A start-up venture is always (pro) active in funding and tapping into new sources. Lately two new governmental funding sources have become available to Dutch-based ventures. Below a brief outline on how to use the two sources, whether it is possible to use them simultaneously and/or separated and for which purposes.
Size of funds and focus and which phase
Groeifonds with a fund size of EUR 20 billion is a national fund with a 5-year term that focus on companies in the field of knowledge development, R&D and infrastructure. Innovative startups are explicitly mentioned so Life science companies should fit perfectly within this framework.
Invest.nl with a fund size of EUR 1,7 billion is targeting innovative scale-ups with high impact potential.
One off versus long term
Groeifonds subsidizes SME, knowledge centers and other parties for one off projects with an exit as end-point, that are non-viablefor private investors to step in, with an added value towards GDP and society. The minimum tickets executed by Groeifonds are EUR 30M. A high level of uncertainty is not a showstopper in the decision-making process of the fund itself.
Invest.nl works with tickets between EUR 5 and 50M. The minimum size of an investment round should exceed EUR 10M since the maximum funding percentage coming from Invest.nl is 50%. Invest.nl is for going concern, long term focused companies. The typical sweet spot is funding a challenging number of factories/plants.
Features of the funds
At Groeifonds, the full funding project should exist of non-structural demarcated expenses. The project is not fundable via normal routes and therefore there should be a situation of market failure. The fund does not have a revolving character and ROI objective. Submitting the proposal should be supplemented with minimal two turned down requests for funding via regular routes. The fund is specific for those proposals that have insufficient access to funding via regular routes. This is similar with Invest.nl. The latter on the other hand wants to have an outlook on a stable positive cash flow and is therefore focusing on structural companies instead of nonstructural one-off projects like Groeifonds. Funding via equity and/or CLA is the normal route for Invest.nl. Different from Groeifonds, Invest.nl does have revolving character.
At this moment Groeifond’s fund management is under the supervision of the departments FIN and EZK and is closed for new applications. In the near future (exp. 2021) new applications can be submitted via decentralized departments. A detailed application process is still work-in-progress. Invest.nl is already open for applications.