Next Glass Inc., the parent company of Untappd, is expanding to the European market and has opened a branch in Twente. The company, based in North Carolina (US), developed Untappd, a popular app for discovering the world of (craft) beer and exchanging experiences with friends. The branch in Enschede will start with a small team but expects to grow to a team of 25 employees in the coming years. Oost NL and the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) supported the company in choosing a location.
Next Glass develops software (including Untappd, as well as other brands such as Hopculture and Beeradvocate) to connect consumers, retailers and producers in the beverage industry. The company supports the global hospitality industry with data, subscriptions, and discounts on products. What Zoover or Tripadvisor are to hotels or restaurants, Untappd is to beer. The app has been downloaded more than 10 million times worldwide. The Netherlands is the app’s biggest user after the United States, with 257,000 users and 12.5 million check-ins. Untappd has around 700,000 beers in its database and a good Untappd score has become a quality mark for (craft) beer.
Next Glass enlisted the help of the NFIA in their search for a European branch. Tom Maneschijn, VP Europe, will manage the location in Twente: “The head office had the ambition to expand into Europe and conquer the international market. Choosing the Netherlands made sense because of its convenient location and the available talent, but also because our app has many users in the Netherlands.” The Dutch branch will also be responsible for rolling out other Next Glass products, in addition to Untappd.
Branch at Brouwerijstraat
Enschede was chosen as the location for the new branch, with support from Oost NL and the NFIA. Office space was found in the former Grolsch office at Brouwerijstraat (“Brewery Street”) in Enschede. Maneschijn: “This is, of course, a location with a beautiful history. Oost NL was able to support us by suggesting possible business locations, but also by supplying all kinds of information about taxes and work permits, for example. And we were introduced to the relevant food and IT ecosystems in the region.”
Ben van den Broek, project manager Tech at OostNL: “Ultimately, Next Glass is a software producer that, with Untappd, developed a very popular app. The company is, therefore, a perfect fit for Enschede, which is also the birthplace of brands like Booking.com and Thuisbezorgd. It is a great addition to the business community in the region: one we can toast to.”
Tim Buitenhuis, Assistant Director at NFIA: “Next Glass is an incredibly beautiful company that will significantly strengthen the Dutch ecosystem with its branch here. A gem of a project, in which the cooperation with Oost NL ensured the successful establishment of Next Glass.”