The startup investments in 2023 ended at a peak by writing down the best quarter of the year in both the number of deals and the total amount invested. Apart from 2021 and 2022, in which a lot was invested in startups, partly due to low interest rates, 2023 is the best year so far, even though it saw a significant decrease of 27% as compared to last year. There is a clear, structurally noticeable growth trend seen both in the number of deals over the years and the total volume of investments. This is evident from the ‘Quarterly Startup Report’, a quarterly data analysis of Dealroom.co, Golden Egg Check, KPMG, the Regional Development Companies, Dutch Association of Participation Companies (NVP), Dutch Startup Association (DSA) and Techleap.nl.
In addition to the structural growth in the number of deals, it is striking that, on average, they are smaller. Investments in the growth phase are still lagging behind. In total, at least 576 million euro was invested in the fourth quarter, compared to 604 million euro in Q4 2022, resulting in a decrease of 5%. Compared to the third quarter, this is a growth of 36% in terms of amount, based on 33% more deals. The number of deals is growing both compared to a year earlier (from 88 to 114) and compared to the third quarter (which was 86). Investments in the early phase, less than 1 million euro, have increased relatively, from 27% in all 2022 to 33% in Q4 2023. Large investments, of 15 million euro or more, have again decreased relatively, from 14% in whole 2022 to 10% in Q4 2023.
As happens more often, there are several biotech companies in the top 10, such as VectorY Therapeutics that raised 129 million euro at a Life Sciences Investors consortium, also the only deal of 2023 of more than 100 million euro. It is also worth mentioning that compared to previous quarters, more is being invested in Fintech companies. Silverflow, Solvimon, Levenue and Carbon Equity, among others, raised amounts of more than 5 million euro. Although much is expected from startups that focus on artificial intelligence, the investments in this are still relatively small and limited in number.
In the past year, a total of at least €1.9 billion euro was invested in Dutch startups and scale-ups. This was 2.6 billion euro in 2022; A decrease of approximately 27%. This is a less strong fall than worldwide, where analysts calculated a decrease of 35%. Not all deals are publicly known, so in reality, the number for 2023 is probably around 2.1 billion euro, compared to 2.9 billion euro in 2022. The year 2023 was therefore better than all years pre-corona. There were also more deals than in 2022; 417 instead of 393, an increase of 6%. The number of smaller deals, lower than 1 million euro, grew from 27% in 2022 to 33% in 2023. The number of large deals in more adult companies remained about the same. Public investments such as Invest-NL and the Regional Development Companies (ROMS) again formed a stable factor for investments in Dutch startups in the early phase.
In the past year, a number of large, new Venture Capital Funds have been set up, particularly in the life sciences, with Forbion Ventures Fund VI and Gilde Healthcare Venture & Growth VI, both with a size of around 750 million euro. In the rest of the market, depending on the specific sector, it was more challenging in 2023 to pick up new VC funds. We saw, for example, more commitment from Dutch pension funds such as Gilde Healthcare, Forbion and Innovation Industries, among others. For example, PME and PMT from the metal sector, together with a British pension fund, put around 110 million euro in the Gilde Healthcare Fund, and was involved in the 'first close' of 200 million euro of the new fund (with a 'target' of 475 million euro) from DeepTech investor Innovation Industries.
Many funds that were previously established also have room to invest. For example, Venture Capital Funds 2023 started with a record amount of "Dry Powder", which, given the lower investments in 2023, was not fully deployed. Finally, the interest of wealthy persons (High Net Worth Individuals, HNWIS) to invest in funds has increased, as can be seen in the increase of so-called "umbrella funds" that make it possible to invest in, among other things, venture capital. Combined with the expectation that the interest rate will not rise further, 2024 offers a good prospect to structurally grow the investments in startups and scaleups. In any case, the year is beginning on an upward trend, starting with the investment of 355 million euro in Picnic.
“We saw only a few big surprises in the last quarter. After a difficult period, the market has appeared to stabilize and we are seeing signs of growth. A positive development that one has not yet seen anywhere else in the world, "said Lucien Burm, president of the Dutch Startup Association. “We are therefore optimistic as we dive into 2024. The interest rates seem to have reached their highest point and there may be more ‘limited partners’ in venture capital funds. We expect Dutch startups to reap the benefits. "
"In the Netherlands, we see that private investor venture capitalists were less active in 2023, but this was partly compensated by the activities of InvestNL," said Maaren Cleeren, managing director of Techleap. “InvestNL is therefore increasingly emerging as the backbone of Dutch start-up investments in DeepTech. Other local investments such as those from regional development companies have also remained relatively consistent. If investments follow from venture capitalists, then the coming year will look promising for Dutch startups. ”
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About Quarterly Startup Report - to ensure that the structural view of Dutch startup investments is consistent, complete and transparent, dealroom.co, the Dutch Startup Association (DSA), Golden Egg Check, KPMG, NVP, the Regional Development companies (ROMs) and Techleap.nl has collected all investment data, synchronized it, and made it available in an insightful quarterly report. The full startup quarterly report, which contains the most important trends and data on all reported deals, is available here.
About the Dealroom.co - 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.
About Dutch Startup Association - Dutch Startup Association is the representative for startups and scaleups in the Netherlands and is committed to startups as the engine of tomorrow's economy. "DSA was founded in 2017 by a group of Dutch startup founders who sought to join forces to be the voice for the needs and concerns of startups in the Dutch ecosystem through gaining a foothold in the political lobby". In the meantime, DSA has a permanent place at the table with relevant ministries to ensure that innovation is not hindered in the Netherlands.
About Golden Egg Check - Golden Egg Check supports tech companies and brings them into contact with Venture Capital Investors and Corporate Innovators in the Netherlands and worldwide. Golden Egg Check has been collecting and analyzing data about startups and venture Capital investments since 2017 and has one of the most extensive Venture Capital databases in the Netherlands.
About NVP - NVP is the Dutch Private Equity & Venture Capital Association. The NVP was founded in 1984 and represents 90% of the assets managed by participation companies in the Netherlands. The NVP is a partner in the European Data Cooperative (EDC), a project of the NVP and European sister associations. From the EDC, the NVP publishes on a half -year basis how much has been invested in the Dutch market by private equity and venture capital. This figure differs from the total amount that Start and ScaleUps collect in capital.The NVP publishes its figures for the whole of 2023 by the end of April
About KPMG Nederland - Since 1917, KPMG has been offering high quality services in the field of accountancy and business strategic advice. We support organizations in making thorough decisions and in excelling in the world of today and tomorrow. KPMG does this from the concept that progress only pays off if that is good for people and society. "People-Driven Progress' is our view of progress and the way in which we add value for customers with our services. At KPMG in the Netherlands, there are 3600 professionals working from twelve offices. Our head office is located in Amstelveen. KPMG Nederland is part of an international network of independent KPMG offices that is led from Canada
About the regional development companies - the Netherlands has a total of eight ROMs. They have the task of investing in starting and innovative SMEs and to attract new business. Every year the regional development companies (ROM) help create thousands of new jobs and billions in investments in the regional economy. By innovating, investing and internationalizing, the ROMs are therefore the regional drivers of innovation and competitiveness.
About techleap.nl - Techleap.nl is a not-for-profit organization, financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. Techleap.nl helps 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. Constantijn van Oranje is the Special Envoy from Techleap.nl