Propeller Program Update: Successes of Our Early-Stage Norwegian Entrepreneurs

Tapad's entrepreneurial mentorship initiative, the Propeller Program, has seen extremely positive results since it began in September 2016. The five early-stage startups selected from Norway have gained momentum in establishing a U.S. presence. 

Among the successes within Propeller:

  • Xeneta, the leading ocean freight price comparison platform and contracted rate database, has raised an additional $12M in funding since beginning the Propeller Program. Before the end of 2016, the company had exceeded its revenue expectations by nearly 30 percent, proving the European-focused business could succeed in the American market.

"Aside from directly impacting our revenue, the Propeller Program has provided us with incredible access to a countless number of external resources, including subject matter experts from the fields of fundraising, public speaking, corporate structuring and immigration law," said William Di Ieso, GM of North America for Xeneta. "We remain extremely grateful for the opportunity and exposure the program has provided for Xeneta."

  • Bubbly, an in-store real-time engagement tool for non-buyers, now has clients on four continents. After only a few months in the U.S. market, Bubbly has signed deals with one major retail brand, one major toy manufacturer and a major global consulting firm. The Propeller Program has also opened doors for greater opportunities in Scandinavia and EMEA. After an introduction to Telenor Group's President and CEO Sigve Brekke, Bubbly is currently piloting its IoT kiosk with the company.

"The mentoring sessions have been very valuable and have given us guidance as to how to best enter the U.S. market," said Marianne Haugland Hindsgaul, Bubbly CEO and co-founder. "Learning to do business in the U.S. is not something you can necessarily learn from a book. The most impactful lessons are based on real-world experience, and that is what the Propeller Program has given us."

"It is so rewarding to be able to support these Norwegian startups in a meaningful way," said Are Traasdahl, CEO and founder at Tapad. "Mentor relationships are critical for strategic growth, and I am proud to be able to pay forward the experiences I have gained as an entrepreneur. To me, the Propeller Program is a shining example of the magic that can happen when Norwegian innovation meets American opportunity."

For a complete update on the five Propeller Program startups, see our press release here.