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ForwardOne closes a €145 million investment fund for European tech companies. The Dutch venture capitalist wants to invest the fund in startups and small businesses in Scandinavia, Germany and the Netherlands.

Most of the money was raised from family funds and entrepreneurs, according to Dutch media. The European Investment Fund contributed as well. ForwardOne wants to invest the fund in tech startups. The venture capitalist is focussing on small companies in Scandinavia, Germany and the Netherlands.

Some investment funds are announced before their contributors have officially committed. In this case, all pledges are confirmed, ForwardOne co-founder Riemer Smink said. Most pledges were finalized earlier this year, just before confidence in the economy deteriorated. Smink noted that raising the money at this time may have been more difficult.

Difficult year

According to research firm McKinsey, the Netherlands is one of the most favourable startup countries in Europe. However, 2022 was a difficult year around the globe. Inflation rose due to wars and supply chain issues, prompting caution among investors. In the Netherlands, growth money for startups and scaleups became scarce.

According to the Quarterly Startup Report by the Dutch Startup Association, startups and scaleups received twice as little funding in the first half of 2022 as in the first half of 2021. “We’re entering a period of great uncertainty”, Techleap, a notable organization for Dutch startups, warned in May.

According to research by venture capitalist Atomico, the European financing market picked up in the second half of 2022. Securing growth money remains a challenge nonetheless. In this light, ForwardOne’s fund is good news. The fund creates opportunities for all startups that end up receiving a sum of the budget. Candidates were not disclosed.

Second fund

ForwardOne was founded in 2017. The venture capitalist is based in the Netherlands. The company closed a €40 million fund in 2019. Among other firms, ForwardOne invested in QuiX, a Netherlands-based photonic quantum computing developer.