Venture Capital Deals in the Netherlands, 2019

Filip Cuypers
Dec 19, 2019 · 5 min read

Venture capital funding in the Netherlands reached new heights in 2019 as Dutch tech startups and scale-ups raised over €1.2 billion across 200 rounds.

As 2019 draws to a close, let’s take a look at the VC funding data for this year. In this first instalment, we’ll highlight the key findings in terms of invested capital, deal volume, investment stage and geography.

VC investment rounds in Dutch tech companies in 2019, ranked from low to high. Total euro volume is €1.2 billion.

A quick look at the graph above shows that the new record high of €1.2 billion was driven by a couple of outliers. Indeed, two later-stage rounds jump out: Picnic (€250M Series C) and GitLab ($268M Series E). Combined they account for 40% of the capital raised this year. The 20 biggest deals of 2019 make up 75% of the total euro volume. The median round size is €1.3M.

The invested capital was provided by Dutch and international VC funds, angel investors and corporates. One in four investment rounds saw the participation of at least one international investor.

100+ Seed rounds

Over half of the investments happened at the seed stage. This stage is defined rather broad and also includes angel investments. The dataset only includes rounds above €100K.

Deal volume per investment stage. Category ‘Other’ includes deals with undisclosed stages and equity crowdfunding.

The following graph breaks the data down by euro volume. Series A investments totaled €300M this year — with a median round size of €3M. The median for seed rounds came in at €600K.

Euro volume per investment stage. Category ‘Other’ includes deals with undisclosed stages and equity crowdfunding.

A strong year for Enterprise Software and FinTech

Usual suspects Enterprise Software and FinTech experienced another strong year in terms of deal volume. Dutch FinTech companies raised the most money (if we filter out the two biggest rounds of 2019). The analysis of sectors and industries is a rather lengthy endeavour and will therefore be the focus of a follow-up article. For now, here are the key takeaways:

  • Top 3 by deal volume: 1) Enterprise Software, 2) CleanTech, 3) FinTech
  • Top 3 by euro volume: 1) E-commerce, 2) DevOps, 3) FinTech
  • Top 3 by euro volume (excluding the two outliers): 1) FinTech, 2) TravelTech, 3) PropTech
Photo by Adrien Olichon on Unsplash

Amsterdam on top again

No surprises as to which city comes out ahead of the pack. Half of the total invested capital this year flowed to the silicon canals of Amsterdam as tech companies based in the Dutch capital raised just over €600M across 70+ deals. Indeed, the Series C rounds of Picnic (€250M) and Tiqets ($60M) account for half of this.

In terms of deal volume, Rotterdam takes second place. Eindhoven, Utrecht and Delft complete the top five. However, it’s worth noting that Rotterdam only ranks seventh in terms of euro volume.

Bring on 2020

2019 was a record year for venture capital in the Netherlands. The €1.2 billion figure includes two €200M+ outliers so 2020 will need some big rounds to match this year’s total. A large number of seed-stage deals might mean we’ll at least see a lot of Series A activity in the year(s) to come.

The collected dataset offers opportunities for further analyses that can provide insights in investment trends across sectors and stages. More articles on this topic will be published in the new year.

Methodology

A few notes on how this report was compiled.

Companies: The scope of this research is technology startups and scale-ups headquartered in the Netherlands. Tech companies which were founded in the Netherlands but have since relocated their HQ abroad are also included.

Data sources: The information on which this report is based is derived from primary sources, i.e. documents provided by companies and investors, including press releases. Secondary sources include news reports and data reported by industry research firms. Investment rounds announced in U.S. dollar have been converted to euro using the exchange rate applicable on the date of announcement.

Assumptions: For a number of deals the euro amount or round stage was not disclosed. Assumptions were made in case reliable data points were available, i.e. similar deals by the investor or earlier rounds raised by the company. Assumptions on deal sizes were made in less than 10% of tracked rounds. Another 10% were marked “undisclosed”. For round stages these numbers are less than 1% and 5%, respectively.

Filters: Over 100 tracked deals were eventually excluded from the report because of one (or more) of the following parameters:

  • Announcement date: Certain deals made public in January were actually closed late 2018 and have therefore been omitted from the dataset.
  • Sector/industry: BioTech deals are not included in the report (e.g. AM Pharma’s €116M round). Neither are deals from non-tech sectors (e.g. real estate).
  • Round size: Deals under €100K are not included.
  • Financing stage: Reported deals are investments in equity or through convertible notes. Some deals however do include debt (e.g. 20% of Picnic’s 250M Series C round). The following types of financing are not included in the report: (i) debt/loans reported as investment rounds, (ii) private equity deals (buyouts, majority stakes), (iii) secondaries (e.g. WeTransfer’s €35M Series B), (iv) other categories such as awards, bonds, grants, ICOs, IPOs, subsidies.

Disclaimer: Data on private companies and their investment rounds is hard to find as many companies and investors often choose not to disclose the information immediately. We do expect more information to surface in the coming months, especially at the seed stage.

Filip Cuypers

Written by

Associate at Volta Ventures — Seed and early-stage venture capital for Internet and software companies in the Benelux

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