About Kees Koolen
Entrepreneur, Investor, Racer
Kees Koolen is a prominent Dutch businessman and the founder & chairman of Koolen Industries.
As a former CEO of Booking.com and an early investor in Uber, he recognizes potential when he sees it, and fundamentally understands how to bring the right people, the right funding, and the right technologies together to create tremendous value.
Speed, reliability, and customer centricity are at the heart of Kees’ professional and personal pursuits.
Passion for the energy transition
With more than 130M Euros of capital invested, Kees Koolen is deeply committed to the energy transition. His ventures into the clean energy sector began when he experienced the superior quality of battery maker Super B’s products firsthand, giving him a competitive edge during his annual participation in the Dakar Rally. Kees followed this up with a capital investment in Super B to support the company’s rapid growth.
Combining his fascination for building the world of tomorrow and a firm belief that entrepreneurship plays a key role in the energy transition, Kees founded the Koolen Industries group in 2019 to bring together now more than 25 companies that jointly work on making clean energy affordable, attainable, and available for everyone. And to provide the necessary physical space for innovation, collaboration, and education, Kees also develops The Green Box, Europe’s new cleantech campus, located in Hengelo at the Dutch-German border.
I have spent the last 10 years creating an ecosystem of great people and companies. Today, they can deliver solutions for the generation, conversion, storage, and distribution of clean energy that will accelerate our transition to a cleaner, healthier future. A future with clean energy and clean mobility for everyone.
Successful investment track record
An entrepreneur himself, Kees has a unique eye for joining promising businesses early on in their journey and then taking an active role in helping them develop, grow and deliver on their mission. Kees’ investment track record includes global heavyweights such as Uber and Booking.com, and he has been a significant force in the growth of more than 15 unicorns today.
If you want to build great companies, you have to be laser-focused on the needs of the customer. Your solutions must be safe and reliable and offer an excellent level of service so that your customers are happy and stay with you.
The Dakar Rally and Project 2030
Kees Koolen’s passion for robust, powerful technology extends far beyond his business investments. Participating annually in the Dakar Rally since 2009, he is the only person to have completed the race in all vehicle categories. Combining racing with his commitment to a clean energy future, Koolen and his team have announced the ambitious plan to develop a pioneering emission-free competition vehicle, called Nicias, to inspire new solutions for clean mobility.
The Dakar Rally is often referred to as “the toughest race on earth” which makes it the perfect testing ground for new clean energy and mobility equipment. The Nicias vehicle is an open research collaboration, testing new technologies under extreme conditions, and applying the learnings to mainstream sustainable transport solutions.