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Syrian-Led Tech Startup Tykn Receives €1.2 million From Dutch IT Entrepreneur

The Hague-based startup is developing a digital identity management platform.

Based in The Hague, tech startup Tykn just received an investment of €1.2 million from Dutch IT entrepreneur Johan Mastenbroek. By using smart technology and blockchain the startup is developing a digital identity management platform, which allows public and private institutions to issue and verify digital identity credentials. It is an innovative way to share and request personal data proofs, which protects identities against getting lost. 

“With Johan Mastenbroek as investor we do not just gain a financial partner, but also an experienced one. He has essential knowledge about blockchain and digital identity cases, which helps us to further develop our platform”, said Tey Al-Rjula, CEO of Tykn. “This collaboration is an important step in getting closer to the world as we envision it: a world where identities are portable, private and secure, so that no one has to lose access to their identity ever again.”

Allegedly, Tykn is a solution for the 1.2 billion people worldwide who have never had an identifying document or whose proof of existence got lost because of inefficient identity registration, wars or disasters. “My birth certificate got lost during the Gulf war in Kuwait. I lived as an ‘invisible’ man in the Netherlands when my work contract expired and I ended up in an asylum centre," says Tey Al-Rujla. "There I met many Syrian refugees who had also lost their identity and faced the same problems as I did. As without an identity you do not have access to many basic needs and therefore not to your human rights.” This personal experience gave Al-Rjula the inspiration to found Tykn, together with social entrepreneurs Khalid Maliki and Jimmy J.P. Snoek.

"[The team behind Tykn] work together with international organisations, with whom they can provide a solution to a global problem and create a future of opportunities instead of a future of problems,” says IT entrepreneur Mastenbroek. 

Mastenbroek, who mainly invest in IT and Innovation companies with over €3 million revenue and a niche market focus, strongly believes in the principles and ideas of Tykn. "I focus on management buy-outs and growth investments," he says. "My mission is to lift these innovative enterprises to the next level market position, business model and size. As such, Tykn fits well with the other companies I invest in, such as Ledger Leopard, Loek! and Finturi.”

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