The venture builder, Holland Startup, founded late 2014 by Robbert Jan Hanse and Maurice Bakker has launched its own early stage fund called Holland Startup Fund I. The size of the fund is expected to grow to 8 million euros by mid 2018.
“Having our own fund is the logical next step in the evolution of Holland Startup as a full-fledged venture builder”, says Holland Startup CEO Robbert Jan Hanse in this exclusive interview with StartupJuncture. The newly launched fund has already participated in two startups, one of which is the fintech startup Bittiq, about which we reported earlier in an exclusive interview. Hanse expects to close two more funding rounds by the end of this year. The limited partners of Holland Startup Fund I are entrepreneurs that have had ‘a meaningful exit’ and are passionate about helping young entrepreneurs succeed Hanse says.
The fund is aimed exclusively at funding early-stage startups that are breaded and nurtured into full grown startups of Holland Startup, the venture building studio of Hanse and Bakker. A studio the partners built in 2015 based on becoming inspired by the story of Bill Gross. The famed entrepreneur that built IdeaLab, sprouting 125 companies. Hanse says that for him Holland Startup and now Holland Startup Fund I are all about giving back. “At a quite pivotal moment in my life I realised that my success in entrepreneurship was set in motion because somebody believed in me. Invested in my first venture and coached me through the hurdles of entrepreneurship. It hit me how much you can contribute as angel investor.”
In line with the thesis of Holland Startup to not fund or accelerate, but partner with founders to build lasting companies Holland Startup Fund I invests in pre-revenue startup teams that have found a clear problem to solve. Holland Startup assess if the team understands the magnitude of the pain points and is backed by sufficient first hand customer research. For getting through this first phase of getting to product market fit funds will be made available. The fund will invest in a total of 15 startups and chip in follow-up funding rounds and recruit partner investors to co-invest.
“From its very beginning it has been Holland Startup’s mission to build startups with young entrepreneurs, and to design the venture building activities around those startups as a body that mitigates the risks of venture building”, says Hanse. Adding: “By eliminating a deal-by-deal investment structure we increase the speed of fundraising, greatly reduce the management time spent on fundraising, prevent misalignment of stakeholder interests and by doing so help our startups accelerate faster. ”
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