Belgian-based Pitchdrive launches €20 million fund in collaboration with SmartFin to boost European tech startups

Antwerp-based Pitchdrive, founded in 2018, has just closed a second fund at €20 million, organised in collaboration with SmartFin, as part of their ambitions to offer European tech startups the funds they need to launch their businesses.

Led by Wim Derkinderen, Boris Bogaert and Koen Christiaens, Pitchdrive is a funding platform investing in European early-stage ventures. The company leverages data-driven deal selection and extensive entrepreneurial expertise to help promising startups take off. 

Pitchdrive’s Fund II has just secured €20 million in a first closing with a potential increase up to a maximum of €30 million. With these new resources, Pitchdrive plans a substantial expansion of its investment portfolio. The Pitchdrive Fund I portfolio today numbers over 20 European startups, including Oper Credits, Smooved, Hotelmanager, Openface, Brauzz, and Picky. With its new fund, Pitchdrive plans an additional 40 portfolio investments in Europe and beyond in the coming 24 months.

The young investment company was founded with the vision to confront the scattered European seed investment landscape. Seed investing in Europe is often seen as a neglected space, can be a time-consuming and subjective process. Early-stage portfolios tend to contain a large number of companies to diversify and so can be difficult to follow up on. Pitchdrive aims to close that gap in order to impact innovation at its core, spark creativity in society and boost economic growth in Europe.

The investors backing Pitchdrive’s Fund II are mainly entrepreneurs and family offices. These include Jürgen Ingels (ex Clear2pay), Matthias Geeroms (OTA insights), Johan Van Damme (Joos Consulting), Jan Helskens (Cookware Company), Anthony De Clerck (Dovesco), Fons Tooten (Vavato), Carmen Cordier and Paul Cordier.

The Fund is also co-managed by SmartFin, a European growth capital investment platform managing several mid-to late-stage technology funds. Based in Brussels, SmartFin was founded in 2014. 

Together, Pitchdrive and SmartFin are coaching a new generation of European founders from their early- to late-stage growth.

Investors count on the experience and data-driven technology of Pitchdrive to scale seed-stage investing by helping them qualify and select promising startups from thousands of investment opportunities. This enables investors to diversify their portfolios massively. For founders, Pitchdrive offers simple and quick access to the funding needed to launch businesses, as well as expert advice from serial entrepreneurs to scale their startup

Wim Derkinderen, managing partner of Pitchdrive, said: “At Pitchdrive we believe that in the right hands, €200,000 can change the world. We want to make it as simple as possible for founders to find the expertise and funding they need to launch their business. A lot of complexity has crept into seed funding, while we believe founders should be focusing on their business, not on the long and stressful process of raising funds. Our core philosophy is that we let founders be founders, and with the closing of our second fund we now have over €20 million to make a new selection of founders’ dreams come true.

This new fund is certainly big news for the European tech startup scene and will inspire new innovation and growth. The European tech scene is booming, and this is another exciting development for the market.