Lennart to found a company in 2020. They launched a test app in The Netherlands that year, got 10.000 people to download it and try its various ideas, learning more about different types of readers and reading needs. Based on that, the Immer team was expanded and started building the company’s foundational technology that’d allow them to flexibly create new ways of reading for different audiences and use cases.

Now, in the summer of 2022, it’s time for the next steps, starting with the Immer Reader that’s launching in early access worldwide. After this app is perfected with help from an initial community of tech-savvy, avid e-book readers, bookstores will be added in multiple countries, and the app will be expanded with features for less motivated readers.

The goal hasn’t changed: create a best-in-class digital reading experience, that does justice to the many great books that are being published, and to the advanced technology we carry around every day. In other words: use the smartphone to get more people to read more, with more joy!

This is how our business idea transforms the content industry:

By creating a completely new way of reading on the phone, we are bringing books into the digital world of the 21st century. The Immer app is developed especially for how we use our digital devices, and for our changing attention spans. We’ve created the technology to automatically bring any books onto our platform, allowing for analysis of the text so we can optimize and enhance it for the screen, create a more immersive reading experience and even build features that help to understand and remember book content, for example by summarizing what you just read.

After we won the Renew the Book Innovation Award in The Netherlands last year, we were invited to present our company at the Frankfurter Buchmesse. Here we heard about CONTENTshift for the first time, as last year’s winners were presenting at the same event. This year, it was pointed out to us that the program is open to international contestants. As we are planning to go abroad and are raising a new funding round, it made a lot of sense to enter the Accelerator and get to know the German market, meet other founders, experts and investors. It’s been a great experience so far! Niels ’t Hooft

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