The Netherlands might be a tiny country, the tech sector is booming. In 2020, when the covid-19 pandemic was wreaking economic havoc left and right, investments in Dutch tech companies reached a whopping US$ 1.4 billion. Why? Because the Netherlands have everything a startup could wish for.
The country ranked 4th in terms of innovation in the 2020 Global Innovation Index, not in the last place because the Netherlands has a workforce which is very well educated (and pretty much every individual in the Netherlands speaks some English).
The country also has a government which is quite friendly to entrepreneurs. Legislation makes it relatively easy to start a company, but what’s more: the Netherlands are keen on public-private partnerships.
Furthermore, the Netherlands is strategically located. Once you make it in the Netherlands, the entire European market will open its doors to you.
Oh, and let’s not forget something that is especially interesting for SaaS startups: the Netherlands has an amazing infrastructure. It’s not just roads and bridges (making it easy to get where you want to be), the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX has turned the Netherlands in a Hub of Technology. No wonder that 93,2% of the population is online!
The population of the Netherlands may only be around 17 million, but somehow, there are quite a few investors that are open to investing in promising SaaS ideas.
Here are a few SaaS investors from Amsterdam.
Amsterdam-based venture capital firm Newion focuses on early-stage investments in B2B software companies. Founders Jaap van Barneveld and Patrick Polak started with Newion in the year 2000 to create a vehicle to invest in SaaS companies in seed rounds or A-rounds. At the time of writing, Newion has 20 active investments, worth € 150M in total. Successful exits include Mirror42 (a tool to measure business performance in IT), LeanApps (market leader in the Benelux for flexible SaaS underpinning “the core processes of life”, that became part of Keylane), and SaaS-based financial service provider Q-go
#2 Peak Capital
Heleen Dura-van Oord, Johan van Mil, and Stefan Bary decided to put their money together and founded Peak Capital. This SaaS investor from Amsterdam is, like Newion, an early-stage venture capital fund. Peak Capital has a € 66M fund and is completely funded by the three founders. The initial ticket size for investments by Peak Capital is between € 250K and € 4M.
The founders decided they did not like the idea of investing in specific industries or verticals. Rather, they invest in models. Making their investment decisions, Peak Capital looks at the “4-T’s”:
So far, they’ve been investing in marketplaces, platforms, and SaaS companies (both B2B and B2C). Currently, Peak Capital has 31 active investments. The fund has made 6 successful exits. Strangely enough, this includes no SaaS startups.
#3 OTB Ventures
If you think that Amsterdam investors are interested in Dutch SaaS startups alone, it’s time for you to think Outside the Box. Literally, that is. Outside the Box, or OTB Ventures, is a SaaS investor from Amsterdam that invests in SaaS startups with unique IP, has links to Central and Eastern Europe and global ambitions.
OTB Ventures has proclaimed SaaS to be one of the things they’d like to invest in. So far, however, the companies this investor from Amsterdam has funded, are not primarily SaaS-oriented.
#4 Vortex Capital Partners
In 2012, a group of experienced tech entrepreneurs and investment professionals came together and embarked upon a quest to create value. Their strategy: partnering with management teams to take the next step and achieve sustainable growth.
Vortex Capital Partners decided on a very specific niche: Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg) SME companies.
This SaaS investor from Amsterdam can provide growth equity, or help you fund a management buy-out (MBO).
Vortex Capital Partners chooses quality of quantity: the most recent investment by Vortex Capital partners was SaaS-tester Vamp.io, which raised € 2,5M on May 8th, 2019. Other investments include cybersecurity Cybersprint (€2M), online used car auctioneer CarsOnTheWeb (undisclosed), and StudyTube (also undisclosed).
#5 Solid Ventures
When you try to enter a search query for a solid venture capitalist in Amsterdam, Google immediately tells you to have a look at Solid Ventures. So, let’s do what Doctor Google ordered.
Solid Ventures has been around since 2005. Considering that we’ve gone through a number of economic crises since that year, the name Solid Ventures seems descriptive.
This SaaS investor from Amsterdam focuses on “scale-up companies at the growth stage of development in the digital economy with a focus on the sectors digital, SaaS, sustainable mobility, smart energy, and smart city solutions.
As could be expected from an Amsterdam-based, Solid Ventures happily invests in Western European startups (ticket-size: € 800K-€2M). However, startups from Latin America are also welcomed with open arms (ticket size from € 500K). In October 2020, this venture capitalist funded a digital bank from Colombia Named Bold.
At the time of writing, Solid Ventures made 11 investments and succeed with 4 exits. Notable investments are Mirror42 (together with SaaS investor Newion) and cloud backup platform BackupAgent (acquired by Acronis).
#6 ASIF Ventures
What do students do when they are not taking lectures or studying? In the Netherlands, they tend to drink beer.
Not all of them, though. Some of them decided they want to become SaaS investors. In Amsterdam, this resulted in ASIF Ventures (Amsterdam Student Investment Fund) being founded on August 20th, 2018. This venture capital fund is, believe it or not, completely student-run.
ASIF Ventures doesn’t just invest in every brilliant idea, investor from Amsterdam focuses on startups located in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area which are led by students and recent graduates. Tickets are relatively small (€ 25K-€ 100K), but in the pre-seed stage, an investment from ASIF Ventures might just be what tips the balance in favor of the SaaS startup.
#7 Connected Capital
This investor from Amsterdam might very well be the one that is most transparent about what they do, and do not, invest in. B2B SaaS is what these people can get excited about.
If your startup is a European B2B Saas Company, it might be a good idea to (try) to schedule a meeting with Connected Capital. This investor from Amsterdam might very well be the one that is most transparent about what they do, and do not, invest in.
While investments are important, this venture capital firm calls it “only part of the picture”. In order to guarantee success for the companies they invest in, the Connected Capital team uses their backgrounds in strategy consulting, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), private equity, and law to help you evolve your strategy.
Since its founding in 2017, this SaaS investor from Amsterdam made 6 investments, 3 of which in SaaS companies: iWelcome (a SaaS platform for identity management), SaaS retail pricing platform Omnia Retail, and e-commerce sales booster ChannelSight. On top of investing in these companies that operate in the cloud, Connected Capital also invested in the cloud itself: UpCloud promises that their cloud hosting is the fastest in the world.
The € 18M raised in the 2020 Series B funding round, with Connected Capital as lead investor, most likely come in quite handy in order to deliver on that promise!
No successful exits have been recorded (yet).
Is Amsterdam the promised land for SaaS entrepreneurs?
Would you have expected to find such a large number of SaaS investors in such a small area as the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area? Probably not. And these are just the seven investors from Amsterdam who have explicitly stated they are interested in SaaS startups. The Amsterdam tech ecosystem includes many other investors who are eager to learn about tech, software, and about you!
Give it a shot!