The government is releasing EUR 500 million to stimulate the growth of Dutch start-ups and scale-ups, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate announced this week.
On Budget Day, the Cabinet already announced that it would be investing extra money in innovative companies and start-ups.
About half of the amount will come from Invest-NL, a national investment company led by former minister Wouter Bos, of which the cabinet is a shareholder. The rest of the money will be released by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Change.
It is planned to distribute 500 million between three fund initiatives. Part of the money will go to funds for innovative scale-ups and knowledge-intensive start-ups. Part of the million will also be set aside for alternative funding for growth companies.
Dutch Future Fund
The Dutch Future Fund (DFF) invests in other venture capital funds to increase the amount of capital available for Dutch innovative growth companies. An investment by the DFF (and therefore by EZK and Invest-NL) can give other investors the confidence to participate as well. The DFF will provide the following contributions: €125 million from Invest-NL, €25 million from EZK and €150 million from the EIF. It is estimated by the EIF that a total of more than EUR 1.5 billion can be mobilised through the DFF. Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra, as shareholder of Invest-NL, has agreed to the DFF.
For innovations that are knowledge-intensive and therefore require a lot of capital (referred to here as deep technology) it is often difficult to find funding. These are often new technologies that have not yet proven themselves and involve relatively high risks for investors. The plan for such a fund is an initiative of various regional players, such as Brainport Eindhoven, as well as the Top Sectors and Techleap.nl, and is being developed jointly by EZK, Invest-NL and the Regional Development Agencies (ROMs). Knowledge-intensive companies that are supported by the ROMs or other market players, and that want to grow further, should be able to call on this fund, which will be developed further.
Entrepreneurs cannot rely solely on banks for capital. There are also alternative financing options, such as funds or crowdfunding. Alternative financiers find it more difficult to attract funding, while at the same time some entrepreneurs cannot go to the bank. That is why the government is currently investigating with Invest-NL how alternative financiers can be supported so that more capital becomes available for growth companies.
State Secretary Mona Keijzer (EZK): "Anyone who invests in startups and scale-ups is investing in the future of our country. Besides supporting entrepreneurs who are struggling, it is also our duty to give our growth companies perspective and support them in their development. Their growth provides us all with jobs and income, brings new products and technologies to the market, and keeps our economy strong. That is why we want to keep them here. I am pleased that we are working with Invest-NL to make as much capital as possible available for our start-ups and scale-ups, including in the European context".