Over the last decade, the startup ecosystem’s value in the Netherlands has been rising fast. With a competitive talent pool, a complicated yet connected economic structure, and a booming tech sector, the Netherlands has enough reasons to be one of the fastest-growing startup ecosystems in Europe.
After covering Amsterdam-based startups that hit the headlines in 2021, we are here with a list of 21 Netherlands-based startups that raised the largest funding rounds in 2021.
Certain details of these startups such as founders’ names, founding year, and the funding raised, have been sourced from Dealroom.
Founder(s): Adrian Mol
Founded in: 2004
Largest funding: $800M (approx €672M)
Mollie is a payments platform that offers an easy-to-implement process for integrating payments into a site or app. With a payments-API, the company offers multiple payment methods uniformly. It claims that its mission is to make online payment simple for merchants by taking away the complexity from payment methods and offering a simple, but powerful API.
Currently, the platform processes payments for more than 125,000 clients with local payment methods such as Mastercard, VISA, Amex, PayPal, iDEAL, Bancontact, Bitcoin, SEPA Direct Debit, Cartes Bancaires, ESP, Giropay, SOFORT Banking, and more.
In June 2021, Mollie secured $800M (approx €672M) at a valuation of $6.5B (approx €5.4B). The round was led by Blackstone Growth (BXG), Blackstone’s growth equity investing business. Other investors include EQT Growth, General Atlantic, HMI Capital, TCV, and Alkeon Capital.
Mollie used the funding to fuel international expansion, scale up the team, and develop product and engineering. The company also had plans to invest in its technology platform and expand its product portfolio beyond payments into financial services for SMEs.
Founder(s): Adriaan Mol and Robert Vis
Founded in: 2011
Largest funding: $1B (approx €828.3M)
MessageBird powers communications between enterprises and their global customers – across any channel like SMS, voice, WhatsApp, WeChat, Messenger, e-mail, and more.
The company’s product line also includes a Chat Widget and Flow Builder. The Chat Widget helps convert static pages into dynamic conversations. The Flow Builder is an RPA (Robotic Process Automation) platform that enables auto-replies creation and message routing. These services are also available via an API or an Application Programming Interface for easier integration with different platforms.
In April, the company extended its Series C round and raised $1B (approx €828.3M). This capital was raised from Eurazeo, Tiger Global, Owl Rock, and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock. In addition, all existing investors also participated in this round.
Founder(s): Michiel Muller, Frederik Nieuwenhuys, Joris Beckers, Bas Verheijen
Founded in: 2015
Largest funding: €600M
Picnic became a household name in the Netherlands and their small electric vans a familiar sight. The company has developed the modern-day milkman, a mass-market home delivery system for fast-moving consumer goods. It offers the same products at the same price as regular supermarkets, but delivers them right at the door of their customers. The products are also fresher and cheaper as the company does not own any stores.
The company controls the entire supply chain and works closely with local suppliers. It also develops its own products with the ‘best’ suppliers in the world. Besides, the company also delivers everything free of charge in 100 per cent electric cars – which have covered more than 1.4 million kilometres to date.
In September 2021, Picnic raised €600M in its Series D round of funding to accelerate its growth and become the ‘most’ sustainable grocery delivery service in Europe. The round was led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust which holds investments that support the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Existing investors also participated in the round.
The proceeds were raised to help Picnic accelerate the roll-out of its services in Europe, especially Germany and France. The funds were also invested in the company’s automated fulfilment centres, electric vehicles, and the expansion of Picnic’s technology team. The company also had plans to invest in technological innovations to serve the growing demands of its customers.
Founded in: 1993
Largest funding: €315M
Redwood Software aims to automate and organise business processes across hybrid IT environments. Leveraging the low-code, cloud-based, pay-as-you-go automation platform, Redwood Software automates industrial-scale enterprise processes across infrastructure management, finance automation, automated DevOps, supply chain management, and more.
In May 2021, the company raised €315M in strategic investment from growth equity firm Turn/River Capital. The company said it will use the funds towards accelerating product development as it looks to meet the demand for broader enterprise automation capabilities.
Founder(s): Eugene Danilkis, Frederik Pfisterer, Sofia Nunes
Founded in: 2011
Largest Funding: €235M
Mambu is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) banking engine provider that helps financial institutions of all sizes to design, launch, service, and scale their banking and lending portfolio. “Our vision in creating Mambu was always to create an industry-leading platform that will enable more than a billion people to have brilliant banking experiences,” says Danilkis.
In December 2021, Mambu raised €235M in its Series E round of funding – the largest financing round to date for a banking software platform. The round was led by EQT Growth, the growth equity strategy of the purpose-driven global investment organisation EQT.
The funding helped Mambu to accelerate innovation of its platform, and in rolling out both new functional and technical capabilities. The company also invested in global expansion and customer success model to support its international customer base, which is active across 65 countries, with a specific focus on twelve key markets.
Prior to this, in January, Mambu had already raised €110M in funding led by TCV. New investors Tiger Global and Arena Holdings, and existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Runa Capital and Acton Capital Partners had also participated in that round.
Founder(s): Ali Nikam
Founded in: 2012
Largest Funding: €193M
bunq is an independent neobank that helps users save time, money, and the environment. The founder, Ali Nikam, invested €98.7M of his own capital into his venture. The Dutch fintech company is the only self-funded challenger bank that branched into 30 European markets without a penny of VC funds.
Currently, bunq is available in markets including the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, Ireland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Iceland.
In July 2021, the challenger bank secured €193M in a funding round led by Pollen Street Capital, at a valuation of €1.6B. Ali Niknam, bunq founder, also participated in the investment round. This was the largest series A investment round ever secured by a European fintech.
With the first external capital raised, the challenger bank incorporated M&A as a business growth strategy. As a part of the deal, the company acquired Capitalflow Group, a privately held Irish lending company with strong ties to the Irish community.
Founder(s): Bas Smeulders, Rob van den Heuvel, Sabi Tolou
Founded in: 2012
Largest Funding: $177M (approx €149.7M)
Sendcloud is an all-in-one shipping platform for e-commerce businesses that want to scale. The company’s solution turns e-commerce logistics from a bottleneck into an accelerator, making shipping a competitive advantage.
According to the company, with its SaaS model as a starting point, it has evolved over the years from a simple API to an all-in-one platform that automates the entire shipping process. From choosing multiple carriers to automating returns, the company optimises the shipping process for both consumers and retailers.
In September 2021, Sendcloud raised $177M (approx €149.7M) in its Series C round of funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, alongside significant strategic investment from L Catterton and participation from HPE Growth.
The company said it will use the proceeds to further accelerate its growth, continue expansion internationally, and fuel global adoption of the platform. The company will also use the funds to hire another 250 people in the next 12 months. Currently, it already employs 400 people.
Founder(s): VC firm Forbion and John Kastelein
Founded in: 2019
Largest Funding: $196M (approx €160M)
NewAmsterdam Pharma is a clinical-stage company focused on the research and development of transformative therapies for cardio-metabolic diseases. Its mission is to improve patient care in populations where traditional therapies are not tolerated or have been unsuccessful.
In January 2021, the company raised $196M (approx €160M) in its Series A round of funding. The company said that the raised funds will support the full Phase 3 development of its ApoB and LDL-c lowering small molecule drug, obicetrapib. The drug, a cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor, is being developed for patients who are not well-controlled on statins.
Founder(s): Taco Carlier and Ties Carlier
Founded in: 2009
Largest Funding: $128M (approx €108M)
VanMoof was founded with a vision of creating a perfect city bike. It is known for its sleek, high-tech and feature-rich e-bikes that help modern city-dwellers get from one place to another faster with a slew of integrated digital devices like anti-theft systems, intelligent motor, and automatic electronic gear shifting.
The company’s stores are now available in Amsterdam, Berlin, London, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Seattle, and Tokyo.
In September 2021, VanMoof pulled off the largest-ever Series C investment for a European e-bike brand. It secured $128M (approx €108M) to enhance its production capabilities, develop new technologies, and improve bike specs and reliability.
Asia-based private equity firm Hillhouse Investment led the round, along with the participation from Gillian Tans, former CEO of Booking.com. Existing investors Norwest Venture Partners, Felix Capital, Balderton Capital, and TriplePoint Capital also participated.
Founder(s): Max Klijnstra, Milan Daniels
Founded in: 2015
Largest Funding: $120M (approx €102.27M)
Otrium is a technology platform where fashion brands can sell their leftover stocks at a discount. Its full-service marketplace allows fashion brands to open an online outlet with minimal effort and all the advantages.
Through their platform, fashion houses can sell both outlet collections and previous collections while retaining full control over pricing, merchandising, and visibility of their excess inventory. The company also arranges the storage, sale and shipment of the relevant collections. Fashion brands can simply select their available stock and Otrium takes care of the rest.
In March 2021, the company raised $120M (approx €102.27M) in a Series C round of funding. In addition, the company has also announced its launch in the US and aims at reducing unsold fashion in the future. The round was co-led by BOND and Index Ventures, and also saw participation from existing investor Eight Roads Ventures.
The raised capital was to help Otrium accelerate its US expansion, develop its technology platform, and increase headcounts.
Founder(s): Andrea Candelli, Olivier Heyning
Founded in: 2014
Largest Funding: $93M (approx €77.6M)
Lumicks was founded as an academic spin-off from the research group of Prof. Gijs Wuite, Prof. Erwin Peterman, and Prof. Iddo Heller at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. It is a life science tools company that develops equipment for Dynamic Single-Molecule and Cell Avidity analysis, two rapidly emerging areas in biology research and immuno-oncology.
The product portfolio of the company includes C-Trap, an integrated system with optical tweezers, confocal microscope, and microfluidic system to analyse protein folding, DNA repair, DNA organisation, Protein polymer, and filaments, etc.
In April 2021, the company raised $93M (approx €77.6M) in its Series D round of funding. A majority of the raised capital was to be used to accelerate growth initiatives, including the expansion of both research and development, and commercial activities for the z-Movi Cell Avidity Analyzer.
The round was led by new investors Farallon Capital Management and Lauxera Capital Partners. In addition, Softbank Vision Fund 2, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Parian Global Management, Pura Vida Investments, and Irving Investors also participated in this round. Existing investor Gilde Healthcare and select members of the Lumicks management team also contributed to this round.
Founder(s): Henri Moissinac, Maxim Romain
Founded in: 2018
Largest Funding: $85M (approx €70.47M)
Dott is a micro-mobility operator with a mission to free cities with clean rides for everyone. Currently, the platform operates over 30,000 e-scooters in cities in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, and Poland. In July 2020, Dott won two of the biggest micro-mobility tenders in the world, ranking first both in Paris and in Lyon.
In April 2021, the company raised $85M (approx €70.47M) in its Series B round of funding led by Sofina. In addition, new and existing investors also participated in this round including EQT Ventures, Prosus Ventures, Aberdeen Standard Investments, Estari (as co-lead), Expon Capital, Felix Capital, FJ Labs, Invest-NL, McRock Capital, Quadia, and various angel investors.
The funds were raised to help Dott launch new micro-mobility vehicles in European cities, starting with e-bikes. The company also expanded its services to new cities and countries such as Spain and the UK.
Founder(s): David A. Fraser, Hilde H. Steineger, Patrick Round, Rob de Ree, Tore Skjæret
Founded in: 2017
Largest Funding: $80M (approx €70.84M)
NorthSea Therapeutics (NST) is a biotech company focused on developing structurally engineered fatty acids (‘SEFAs’) for the treatment of NASH and other metabolic disorders. NorthSea has licensed the rights to its lead compound icosabutate and a library of SEFAs from Pronova BioPharma Norge AS.
In December 2021, the company raised $80M (approx €70.84M) in its Series C round of funding co-led by Ysios Capital and Forbion Growth. New investors including a large managed care organisation and Hercules Capital, and existing investors Forbion Ventures, venBio, Novo Seeds, Sofinnova, BGV, and New Science Ventures also participated in the round.
The funds were used to advance the development of NorthSea Therapeutics’ pipeline of Structural Engineered Fatty Acids (SEFA) clinical-stage programs in NASH and other metabolic disorders.
Founder(s): Egbert Pronk, Joost van de Wijgerd, Nick Bortot, Robbert Bos
Founded in: 2014
Largest Funding: $80M (approx €66.47M)
BUX is a neo broker and has been making it easy and affordable for Europeans to do more with their money since 2014. With over 500,000 customers, the company currently offers three apps to explore the financial markets, including BUX Zero, its flagship platform that makes commission-free trading possible, allowing users to invest in the brands and companies they care about. BUX Zero is currently available in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, France, and Belgium.
In April 2021, the company raised $80M (approx €66.47M) in a fresh round of funding. It also announced that its founder and CEO Nick Bortot has stepped down and the company’s COO Yorick Naeff was appointed the new CEO. According to the company, Bortot will remain involved with BUX as a member of the non-executive board.
The round was led by Prosus Ventures and Tencent, with participation from new investors ABN Amro Ventures, Citius, Optiver, and Endeit Capital. Existing investors HV Capital and Velocity Capital Fintech Ventures also participated in the round.
BUX said it will use the investment as an additional impetus to expand its commission-free investment app BUX Zero.
Founder(s): Led by CEO Frans Cromme
Founded in: 2013
Largest Funding: €65M
ViCentra is the maker of the world’s smallest and lightest wearable insulin pump called Kaleido. The company also collaborates with other organisations like Diabeloop and JDRF to devise ideas and make things better for those suffering from Type 1 diabetes.
In a nutshell, ViCentra is a collaborative healthcare company focused on building an insulin pump therapy designed to help those with diabetes live their life on their own terms.
In December 2021, the company secured €65M in its Series C round of funding led by new investor Partners in Equity BV and existing investors LSP, INKEF Capital and Health Innovations. The capital is helping ViCentra to accelerate the commercial launch of Kaleido as well as scale its manufacturing operations and prepare for FDA filing.
Founder(s): Jeroen Morrenhof, Christian van Leeuwen.
Founded in: 2006
Largest Funding: $65M (approx €54.82M)
FRISS is an automated fraud and risk detection system for P&C insurance companies. The company provides AI-powered detection solutions for underwriting, claims, and Special Investigative Unit (SIU), helping more than 200 insurers grow their business.
The company detects fraud, mitigates risk, and supports digital transformation. Currently, it serves insurers in over 40 countries and is on track to deliver over $2B in fraud savings to insurers in 2021 alone.
In July 2021, FRISS secured $65M (approx €54.82M) in its Series B round of funding led by Accel-KKR, advised by FT Partners, and endorsed by existing investor Aquiline. The proceeds will help FRISS with additional product innovations, make deep market penetration, and lines of business expansions.
Founder(s): Led by CEO Raymon Pouwels
Founded in: 2019
Largest Funding: €50M
Go Sharing is on a mission to make transportation accessible and sustainable while reducing its visual impact on the urban scenery. To achieve this, the company believes the traditional ownership-based transportation model needs to be transformed into a shared door-to-door mobility service, globally.
According to the stats from April 2021, the company is active in the Netherlands, Belgium (Antwerp), and Austria (Vienna) with a fleet of over 5,000 e-mopeds. The vehicles are 100 per cent electric and powered by sustainable energy.
Go Green is the parent company of Go Sharing, GreenMo, zZoomer, e-bike to go. The parent company is scaling up to 30,000 vehicles in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the UK, France, and Austria.
In April, Go Sharing raised €50M in funding led by investment company Opportunity Partners. In addition, the founders of Go Sharing also invested in the company. The capital is helping the company to maintain sustainable growth, expand its service network, strengthen the company’s proposition in electric shared mopeds, and expand its offerings with e-bikes and electric cars.
The funds will also help the company to launch its services in Germany, the UK, and Turkey. In addition to the Netherlands, Go Sharing is already active in Austria and this week the company started with 500 electric mopeds in Antwerp.
Founder(s): Marnix Broer, Jacques Huppes, Lucas van den Houten, Sander Kuijk
Founded in: 2013
Largest funding: $50M (approx €41.1M)
Edtech scale-up StuDocu (locally known as StudeerSnel) is an online platform where students can share their study materials – lecture notes, summaries, and practice materials – to exchange knowledge with fellow students. According to the stats from May 2021, StuDocu has served 15 million students at 2,000 universities across 60 countries.
Also in May 2021, the company raised $50M (approx €41.1M) in its Series B round of funding from Paris-based VC firm Partech. The raised capital helped the company boost its growth as well as increase its workforce.
Founder(s): Krijn de Nood, Daan Luining, Dr. Mark Kotter
Founded in: 2018
Largest funding: $47M (approx €39.68M)
Meatable is creating meat in a sustainable manner. The company uses a patented Opti-Ox cell technology that enables growing a single cell under controlled differentiation into any cell type.
Meatable’s technology can produce large batches of the cells needed to make meat in a matter of days or weeks, whereas it takes years to grow a live animal. Only one cell is needed to start the process. The cell is sourced from a real animal in a completely painless way – and because it comes from an animal, the meat that can be made with it is real meat, not a highly processed substitute.
In March 2021, the company raised $47M (approx €39.68M) in its Series A round of funding led by Dr. Rick Klausner, Section 32, Dr. Jeffrey Leiden, and DSM Venturing. In addition to that, existing investors including BlueYard Capital, Agronomics, Humboldt, and Taavet Hinrikus, also participated in that round.
According to the company, the investors are betting on Meatable to solve the industry’s scalability and speed-to-market challenges with its technology. The capital is helping the company to advance small-scale production at the Biotech Campus Delft and to diversify its product portfolio.
Founder(s): Pim de Witte, Josh Lipson, Iggy Harmsen, Zaid Elnasser, Patrick Rietbroek
Founded in: 2018
Medal.tv is a platform to create, watch, share, and analyse short-form gaming video clips. It has grown into a platform used by millions of users to share exciting gaming moments with their friends. The company claims to have grown its user base to nearly 1 million daily active users across PC, mobile, and console. The Medal community, which includes more than 1 per cent of all content creators on YouTube, Twitch, and more, creates more than 2 million clips per day.
In December 2021, Medal.tv raised $60M (approx €53M) in its Series C round of funding led by OMERS Ventures. The company said the proceeds will be used for strategic acquisitions, expanding R&D, and hiring key talents.
Founder(s): Erica Mackey, Joshua Pierce, Xavier Helgesen
Founded in: 2011
Largest funding: $90M (approx €77.6M)
Zola Electric (formerly Off Grid Electric) provides customers with in-depth reporting on system statuses, and performance and analysis of power consumption behaviour. It designs renewable energy solutions based on the latest in solar, battery, and power electronics technology.
More than 1.5 million users and over 300,000 homes and businesses use ZOLA products across multiple African countries – Ivory Coast, Ghana, Namibia, DRC, South Africa, Zambia, and Nigeria.
In September 2021, the startup raised $90M (approx €77.6M) in a debt and equity round of funding – $45M each. The equity part was led by TotalEnergies Ventures, DBL Partners, Helios Investment Partners, Vulcan Capital, Lyndon and Pete Rive (founders of Tesla-owned SolarCity), and Electron Capital Partners. The debt funding featured top energy lenders FMO and SunFunder, two firms known to provide debt capital to solar companies in emerging markets.
The raised capital is being used by the company to improve product development and commercial efforts.