Last week, we wrote that Dutch tech startups and scale-ups raised over €1.4 billion in 2019 in part 1 of our funding analysis:
Investments in Dutch startups almost doubled in 2019. How come?
We’ll dive into the venture capital investments in Dutch companies and analyse why companies raised almost twice as…
In this second part, we’ll look at what’s hot in the Netherlands; what are the popular cities and themes?
Amsterdam is (again) the capital of venture capital
More than one third (37%) of all investments were in Amsterdam companies. Together they raised close to €700 million in growth capital. This is the same amount as all other cities combined. Amsterdam-based scale-ups also accounted for the largest chunk of Series B — and later — rounds.
Other cities that were on fire last year are Bunnik (€118M, largely thanks to AM-Pharma), Leiden (€85M, +154%) and Rotterdam (€78M, +289%).
‘s-Hertogenbosch has been the rising star of 2019; 8 companies raised in total €65M there, an increase of 300% in both number of deals and funding amount. We do have to say that this includes the odd Floryn deal of €60M. The increase in investments is also due to Bossche Investeringsfonds (accounted for 3 deals), a new local fund.
Utrecht and The Hague also had a steady growth; they saw 33% more deals than in 2018. In Utrecht, the total funding amount increased with 180% to €47M. The funding increase in The Hague was even larger: 373% to well over €57M.
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Popular topics: same old and new trends
We spent quite some time categorising each company, by adding two or more market and technology tags to it, because we believe this is worth the effort. This also helps us to further analyse or scout for certain topics (e.g. all AI companies that raised €1M+).
So what categories were most popular in 2019?
In terms of number of deals, Online Platforms, Software, Artificial Intelligence and Sustainability were the hottest topics (see left table).
On average, Retail, Life Sciences, Electric Vehicles and E-Commerce were the topics with largest average rounds (see right table, only included if ≥ 5 deals). Obviously, Picnic had a large impact on the funding amounts in Retail, Electric Vehicles and E-Commerce. What you also see (and what doesn't come as a surprise) is that companies in capital intensive categories (Drug Development, Biotechnology, Pharma and Therapeutics) raised a lot of funding —both in absolute and average sense.
Some topics, like Online Platforms, Software/ SaaS, E-Commerce Fintech and Biotechnology were hot in 2019, but are in fact hot always. Themes that were specifically popular in the past years that we think give an interesting peak in the future are:
- Sustainability & Impact — e.g. meat substitutes (Meatable, Protifarm and Boon) and circular economy
- Electric Vehicles & (Urban) Mobility — e.g. Hardt Hyperloop, Scoozy, dott, Etergo, Snappcar
- Sophisticated Software (Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain etc.) — e.g. Finturi, Dutch Analytics, PTTRNS.ai
- Robotics — e.g. Smart Robotics, Accerion, SenseGlove
For 2020, we expect these themes to be popular again among venture capital investors. Firstly, because these are global trends and fast-growing markets. Secondly, we think Dutch companies (and the research institutes where they originate) have leading positions and competitive edges in these spaces. The combination of cutting edge technology with scalable business models in fast-growing markets will make investors beg for more Dutch startups and scale-ups.
What do you expect? Let us know!
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We probably missed deals and made categorisation decisions that other would have made differently, but we think this wouldn't impact our overall conclusions that much. Of course, feel free to add your analysis or drop comments below.
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