Wednesday 23 September 2020

Dutch Silicon Valley veterans put expertise and money into Dutch start-ups


A group of 15 Dutch Silicon Valley veterans have joined forces to help young Dutch tech start-ups by providing expertise and seed capital of up to several hundred thousand euros per company.

The lack of capital is one of the main bottlenecks in the Dutch start-up scene and the group, who have roots in Google, Facebook, Uber, Oracle and Apple, have already invested in four separate companies.

Calling themselves Operator Exchange, and a community rather than venture capital fund, they have now gone public in order to attract more investors and start-ups, the Financieele Dagblad reported.

‘In the US, England and Israel it is quite normal for entrepreneurs who have sold their company to invest their money and expertise in young companies,’ ex-Google staffer Stef van Grieken and one of the four founders, told FD.

Jelle Prins, formerly of Uber, told the NRC in an interview that investors in the Netherlands tend to want to avoid risk.

‘There are start-ups that tell me investors ask them for a 10-year plan,’ he said. ‘Or investors want to see a company has clients. Then you don’t understand how it works. A start-up has to find out where the market is. These investors are looking for something else.’

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