Spotlight: Appeal - Justice for all

Rinkel collega Jeroen
Jeroen van Vierzen
update: 24 September 2020

Every week, we talk to our clients about everything that motivates them to do business. In this article, Startup Appeal talks more about their passion: claiming wrongfully paid agency fees. Who knows, you might even earn something from it! ;-)


Getting to know

Legal Tech startup Appeal started by Frank and Wigger (both 25 years old). Early this year, they capitalised on a lost case by Airbnb and now assist more than 20,000 duped consumers. High time for Rinkel to get acquainted!

The start of Appeal
It all started during Wolter Kluwers' Global Legal Hackathon. In a few days, the guys developed a proof of concept that allowed consumers to claim unjustly paid brokerage fees. "A very nice product, of which we were of course very proud!" Unfortunately, the hackathon profits did not go to Appeal, but the men did get in touch with Arag that day.

"Arag saw a lot of common ground with our product and what they do themselves (offering solutions to legal problems ed.). We were invited by the Arag Legal Tech Factory, an incubator of Arag itself. Since then, the ball started rolling and Appeal was born."

Unjustified service fees at Airbnb
"Anyone who rents a holiday home through Airbnb does not have to pay a mediation fee for it." This was the judge's ruling early this year. It opened the way for Appeal to make a case out of this. We updated our site the same day so that consumers could also file a claim against Airbnb.

Now we have already received more than 20,000 submissions!"


20,000 submissions... 
what's the secret?

Persoon zoekt iets op op haar MacBook

"We have known each other since high school. I studied law myself and my partner Wigger Boelens studied Software Science. In addition, I myself am technically inclined. Most lawyers are digitally savvy, so this gives us quite an advantage. In addition, we speak the same language, i.e. if we want something from each other, we only need half a word to understand each other. That works very nicely!"

Can't a consumer do this themselves?
"Many consumers are not aware of their right and if they are, obtaining this right costs a lot of money. The cost of starting legal proceedings often outweighs the gains. Therefore, our mission is to give everyone, regardless of the amount of your income, access to justice! Specifically, we make everything as accessible as possible for consumers to start a case. For instance, we have artificial scanning software, so clients do not have to type in any data and it is automatically read and filled in. In addition, we work on a no cure no pay basis. So you only pay us in case we win!"

What are you most proud of?
"We ourselves are very proud of the fact that we work Lean; We make a product, we put it live and then we start improving it. The same day the article was published that Airbnb had lost the case, we had our site live and scaled up so that people could sign up immediately. We achieved this within a day. Now of course we already had a head start, because we already had a site that was largely similar, but also because we work Lean and collaborate well, we have a head start in the automation of sign-ups."

Why did you need a fixed number in the first place?
"We initially chose a fixed number to support our Google Ads campaigns. As things got busier at Appeal, we actually started actively using the line. Appeal is a Lean Startup, which means we constantly want to improve our business processes and our products. To do this, we need customer feedback. From then on, we started actively using our landline number, mainly so that we could use the feedback we acquired to improve our service. It looks a lot more professional than an 06 number."