geert lovink on Fri, 5 Oct 2007 09:57:03 +0200 (CEST)
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[Nettime-nl] Dutch technology investment is back on track
Tornado Insider: Dutch technology investment is back on track
The Netherlands was among the European countries that were hit hardest
by the burst of the bubble late 2000. The Dutch saw their venture
capital activity plunge from 126 deals in 2000 (ranked fourth in
Europe) to 37 in 2002 (ranked eighth). Most activity was generated by a
handful of reputed VCs, of which very few survived the crash.
Prime Technology Ventures (PTV) was often named as the example of an
investor that carried on investing in early-stage deals – although not
exclusively – positioning it ideally to close the country’s most
attractive deals. Last Friday PTV announced the first closing of its
PTV III, on €60 million. The new fund’s target is €150 million and
focuses on early and later stage companies in IT and related sectors in
North West Europe. PTV’s managing partner, Sake Bosch, expects that
half of these will take place in the Netherlands. Simultaneously, the
firm announced PTV III’s first investment: a €5 million funding round
in Venspro, a Dutch company behind online real Greeting cards service
PTV’s fundraising is not the only good news coming from the
Netherlands. It took the country until 2005 before it started climbing
back up on the European country ranking. But back on track is. This
year a total of 56 deals have been recorded, already 27% more than the
whole of 2006. This boost in activity helped the Dutch take fourth
place again in 2007, only trailing the traditional top 3: UK, Germany,
So where is all this activity coming from? In the past years, Dutch
technology companies in need of funds were best off trying their luck
with regional funds. And still regional funds such as NOM and PPM Oost
play a significant role. But independent and institutional funds are
picking up pace. The relative new funds Van Den Ende & Deitmers and
Solid Ventures are the most active examples.
In addition, a host of early-stage funds have emerged in the past year.
The latest in line is the Thuja Capital Healthcare Fund which, also
last Friday, announced its first close at €19 million. It is dedicated
to Benelux-based start-up and early-stage life science companies. The
final close of the fund is aimed for the end of 2008. The surge in the
number of early-stage funds is partly stimulated by a government
initiative called TechnoPartner. Its Seed Facility encourages investors
to set up funds by matching the available capital, thereby improving
the investors' return.
That early-stage funding is much easier to come by in the Netherlands
is backed by the statistics. There has been a Europe-wide increase in
early-stage deals in the past years, from 27% of all technology-related
investments in 2005, to 40% in 2006 and 51% in 2007 to date. The
Netherlands is way above that level, with 69% of all VC fundings being
seed or first rounds. Hopefully there will be enough follow-on money
available to accommodate those companies in need of more funds in
coming years. PTV will be sure to keep an eye out.
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