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Dutch Startup Ecosystem Review: flying start of 2021

Highlights of the Dutch ecosystem start of 2021

September 29, 2020
Melike Mavral
June 1, 2021

A flying start of 2021, what happened?

The Dutch startup ecosystem has been showing great growth figures over the past years. Despite the global pandemic, we have seen the tech industry being resilient to disruptions. According to The State of European Tech 2020, even though the Netherlands did not grow as fast in terms of capital invested ($M) compared to other tech hubs, 2020 had the highest investment level for the Netherlands ever. Next to that the growing startups also show to be the number one job growth engine, creating jobs faster than any other individual sector (Dealroom report).

Startup Ecosystem Highlights for the start of 2021

The first quarter of 2021 marks a milestone for the Dutch Startup Ecosystem. 

Dutch startups raised a total of €713M from angels and VCs, setting a new record for the ecosystem. This is almost 90% more than Q4 of 2020 (KPMG).

The Amsterdam startup ecosystem hit €100B combined enterprise value and this makes it the 3rd most valuable startup hub in Europe (Dealroom Report).

Amsterdam ranks 4th according to the number of unicorns in Europe and Amsterdam has 13 companies who earned the unicorn status with $1B+ in valuation.

Companies in the spotlight

Messagebird raises $1B Series C and acquires SparkPost 

At the end of April, MessageBird announced raising $800 million from investors and extended $1B Series C. MessageBird uses the new funding to expand their global workforce presence. First purchase of the raised capital; the acquisition of the San-Francisco-based SparkPost, the world’s leading email sending and deliverability platform for $600M.

Lightyear raises $48M Series C and teams with Bridgestone

Lightyear, a Netherlands-based solar electric car company, raised $48M led by Zero Point Holding B.V., an investment vehicle of a Swiss family. Lex Hoefsloot, co-founder and CEO of Lightyear explains that the new funding round will be used to support their growth and support the first customer deliveries of the special series car Lightyear One later this year. Lightyear One is claimed to be the world’s first long-range solar electric vehicle and three times more energy-efficient than other electric vehicle alternatives.

Emerging Sectors Post Covid Era

Fashion, Food & Grocery Delivery, and Digital Health have been the highest performing segments during times of Covid. Marketplaces, in general, showed significant growth in valuation during the global pandemic period (Source).

Examples of marketplaces that stood out for us:

  • Food & Grocery Delivery; Picnic continues to scaled up their businesses in the first quarter of 2021, Bistroo, a direct-to-consumer food e-commerce marketplace, has raised a total of $8.2M in May 2021, and Just Eat Takeaway raised €1.1B in funding last February this year.
  • Fashion; Otrium with its online fashion outlet marketplace has raised a total of €100M in March 2021.
  • Digital Health; New Amsterdam Pharma focuses on the research and development of transformative therapies for cardio-metabolic diseases and they have raised €160M in January. Founda has raised a total of $15M investment in February 2021 and provides healthcare data integration and collaboration solutions.

Hope you enjoyed reading and as always, we will be watching the startup market. Follow us on LinkedIn.

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