Startup & Scale-up Funding Analysis: Dutch tech companies raise €750 million in 2018

Hi there, we’re Golden Egg Check and we’re startup analysts. 
We help startups to become investor ready and we help investors and corporates to get in touch with relevant scale-ups.

You read it right: Dutch tech startups and scale-ups raised close to €750 million in 2018. That's a new record (and much more than others found).

But to be honest, we find this 'nice-to-know' information.

As startup analysts, we are more interested in the underlying patterns like:

  • What are average seed, Series A, Series B etc. funding rounds? Are they going up or down?
  • How much capital was invested per category? What were the hottest topics in 2018?
  • Is the distribution of deal sizes different from 2017?
  • What are the best funded startup hubs?
  • How much capital was raised per employee?
  • What are most active venture capital investors?

High-quality data was our starting point

Having high-quality data is the first and probably most important step. Crap in = crap out, and crap was not what we were looking for (unless a startup converts it to biofuel for example). Honestly, it took us quite some effort to collect, curate, categorize, and enrich the data. Far more than we expected.

We curated the data manually. We categorized every company and noted over 15 datapoints per deal. We enriched our dataset with other relevant data. It was a hell of a job.

But I guess now we can say that we have the most comprehensive set of funding data in the Netherlands :)

This allowed us to do some in-depth analyses about the state of the Dutch funding landscape.


Our complete dataset can be ordered for your own analysis.

Interested in our complete dataset for your own analysis (to find relevant investors, to scout startups, to analyze the performance of your hub)?

Order it here.


Data analysis; what did we include?

In short, these are the type of deals we wanted to include in our dataset:

  • Dutch tech startups & scale-ups (indeed a vague definition, but not too old, use of technology and ambition to scale/ grow fast);
  • Only equity and convertible deals, so no loans, bonds, ICO’s or debt/ reward crowdfunding;
  • Dutch HQ or strong Dutch connection (e.g. founded in the Netherlands and now HQ abroad but still many employees in Dutch office);
  • If the funding amount is presented in foreign currencies (usually USD) we used historic exchange rates to calculate the EUR amount;
  • Our definition of ‘Series A’ is that it is the first round with institutional investors (venture capital fund). Series B is then the second institutional round etc (so Regional Development Agencies, equity crowdfunding and angels are regarded as ‘Seed’ in our analysis);
  • If the investment amount was not disclosed, we made educated guesses based on the ‘sweet spot’ and track record of the involved investor(s) as well as the stage/ status of the company (e.g. age, number of employees, etc.).

How much capital was invested in 2018? And how is that compared to 2017?

2018 was a new record year for Dutch startups and scale-ups: almost €750 million was invested in 255 deals.

We found almost twice as much deals as in 2017 (see link below). The total funding amount went up with ‘only’ 12% though; from €662 million to €744 million.

This indicates that on average round sizes decreased. More precisely; the average and median round sizes decreased for Series A (-35% resp. -20%), Series B (-55% resp. -43%), and Series C (-58% resp. -59%). Only Seed rounds went up on average from €731k to €925k.

This is something we found very interesting and unexpected. We thought round sizes would have gone up because there is more capital (and more competition) available in the market and fund sizes have gone up in the past years.

How deals are distributed

Most deals are small deals. Deal sizes between €250–500k, which are also the hardest to scout, were most frequent. Compared to 2017, we saw more deals below €5 million. Furthermore, we noticed more investments of €20 to 30 million in size (incl. dott, Xenikos and Framer) and less €40+ million deals (in fact, only one):

Bitfury, an Amsterdam-based blockchain company, raised the largest round: $80 million (€70.1 million). In 2017, the largest round was much larger: Picnic raised €100 million.

For every deal we wrote down the date of the funding announcement. June was the top month with 31 deals. November was the peak in terms of invested capital: more than €150 million. This was the month in which Bitfury announced its round and both Framer and Tiqets announced their €20+ million funding rounds at the same day.

The figure below also indicates that — unsurprisingly — January and August are the slowest months.

How much was invested per category?

We categorized every deal in 7 main categories (and in multiple sub-categories) and in the type of deal (Seed, Series A, etc.). The result is presented in the figure below.

Overall, funding sizes are quite similar across categories. Medtech (biotechnology, medical devices, pharma, etc.) and Impact (sustainability, social impact, recycling, etc.) have slightly different patterns though, with larger A rounds on average. Please note that the number of Series C deals is small, so strong conclusions cannot be drawn on that end.

Hightech companies raise the highest seed rounds; €1.8 million. For example, SMART Photonics collected €6 million mainly from informal investors, and Lightyear raised as much as €5 million from more than 60 angels, which we found very impressive.

Conclusions

2018 was another record year for Dutch startups and scale-ups. Together, they raised almost €750 million in 255 deals.

On average round sizes were smaller than in 2017. Only the Seed round went up, all institutional rounds decreased in size. There was only one investment above €40 million in 2018. At the same time we see more investors and more capital ready to invest in Dutch companies. Most rounds were small, say below €5 million, but these companies will grow and will probably raise another, bigger, round next year or the year after. We are therefore curious to see what will happen in 2019 and onwards.

Although we focus in the report on startups and scale-ups that raised funding, we want to mention that we in fact have much respect for bootstrapped companies (as well). We wish all companies, with or without funding, a lot of success in 2019!

If you liked this analysis then please ‘clap’ so others can find it too. Thank you! ❤


Final remarks

We tried very hard to make this dataset the best possible set of funding deals of Dutch startups and scale-ups over the past year. Probably we still missed some deals or made interpretations that others would make differently. For that reason, we encourage you to challenge our decisions and make your own analyses as well.

For our data collection and analysis, I had the benefit of the help of Kira Hölscher, Yaïr Sharon and Albert-Jan de Croes. Thank you all!


Our complete dataset can be ordered for your own analysis.

Interested in our complete dataset for your own analysis (to find relevant investors, to scout startups, to analyze the performance of your hub)?

Order it here >.

It’ll really help us to do more analyses like this in the future! Thanks! 🙏


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The dataset (at least, a part of it)

Follow the link below to get an overview of the 255 deals we found. As mentioned, our dataset contains much more datapoints per deal. Order it here.

If your (portfolio) company is not in this list, please send us a message and keep us updated with future investment rounds!