Amsterdam startups a magnet for capital

When it came to funding, the Dutch capital’s startups absolutely rocked it in 2016, so 2017 had a lot to live up to. Of course, everybody expected 2017 to be a massive year for startups in Amsterdam, but few predicted the incredible amounts of funding that the city’s young companies attracted. It should have come as no surprise, though – given the city’s unparalleled connectivity, tech innovation and supportive startup ecosystem (including a range of nifty co-working spaces, accelerators and incubators).

It doesn’t hurt that the city’s cultural agenda and work-life balance are among the best in the world, attracting plenty of highly skilled workers to the city each year, adding to the city’s already awesome talent pool. And Amsterdam is packed full of keen venture capitalists, angels and investors who always keeping an eye on the city’s most promising up-and-coming companies. Needless to say, access to capital in Amsterdam couldn’t be better.

Thanks to all of the above – as well as some truly innovative ideas – the city’s startups collectively received a whopping €322 million in funding in 2017. Here are the 10 startups that received the most:

  • Picnic (online supermarket): €100m (series B).
  • MessageBird (SMS, chat and voice APIs): €60m (series A).
  • Bloomon (flower delivery): €21.4m (series B).
  • Ohpen (cloud-based banking): €15m (series B).
  • EclecticIQ (cybersecurity): €14m (series B).
  • Tiqets (e-commerce platform): €14m (series B).
  • Harver (AI-powered job-match platform): €7.1m (series A).
  • Framer (screen design): €6.5m (series A).
  • Fairphone (smartphone designer): €6.5m (venture).
  • The Avocado Show (restaurant): €5m (venture).

Startup funding across a range of industries

What was particularly interesting about 2017’s funding is that – unlike 2016 – it wasn’t completely dominated by tech companies. Startups in the hospitality, health and agrifood sectors also received plenty of investment. For example, there’s Bloomon, a flower delivery service that’s turning the industry on its head by working with the latest tech to promote its rapid development. It secured series-B funding of €21.4m last year.

And let’s not forget local Amsterdam restaurant The Avocado Show. From their first eatery in De Pijp, the founders tapped into millennials’ avocado obsession, creating a variety of dishes based on the food. Its popularity skyrocketed, netting the startup an impressive €5m in funding in 2017. “Before we opened, we received over 80 requests from entrepreneurs who wanted to start a franchise venue,” said Julien Zaal, a co-founder of the company. “Nowadays, it’s 150 from all over the world.”

Tech startups in Amsterdam continue to shine

But naturally, the city’s tech-based startups still received massive amounts of funding. Ahead of the pack was Picnic, an online supermarket whose tech-driven approach has made them into the world’s fastest-growing supermarket. In fact, it received an extraordinary €100m in series-B funding last year. And the company’s smart-shopping concepts, innovative algorithms and speedy customer experience are already continuing to generate buzz this year. “These features are designed for Picnic customers to complete their grocery shopping within the time frame of a TV advert break,” said CTO Daniel Gebler.

Another company that secured a high amount of funding was MessageBird. Its cutting-edge platform provides secure tools for businesses to communicate in a way that’s quick, cost effective and easy to use. Its software secured a €60m series-A round. Other notable Amsterdam tech startups not in the top ten include AI-powered hotel-booking platform HotelChamp (€4m, seed), data-leak-prevention experts ZIVVER (€3m, venture), scalable-feed API devs Stream (€2.5m, venture), photo platform Pastbook (€1.6m, seed) and IoT pros Triggi (€1.1m, series A).

There’s no telling what will happen in terms of funding this year, but with the rise of blockchain in the popular media and the city’s history of innovative financial companies, many pundits are expecting 2018 to be a huge year for FinTech. But one thing’s for sure: Amsterdam’s startups will continue to thrive across all sectors.

Data sources: and StartupJuncture.