Castor is a medical software development company based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Founded in 2011 by Derk Arts, their signature programme is a cloud-based electronic data capture platform which enables researchers to easily capture high-quality, reusable medical data. Now with 30k+ users, 2,500+ studies, servers in 3 countries and funding by INKEF Capital, Castor is well on their way to getting their platform used by medical researchers and institutions worldwide.

A platform for health data

Health data is a valuable resource, yet the way in which that data is stored is often sub-par. While completing my PhD at the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, I noticed that the data generated by my fellow researchers was being squandered because it was being stored in spreadsheets and unusable formats. I decided to create a user-friendly data capture platform that could be used by any medical researcher – to both capture high-quality data, and to ensure that data becomes standardised and reusable. That way, future researchers will be able to use it to its full potential.

“With INKEF Capital on board, our technology can reach its full potential”

Derk Arts CEO Castor

Using funding to accelerate

In our specific case, funding was more of a choice than an absolute necessity. We received a large grant in 2017 and went on to double our revenue, yet we knew it would be hard for us to scale up beyond Europe. We felt that funding would enable us to expand internationally, reach scale faster, and realise the full potential of the platform. That’s why we decided to examine options for funding, and began our conversation with INKEF Capital.

Realising a huge vision

Our first contact with INKEF was with Thijs Cohen Tervaert. Once we met him and his colleagues, we quickly realised that they were not only looking for return on investment. Above all, they clearly saw the potential in our platform to change health care for the betterment of humanity, and how our platform could be beneficial for the world. As we began working together, we could see INKEF understood the health sector and had a long-term vision for how our relationship would proceed. With them on board, we saw the opportunity to put our platform in the hands of thousands of researchers, and to make a real difference to medical research worldwide.

Power in their people

I am impressed with INKEF’s professional approach to investment. Thijs has a huge amount of healthcare expertise and takes a studied approach to that landscape. Corné brings his vast knowledge and expertise in building SaaS companies like GitLab and EclectiqIQ, which is really invaluable to us. In the future, we hope to leverage INKEF’s network and connect with other industry leaders. Overall, I am pleased with INKEF’s level of experience and professionalism and they are a very pleasant and intelligent group of people to be working with.