Janneke is Sugar’s Head of Business Development and recently joined the team. She loves games, Harry Potter, the outdoors and her two dogs. Learn a bit more about why she joined and what makes her tick.
Hi Janneke, can you tell the Sugar readers a bit about your background?
I am originally from the Netherlands, after my bachelors in Media and Entertainment I wanted to study abroad so I went to France for my masters. I stumbled into mobile gaming when I lived in Paris and have loved working in the industry ever since. I moved to London when I received a job offer for BlueStacks where I had the pleasure of working with mobile gaming companies of all sorts and sizes and learned a lot about start-ups.
Are you a gamer at heart and what was the last game you played?
I love the gaming industry and find the mechanics of it all fascinating. I definitely enjoy playing games but mainly casual games. I play for short bursts to take my mind off things and reset, just seriously good fun, however, I do not spend hours of my free time gaming – I prefer books and love to be outside. The last game I played was our game of the week called Battletabs, a multi player chrome extension game, really fun!
What did you want to do when you were younger??
When I was very young I wanted to be a dolphin trainer but after the age of 8 I figured that was probably not on the cards. I quickly realized that I liked to work in a commercial and creative media setting, putting yourself into the consumers or clients shoes was something I found very interesting, so the gaming industry worked out pretty well.
What do you love so much about the world of finance and games?
I am new to finance, but have been in gaming for quite a while. My favourite thing by far about the gaming industry are the people in it. People tend to be very friendly and helpful and are super passionate about what they do. It is great to be in an industry that is constantly reinventing and improving itself, the landscape is constantly changing, so the products, strategies and chats are never dull. For the finance side of things I have high hopes, I think unlike gaming that finance can be a bit more old school and slow. FinTech is a breath of fresh air and plays into things people really need. I think Fintech companies can make a huge difference to people’s lives and to companies alike and are really shaking things up, it is great to be a part of this now.
Do you feel like the concept of finance is well understood in the games world and why?
I think finance can be a bit daunting for people because the finance solution you pick will have a huge influence on your business. At the same time traditional finance providers just don’t understand the game industry. It is not a ‘one size’ fits all, different finance solutions can benefit companies at different stages of their company life cycle, so it is a continuous journey and it can take a lot of time and effort to find the right one for your business.
Where do you hope Sugar will be in 5 years’ time?
I’d love us to be the go-to stop for quick and flexible financing. So if a studio sees amazing results from their game, but does not have the cash to take advantage of this opportunity then they can use Sugar and we can get them funded almost instantly.
What’s your work ethos and routine like?
I really do believe in ‘Work smart’, whatever you have to do to get the best results, just do that. For some people that means working at 2am, working from an office/cafe/home, working with mini breaks or buckling down for hours – each to their own. I am more of a morning person, so I get a lot of work done first thing. I try to be as productive as possible, as I hate wasting time, so as soon as my head gets full and cloudy I take my dogs for a walk, it helps me clear my head and start fresh.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I spend so much time behind a laptop while working that I love to be outside in my free time, walking or hiking with my dogs. I also love books, but I am a bit of a multi tasker, so I am a big fan of audio books, so that I can listen while doing other things, I tend to go through several books a month.
How do you keep healthy?
I try to move a decent amount, obviously I walk my dogs and I also try to workout every day, which in reality leads to 5-ish times a week. It helps me clear my mind after work and especially during lockdown it has become part of my routine, lets see if I can keep it up when things go ‘back to normal’.
Do you cook and what’s your favourite thing to eat?
Yes! I cook almost every day and really enjoy it. I mainly cook vegetarian and only eat meat when we order or go out for dinner. I love so many kinds of food, my favourite types of food are Italian and Israeli cuisine and I am very partial to baked goods… scones, almond croissants, biscuits, especially with a nice cup of coffee.
If you could go on holiday now (dare to dream!) – where would you go?
I have been dreaming about holidays for a year now and have at least 5 lined up in my mind. A dare to dream holiday would be to go to New Zealand and Australia for several weeks, hiking, exploring nature and visiting the cities. I would bring all the bug repellent in the world and hope not to be eaten by giant spiders.
We hope you enjoyed hearing a little a bit more about Janneke, Sugar’s ethos and why she is so excited about the future. Keep an eye out for more blog posts following Janneke’s journey with Sugar!