26 – 100 in alphabetical order by company: Ilonka Jankovich and Paul Jacquin, managing partners, Randstad Innovation Fund; founding partners, Taptrove Ventures
Ilonka Jankovich and Paul Jacquin have been co-managing the Randstad Innovation Fund (RIF), the corporate venturing arm of the Netherlands-based staffing firm Randstad, since its inception in 2014.
In September 2020, Jacquin and Jankovich, along with RIF investment manager Florian Chilla co-founded a venture capital firm dubbed Taptrove Ventures. RIF’s last publicly revealed investment was a follow-on deal of undisclosed size for online meeting software developer Brazen Technologies in October 2019.
Jankovich, Jacquin and Chilla continue to manage the RIF portfolio and Randstad agreed at the time to take a limited partner position at the newly formed firm. In November 2020, Taptorve hired an analyst, Ata Şenkon, who focuses on researching worktech spaces and startups.
Taptrove’s target area is slightly wider than that of RIF and extends to developers of big data technology that can inform all areas surrounding the workplace.
Jankovich told Global Corporate Venturing: “Taptrove Ventures backs data-driven startups that revolutionise the workplace. The focus will be on worktech startups providing solutions to boost productivity, enable a distributed workforce and improve professional journeys.
“The investment thesis is broader than the RIF and will include subsegment of edtech, fintech and healthtech which are work-related.”
With a background in corporate law, Jankovich founded two recruitment firms that she subsequently sold to Monster in 2001, and to Randstad in 2012. Following the acquisition by Randstad, discussions led to a partnership that would see Jankovich found and manage a corporate venturing arm funded by Randstad.
Jacquin, who was head of business corporate development for Randstad at the time, had several years of experience in technology mergers and acquisitions and venture capital. He had closed many deals across several continents and was tightly involved in Randstad corporate development. He was chosen as partner to co-fund and co-manage the RIF.
Since RIF’s launch and with €50m in earmarked capital, the fund has made investments across six countries in the US and Europe, primarily in talent acquisition and workforce management startups.
When Jacquin nominated Jankovich for GCV’s Rising Stars award in 2018, he said: “I think Ilonka’s role as partner and board member in several companies has only increased and built on past experience; she has done incredibly well in terms of her learning path and her mastering of the investment dynamics.
“Being a strategic investor is very different from being an entrepreneur, and while I have a long tenure and experience on the investment side, Ilonka is also bringing perspective from the other side.”
Aside from her activity at Randstad, Jankovich also has a hand in private equity through her non-executive board member role at Delft-based cloud software business Exact, acquired by Apax Partners in 2015. “Switching from one world to the other is fantastic,” she said. “It is a very different level, but with very similar topics, which makes it very instructive; I can bring a lot, and learn a lot too.”