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Today Atomico, a leading international investment firm that focuses on helping disruptive technology companies scale globally, announced that the Netherlands is emerging as Europe’s hottest tech hub in its annual State of European Tech 2021 report. Techleap.nl, a non-profit organisation, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, helping to quantify and accelerate the tech ecosystem of the Netherlands, welcomes the report and recognises the prosperity and maturity of the ecosystem. However, there are still clear areas for improvement in the Netherlands, such as deep tech financing, the talent pool and the major gaps in early stage funding.
Dutch tech is a thriving industry; The Netherlands is home to Europe’s biggest tech
companies, such as Adyen, ASML, Just Eat Takeaway and Mollie, and is taking the fourth
position globally by total market cap of public tech companies. It has many more startups per
1 million population than the European average, and is in the top 5 European hubs by
number of $1B+ startups. This is the result of close cooperation of Dutch founders and
partners in the ecosystem, however enough work still remains to be done to reach full
- Compared to other European startup ecosystems, the Netherlands is lagging behind
in deep tech investments. Although the Netherlands ranks highly in global scientific
research, more efforts need to be made to accelerate innovation, knowledge transfer
from universities, knowledge institutions to spin-offs or startups.
- Access to talent is one of the major issues for Dutch startups. The global tech
ecosystem is competitive, and companies in the Netherlands are fighting a constant
battle to attract and retain top talent. The Netherlands should be made more
attractive to national and international talent and adopt competitive fiscal rules for
- Despite reaching new heights in investments, early stage deals in the Netherlands
have been constantly decreasing, resulting in a funding gap for startups in the
earliest, most risky phase of their business, leaving room for angel investors to step
Maurice van Tilburg, Managing Director Techleap.nl said: “After years of building the tech
ecosystem with all stakeholders, we are very happy with the overall state of Dutch tech, but
we have to keep an eye on the hurdles as well. We could claim the position of being a
leading ecosystem because there are so many companies that have the chance to be very
successful here. If we want to remain relevant as a nation and competitive as an economy,
full commitment to the challenges in technological development is vital.