Substantially more investments, but Dutch investors lag behind and raising start-up capital remains a major challenge
AMSTERDAM, 2 February 2022 - For the third year in a row, a new record of venture capital investments for Dutch startups has been reached. Ever since 2018, these investments have exponentially grown. In 2021, there has been a total of 5.3 billion euro invested, around three times more than it was invested in 2020 (1.7 billion euro) and double of what was invested in 2019. It is expected that this growth will continue this year. However, it is worrying the presence of clearly skewed growth with lack of attention to smaller deals. This has been shown in the Quarterly Startup Report, a quarterly data analysis carried out by Dealroom.com, Dutch Startup Association (DSA), Golden Egg Check, KMPG, de Regionale Ontwikkelingsmaatschappijen (ROM’s), Nederlandse Vereniging van Participatiemaatschappijen (NVP), and Techleap.nl.
There has been a significant growth in the money invested in Dutch startups and scaleups during the past year: 5.3 billion euros were invested in 2021, compared to 1.7 billion in 2020. The number of deals has increased too, from almost 300 deals reached in 2020 to more than 400 in 2021. This increase in the money invested can be mostly explained by the presence of larger funding rounds. For instance, in 2020 there were only two rounds that raised more than 100 million euros, whilst 2021 witnessed no less than nine rounds. The largest of these rounds were obtained by Mollie and Messagebird (800 million euros each) and Picnic (600 million euros) in 2021. This growth trend is likely to continue in 2022, as there appears to be a lot of interest in Dutch startups and scaleups, especially from foreign investors. Venture capitalists (VC) have raised large funds - making more money available for new investments. It has also become attractive for corporations and other non-traditional investors to invest more, either directly or via funds, because of the current low interest rates. In addition to this, there are more companies that can qualify for very large rounds in terms of company size and growth.
The past year was characterized by a steep increase of foreign investments in Dutch startups, mainly by American investors. At the same time, there has been reported a decline of Dutch investors, in relation to their foreign competitors. The share of Dutch investors in the startup ecosystem decreased from a 62 percent in 2019 to a 21.7 percent in 2021, while the share of American investors has doubled since 2018. The effect of the decreasing share of Dutch investors creates and exacerbates lack of influence on growth and innovation within the Dutch market. Thus, the benefits of startups and scaleups are mainly seen overseas, where foreign investors receive favorable returns of investments.
Throughout all growth phases, there has been an overall increase of investments in 2021. The largest increase, however, has been in large, mature investment rounds. For instance, there were more than twice as many rounds worth 15 million euros or more in 2021 than in 2020. Nevertheless, this increase has not been perceived in smaller rounds. This is reflected in the figures below as venture capital funds have not increased their investments in this segment as much as they did in larger and more mature rounds. These investments are public information, yet it is not possible to rule out the possibility of an increase of 'invisible' small investment transactions - such as business angels. To ensure that the growth of new innovative companies is guaranteed, however, it must be further encouraged to fill in this gap. It is, therefore, important that a series of tax schemes, such as better employee compensation, are rolled out quickly. By rewarding employees with more, better, and easier-attained share options, a bigger percentage of ROIs will remain in The Netherlands, which in turn will lead to more investments and more startups in the country.
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Dutch Startup Association: Sabine de Witte firstname.lastname@example.org +31 (0) 624856754
Techleap.nl: Alice Jentink email@example.com +31 (0)651887210
To ensure that the structural view of Dutch startup investments is consistent, complete and transparent, Dealroom.co, Dutch Start Up Association (DSA), Golden Egg Check, KPMG, the Regional Development Companies (ROMs) and Techleap.nl have collected, synchronized and made available all data regarding investments and financing deals for Dutch startups. The full startup quarterly report, which includes key trends and data on all reported deals, is available here.
Dealroom.co is the foremost data provider on startups, growth companies and tech ecosystems in Europe and around the globe. Founded in Amsterdam in 2013, they work with many of the world's most prominent investors, entrepreneurs and government organizations to provide transparency, analysis and insights on venture capital activity.
Dutch Startup Association is the representative for startups and scaleups and is committed to the engine of the economy of tomorrow. DSA was founded in 2017 by a number of Dutch startup founders who independently tried to gain a foothold in the political lobby and decided to join forces. DSA now has a permanent place at the table with relevant ministries to ensure that innovation is not hindered in The Netherlands.
Golden Egg Check supports tech companies and brings them into contact with venture capital investors and corporate innovators in The Netherlands and worldwide. The team consists of startup and investment analysts. They collect and analyze data on startups and venture capital investments since 2017 and have one of the most extensive venture capital databases in The Netherlands.
KPMG The Netherlands provides high-quality audit, tax and advisory services. They work for a wide group of clients: large (inter)national companies, medium-sized companies, non-profit organizations, governments and startups. Their professionals excel in their own specialism, but at the same time work closely together to provide the added value that helps our clients to excel. Recently they launched KPMG Emerging Giants to support forward-thinking scaleups with their (international) growth.
The Netherlands has a total of eight ROMs. Their task is to invest in start-up and innovative SMEs and to attract new business. Every year, the Regionale Ontwikkelingsmaatschappijen (ROM) realizes thousands of new jobs and billions in investments in the regional economy. By innovating, investing and internationalizing, the ROMs are thus the regional drivers of innovation and competitiveness.
Techleap.nl is a non-profit organization, financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. Techleap.nl helps to quantify and accelerate the tech ecosystem of The Netherlands. Techleap.nl creates an optimal climate for technology companies to scale with programs and initiatives that improve access to capital, market and talent. Techleap.nl is led by Special Envoy, Constantijn van Oranje.