We always remain in control of our company’s strategic direction – nobody tries to ‘grab the wheel’ from us.


Withlocals is an online marketplace for travelers and locals to connect. The platform lets locals create personal and unique travel experiences for travelers, earn their fair share by doing what they love, and gives travelers authentic experiences and stories to share with their friends and families. All this while changing minds and hearts along the way.

Assembling the right people
Ask any start-up and they will tell you that it’s challenging to hire and retain the right talent early on. Yet INKEF were instrumental in helping us to assemble the right people at the right time. Kyang, Corne and the team really helped us identify the talents we needed to bring on board. We had initially been reluctant to take on a CFO because of the added expense. But once we did, we realised that their recommendation was spot-on. That’s where their expertise has been a massive value-add for us.

INKEF continue to act as coaches and advisors, while we are left to build and steer the company. They challenge our assumptions. They respect our decisions. And ultimately, they really do care about growing our company in a smart way. 

I am a two-time CEO with a background in product development and innovation management. I joined Withlocals a year before we pitched for Series A investment from INKEF Capital. We were initially brought into contact with Kyang Yung and Corne Jansen before we met the entire team. Establishing a strong degree of trust from the outset is very important when seeking investment, since you are essentially embarking on a long journey together toward growth. And right from the start, I felt a click on both a personal and professional level.


Matthijs Keij CEO of Withlocals

A guiding hand
From initial pitch to investment, INKEF operated with our best interests at heart. We always had the sense that we remained in control of our company’s strategic direction – nobody tried to ‘grab the wheel’ from us. We presented our corporate strategy to INKEF and they were able to highlight factors that we hadn’t considered – like catering to the needs of an ever-growing Chinese market. Their advice forced us to refocus our efforts in a way that didn’t detract from our core objectives.

Broadening our horizons
INKEF have a massive network which has really been valuable to us. We have been able to avoid mistakes through an open exchange of ideas and knowledge with other companies under the INKEF umbrella. We also benefit from their huge network – INKEF have existing relationships with the people you want to get in front of, which speeds things up a lot. Ultimately, I think INKEF have been the perfect partner for us, continuously showing us what good looks like so as to develop breakthrough products and hit the right milestones as we prepare for our Series B.

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