Dutch tech entrepreneur Steven Schuurman has made a donation of €1m to Liberal democratic party D66 and a further €350,000 to the pro-animal PvdD – sums which are unheard of in Dutch political circles.
Schuurman, one of the richest people in the Netherlands, made his fortune through Elastic, which produces open source search software. Elastic was listed on the New York stock exchange in 2018, which valued his stake in the company at an estimated €800m. He earlier made millions from the sale of SpringSource and Orange11.
Schuurman told Trouw that the aim of the donations is to support the parties’ climate plans. ‘By chance I have built up a couple of companies which have released a large amount of assets,’ he said. ‘If you have more money than you need, then I think you should give something back.’
The entrepreneur said he is not a member of either party and that he does not want to exert any influence. The two parties’ plans appeal to him the most, he said.
Political parties in the Netherlands have to make all donations of over €4,500 public.
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