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“Death valley” be gone: recent VC funds instill new life in Dutch healthcare space

June 29 2016

Dutch venture capital (VC) funding rounds for healthcare announced this year reached record levels. The first 6 months of 2016 brought the closing of funds totaling more than €850 million. We consider it highly likely that this amount will increase to nearly €1 billion by the end of this year, as at least one other Dutch-based VC is currently in the process of expanding the fund.  

Forbion Capital Partners announced the final closing of its third main fund in April – Forbion Capital Fund III – raising €183 million. June has been a very active month in terms of announcements from VC firms that raised new capital. On June 2nd, Life Science Partners (LSP), one of the largest European investment funds, announced the final closing of a round of €247 million ($280 million). Interestingly, the VC surpassed its $170 million target, thereby providing further evidence of economic recovery. Although recently closed, LSP has already backed 9 investments from the new fund. Soon after, on June 8th, Merck Ventures (former MS Ventures) announced a doubling of their fund to a total of €300 million, while maintaining the same line of corporate strategy from the previous years. Another VC that closed at its hard cap is Gilde Healthcare. It closed an oversubscribed €250 million ($285 million) later stage and growth capital fund under the title Gilde Healthcare IV, putting their total managed capital at €800 million ($910 million). The fourth successfully closed fund in June is Thuja’s Capital Healthcare Fund II, with a size of €34 million. This money will be invested in young Dutch and Belgian companies that develop innovative products for medical applications.

In the post-recession years, entrepreneurs have been in something of a “death valley” in terms of access to funding, with a clear lack of opportunity at the sub €500k-1 million level and little formal VC interest in the pre-seed or seed stages. The willingness to invest is steadily climbing, on the back of last year’s unicorns Dezima and Acerta. The new funds are a testament to a healthy investment environment, with some of the funds mentioned above focused on early-stage investments (LSP, Merck Ventures and Thuja Capital), and others focused on late stage preclinical/early stage clinical deals (Forbion Capital Partners and Gilde Healthcare).

In our opinion, the funding environment for entrepreneurs in Europe, but especially in The Netherlands, is more positive and better balanced than it has been for many years. There are more funds available from a greater variety of sources for early-stage ventures. There is a higher level of confidence to invest in the later stages and more creativity in terms of geographic routes to value realization. At ttopstart, we harbor an extensive investor network and we have been successfully using our experience and business acumen in advising companies on the most suitable strategy to attract funding.

 

Sources:

Forbion Capital Partners Press release
LSP Press release 
Merck Ventures Press release
Gilde Healthcare Press release

 

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Contact

Alex Neagu, PhD
+31 (0)30 7370779