DutchFounders launches €62m seed fund to back founders building the next wave of marketplaces in Europe


DutchFounders has reached the final close for its second fund, making more than €62m ($70m) available for early-stage marketplaces and so-called marketplace enablers. The fund joins the broader trend of VCs narrowing their focus to specific niches.

Founded by experienced entrepreneurs (WeTransfer, Treatwell, Just Eat, Hiber, fonQ) in 2019, the DutchFounders has backed the likes of digital freight forwarder Shypple and employee benefit platform YourCampus. Now, just 1.5 years after announcing their first fund, the Dutch VC has opened their new €62m pre-seed / seed fund. This fund will invest in emerging marketplaces, leveraging the expertise of the team’s experience with building the like’s of Just-Eat, WeTransfer and Treatwell.

The Amsterdam-based VC noticed that many supply chains and B2B business operations remained offline. Especially in the B2B domain, many people still relied on legacy-like systems and analogue processes to take care of their logistics or procurement. Now, the Dutch Founders Fund has set out to back founders building marketplaces that truly disrupt these processes or companies that completely rethink supply chains. “Rerouting supply and demand whilst displacing the middleman, that’s what we are looking for,” says Laurens Groenendijk, founding partner at the fund.

The fund has fully embraced marketplaces, as its business model helps to create better and more equal economies. “Besides efficiency gains, a marketplace creates transparency and allows for a more equitable distribution of resources. Not so long ago, the rules were set by the dominant player. Now, people can track their orders, compare reviews, bargain for a better price, and speed up their operations. Marketplaces have truly created a level playing field for both supply and demand,” Groenendijk explains.

The VC aims to invest the majority of their fund  – over 70% –  in European companies. More specifically, the fund is on the lookout for marketplaces that facilitate and embed larger parts of the value chain, such as payments and logistics. That includes technologies that enable frictionless transactions such as fintech solutions or web3 applications. “Marketplace enablers” as the fund dubs it.

The entrepreneurial background of the DutchFounders team remains one of their greatest assets, having seen the ups and downs of running your own business. The fund offers finance, PR, sustainability, HR and product support, becoming the 1-stop-shop for founders in the pre-seed and seed stage. There is no room for institutional money: their new fund is entirely backed by more than 100 well-known (tech) entrepreneurs from all across Europe.

“We know from experience what it’s like to deal with many different stakeholders and how to overcome early-stage growth pains. Starting a company is easy; building a company is something else. We believe in intense mentoring, from ideation to your series A, that’s why we invest early on and go all-in. We might be unorthodox, but that’s because we truly understand the playing field.”

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