With its official launch in July of 2007, Respectance is the world's first social media approach to sharing memories. Respectance was founded by Richard Derks and Todd Wilkinson.
The company is the first to use emo-social media, the combination of rich media combined with relevant content, to provide an outlet for emotional expression. With emo-social media, Respectance has created a dedicated venue for sharing emotions and memories online, unlike all-purpose social networking that are not the most appropriate for personalized tributes.
Production of the web site began in the summer of 2006 and the company received a Series-A round of funding in the summer of 2007, led Solid Ventures and Big Bang Ventures and Tige Warber. The funding, gathered in the "pre-user"stage of the company, was used to continue development, drive user adoption, and expand the company's international presence through additional partnerships, including media companies, advertisers, e-commerce partners and other distributors
Richard Derks, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer
In 2000 Richard was Marketing Manager for a new start-up called KaZaA. Based in Amsterdam, KaZaA went on to become the world's most downloaded software.
Prior to KaZaA, Richard had gained valuable B2B marketing experience leading the rollout of Dutch broadband services for the Finnish telco, Sonera and more than tripling the growth of Vergeer Kaas product exports to Benelux nations and France.
Richard also served in marketing management for Ernst & Young Netherlands, where he launched EY online. Richard is now chief marketing officer at Respectance where he oversees all strategy, marketing and sales for the company.
Richard holds a degree from Lyceum Dominicus College Nijmegen, in the Netherlands, a degree in international marketing at the Amsterdam Business School and is a level 3 multimedia engineer from the College of Multimedia in Amsterdam.
Hans Koning, investor and Chief Executive Officer
Hans is a long-time friend of Richard, and they have worked together on various projects prior to Respectance. Initially as an informal, Hans became more and more involved in Respectance and also developed the business in Australia, where he managed the partnership with Fairfax Media.
Originally started a career in healthcare Hans later worked for AT&T's Bell Laboratories in Holmdel NJ. He has a successful international career as entrepreneur and investor, and has lived and worked in many countries over three continents. Apart from the CEO position, Hans is also responsible for business development and (commercial) partnerships.
Hans holds a doctorate degree in Communication Science from the University of Amsterdam (majored in both Information Studies and Policy Studies). He also attended Nyenrode Business University's Corporate Gouvernance course.
Todd and his team are no longer, financially or otherwise, involved in Respectance, and Todd was replaced as CEO by Hans Koning in 2010.
Remember & Celebrate
Create the perfect online tribute
- Quick and easy setup
- Customize with backgrounds, colors, banners and music
- Share memories and condolences
- Monitor all visitor activity
- Select full privacy controls
With a Respectance memorial website, it's easy to remember and celebrate the lives of loved ones.