Amsterdam – April 10, 2024. The year has kicked off strongly with a total of 1.05 billion euros in investments in Dutch startups. This marks the highest amount in a quarter since two years ago. It has resulted in the emergence of two new unicorns, companies with a valuation of 1 billion dollars or more. Though the number of investments has slightly decreased, the overall trend remains positive.

This information is derived from the Quarterly Startup Report, a quarterly data analysis conducted by, Golden Egg Check, KPMG, the Regional Development Agencies (ROMs), the Dutch Association of Participating Companies (NVP), Techleap, Invest-NL, and the Dutch Startup Association (dSa).

A quarter of strong growth

The investments worth 1.05 billion euros in the first quarter represent more than a doubling (+150%) compared to the same quarter last year, which amounted to 422 million euros. Compared to the previous quarter where 576 million euros were invested, this represents an increase of 83%. The number of deals has decreased by 19% compared to the same quarter last year, mainly due to a lower number of investments in the very early stage (pre-seed), from 21 to 14. However, the number of deals in later stages has increased. More deals were above 15 million euros (Series B+): 14 compared to 6 a year ago. Three of these, Picnic, Mews, and DataSnipper, were even above 100 million dollars. The latter two, with the valuation of these investments, are the new unicorns of the Netherlands.

The 10 largest deals of the last quarter (in millions*) are:

  1. Picnic € 355
  2. Mews $ 110
  3. DataSnipper $ 100
  4. Vico Therapeutics $ 60
  5. FINOM € 50
  6. Eye Security € 36
  7. EFFECT Photonics $ 38
  8. TheyDo $ 34
  9. Soly € 30
  10. Onera € 30

*) amounts invested in original currency

Structural growth across sectors and increased foreign investment

Even when the very large deals of around and above 100 million euros are not taken into account, the past quarter still shows growth compared to the previous quarter. This indicates the start of a growth phase. The prospect of more stability and interest rate reduction, expectations regarding IPOs and strategic acquisitions, and the large amount of available funds for investment that the ecosystem manages to absorb, may have contributed to this growth. The investments are again broadly distributed across sectors, with deeptech once again being a theme. It is noteworthy that the number of investments from American investors has doubled. While it hovered around 13% in the past quarters, it is now above 28%. The same pattern was visible in the record year of 2021.

“It is a positive signal that investments have increased so significantly. However, a large part of the growth comes from the United States, as in previous good years,” says Lucien Burm of the Dutch Startup Association. “To ensure that more growth capital becomes available from the Netherlands and returns flow back here, more institutional money will need to flow directly or indirectly into funds, for example, from pension funds and the National Growth Fund.”

“This strong increase in investments is an important part of a favourable startup climate for the Netherlands. It shows that we still have the potential in the Netherlands for a good climate to make investments in the companies of the future. This potential must be utilised,” says Maarten Cleeren of Techleap. “However, there are still many elements playing a crucial role, which have been under pressure lately, such as the 30% ruling for scarce talent or the uncertainty surrounding the National Growth Fund. For the current societal transitions, it is crucial that we maintain a stimulating business climate.”

“The number of investments in the past quarter is significantly lower than in previous years. This is mainly due to a decrease in deals in the earliest stage, up to 1 million euros. This is a point of concern,” says Thomas Mensink, analyst at Golden Egg Check. “Ideally, the pipeline of startups remains well-filled to have a healthy ecosystem in the long run.

View the list of all investments in Q1 2024 here.

For more information about investments in the first quarter, see the overview at Dealroom here.

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