Aarhus-born FinTech receives Hero-award
At the Startup Aarhus Townhall event, Aarhus-born Clearhaus secured the Ecosystem Hero Award for giving back to the local startup community. This is, among other things, because of their FinTech hub in the north of Aarhus. We took a trip to the hub called PoP2 – a clever abbreviation of the address – to experience the atmosphere and of cause to chat with co-founder and CEO, Claus Christensen.
The journey of Clearhaus
Arriving at P. O. Pedersens Vej 2, you’re instantly met with the sight of a 1970’s redbrick building with windows outlined by dark green frames. It is the address of the hub, PoP2, and where Clearhaus – among other FinTech companies – are located.
PoP2 has now become a bubbling FinTech community housing startups like Vibrant and AnyDay. And it has secured Clearhaus – who bought the premise October 2021 – an award of appreciation from the Aarhus startup ecosystem.
Claus Christensen, who has a background working for Nets, co-founded Clearhaus in 2011. They spent the first few years on fundraising, and then launched in March 2015.
“When we hit August 2015, we had reached the first 1000 customers,” says Claus Christensen and explains that at that point, there were about 25,000 Danish webshops. “So you see, it had gone pretty well after a couple of months,” Claus Christensen says smiling as he takes us on a tour around the building, which they have begun further renovating.
Towards the end of 2015, Clearhaus had around 10 pct. of the Danish market, measured by the number of customers. Now they are operating in +30 European countries serving more than 32.000 customers.
“We get 50-100 new online stores everyday,” Claus Christensen states. “And that's just the Danish market. We’ve also gotten more market share in other countries, especially after we were bought by Unzer,” Claus Christensen says.
In January 2021, German-based Unzer acquired Clearhaus alongside Quickpay, who they had long been collaborating with. The change of ownership therefore also meant that Clearhaus and Quickpay would be tied even closer together. Their two solutions are now fully integrated.
P. O. Pedersens Vej 2
Continuing the tour, we turn a corner to a long corridor lit with new skylight windows and with startups located on each side. At the moment, a select few startups are flourishing in the hub. But Claus Christensen explains, that they are planning on further renovating and expanding the building in order to house even more.
”I have the feeling that many partnerships are thriving quite well here. As you can see, all the doors are open. You can just walk in,” Claus Christensen explains, that many startups take advantage of sparring with each other. A benefit of gathering people like they have done.
“That’s what happens when you create a location like this with all sorts of exciting people. Some magic tends to happen,” Claus Christensen notes.
Walking around the newly refurbished building, which once was used by the municipal for data storage, you’re greeted by the entrepreneurial energy working inside the offices. Claus Christensen explains, that they find it important to put an effort in making it an enjoyable space.
That’s why you find a neatly decorated canteen area with wood furniture, floor to ceiling windows, and even a piano in the corner. In the basement, you find a room just for ping pong-games, where each wall is decorated with ping pong bats signed by the startups.
Appreciation from the ecosystem
The FinTech hub has gathered a lot of applause in the startup ecosystem in Aarhus, which is why they were awarded at the recent Startup Aarhus Townhall.
The Ecosystem Hero award was given to Clearhaus for their engagement in the startup ecosystem by creating the hub, where they have brought together growing FinTech startups.In addition to that, Clearhaus invests in many promising FinTechs and thus supports the next generation of entrepreneurs from Aarhus.
"We are super honoured to receive an award, because we have only done what we have always done,” Claus Christensen expresses and proceeds to say:
“For us, it's really just about picking up the phone when partners call and making sure to make some good agreements. That is the model.”
When some of those partnerships work out very well that is when they also invest in them, as it was the case with Vibrant and AnyDay.
When asked what the future will look like, Claus Christensen told that they plan on keep expanding in Europe and establishing more partnerships. And regarding the PoP2, Claus Christensen explains that they are happy to see the place bubbling.
“We can see, that what is happening right now has a pretty positive effect. I still think we have yet to see the grand acceleration. But I believe it’s coming.” Claus Christensen concludes, as we end the tour back at the well-visited coffee station.