A nation where tradition and innovation cooperate and coexist, the Netherlands is quickly becoming an attractive hub for innovative startups. The small country benefits from favourable legislation and taxation for new companies, efficient cooperation between the private and public sectors, an impressive number of incubators and accelerators, and the right support from universities.
It all works in combination to make a successfully growing Dutch startup ecosystem.
The Netherlands is regarded as a leading hub in Europe for innovation – ranking in the top ten on most lists and placing pretty high on a global level as well. The European Commission categorizes European countries according to specific scores to see which ones bring the most innovation to Europe. It places the Netherlands n 4th place, defining it as one of the innovation leaders on the continent.
Many cities in the Netherlands are part of the global ranking as well, reflecting diversification across the country. Amsterdam and Rotterdam are the two biggest centres helping fuel the startup ecosystem.
Dutch startups and scale-ups received approximately €2.3 billion in VC funding in 2021. Some of the most popular sectors for Dutch startups are transport, energy and sustainability, hardware and loT.
To quote a Dutch saying: The windmill doesn’t care about the wind that came before. So, in order to focus on innovation, future possibilities and new ideas we decided to take a look at the growing startup ecosystem there, looking at startups founded since 2020 and showing impressive innovation. Here they are:
Quan: The Hague-based Quan is a female-led startup that is trying to bring more awareness to mental and physical wellness in the workspace. Founded in 2020 and now counting 17 employees, Quan aims to enhance employees’ performance, avoid burnout and improve self-awareness and well-being. This mental health startup is based on years of scientific and academic research, pulling together insights from global experts to identify 50 sub-dimensions of well-being and 250 predictors. Its findings show that companies and leaders need insights on all of these dimensions to effectively improve employee well-being. It leverages this to enable companies to give their people the tools they need to better their lives. Since its founding year, it has raised €1.8 million.
Timberhub: Amsterdam-based Timberhub is a Dutch startup that is trying to revolutionize the way people and companies buy timber, saving consumers time and money. This fast-growing startup was founded in 2022 and its team already has 16 employees. This timber trading startup has already raised €7.3 million since its founding date as it connects buyers and sellers through its online marketplace on a global level. The young company want to redefine the timber trading sector through digital tools with an all-in-one solution to manage procurement, finance and transport.
Hadrian: Amsterdam-based Hadrian was founded in 2021 to shake up the cybersecurity space. With a team of 58 professional hackers, Hadrian gives companies the tools to fight against digital attacks, fortifying clients’ vulnerability by providing the critical insights they need. This Dutch startup is using machine learning to mimic how cyber hackers could potentially attack a customer’s company. Since 2021, Hadrian has raised €13 million – securing €2.5 million in 2021. In our increasingly digital world, cyberattacks are more and more common and companies need to put renewed focus on cybersecurity. It’s a big market area and this startup is aiming to lead the space.
Renoon: Founded in 2021, female-founded Renoon is a platform that helps consumers discover sustainable and ethical fashion companies. The idea of Renoon was born when founder Iris Skrami struggled with finding a sustainable dress for a party. Shoppers can filter by attributes like materials used, carbon-neutral, vegan, and pre-owned. Only products that meet Renoon’s sustainability framework are shown on their platform. Renoon has curated more than 1 million products from over 200 partner brands on its platform. Based in Amsterdam, this sustainable startup is also one of the top 10 European startups that are disrupting the sustainable fashion industry. It has collected about €611k in funding to date. Consumers across Europe are now becoming more conscious of consumption choices. Tech solutions like Renoon are helping facilitate this societal shift, and it’s exciting to see.
Reveall: Amsterdam-based Reveall is helping companies to better understand their customers, with in-depth consumer research and feedback. This B2B SaaS startup enables companies to build the products their customers really want, thanks to their useful clients’ insights platform. The tool enables companies to gather, organize and share learnings from customer research and feedback. With a team of 15, Reveall was founded in 2021 and has raised a total amount of €1.5 million since then.
JetLearn: Amsterdam-based JetLearn is a fast-growing EdTech startup that is focusing on empowering kids with skills in robotics and coding through online classes. This fast-growing Dutch company was founded in 2020 and has a quickly-growing team. It offers 1:1 online coding and robotics classes for 5-16 yrs. The aim is to give the workers of tomorrow the tools to shape the future. There’s no doubt that coding skills will be in big demand in the future – we are already sitting with a talent deficit in this space, and it is only through early skills adoption that we will be able to push forward tech frontiers and developments. Since its founding year, it has raised €1.2 million
Source.ag: Amsterdam-based Source.ag is a GreenTech startup that is trying to make a contribution to the fight against climate change. This Dutch company produces fruits and vegetables with fewer resources by using artificial intelligence greenhouses. This technology enables growers to predict plant production in any environment and period of the year without breaking our planetary boundaries. This indoor farming solution startup was founded in 2020 and has bagged a total amount of €10 million. GreenTech is a growing space in Europe, cultivating change for society for good, and we can expect 2023 to be a bumper year for this space. Source.ag democratizes access to fresh products – making farming more eco-friendly and addressing food supply issues.
Instant Commerce: Amsterdam-based Instant Commerce is a B2B startup that enables eCommerce companies to develop a better shopping online experience for themself and for their clients, faster and with the most advanced technology. The ecommerce industry is rapidly growing and it’s now fair to say that the vast majority of businesses operate online in some capacity. Instant Commerce was founded in 2022 and is growing fast, with a total funding amount of €7.5 million – picking up €2 million in June 2022. Its platform enables brands to quickly build a highly functional and engaging headless webshop without the need for technical expertise or a costly development team thanks to its no-code approach. Now, the brand counts major clients such as Bols, ID&T, Ekster, and Yaya – showing a promising future ahead.
QuantWare: Delf-based QuantWare is trying to disrupt the Quantum Computing sector by making it affordable and scalable for everyone. With an expert team, QuantWare is producing superconducting quantum hardware with a customizable technology trying to disrupt this rapidly-emerging market area. This Dutch startup was founded in 2020 and has raised a total amount of €8.7 million.
Insify: Amsterdam-based Insify is an insurtech startup that was born in 2020 and since then has been bringing consumers an easier way to insure entrepreneurs, freelancers and small businesses. The startup aims to transform business insurance to make it fast, simple and fair for entrepreneurs. Through the intuitive end-to-end digital customer journey, it can offer a quote in as little as two minutes. The startup has developed proprietary and tailored insurance products spanning business liability and professional indemnity to occupational disability cover, for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Since its inception, the young team has raised a total amount of €17.4 million.
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