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March 2021: A Whole Year of COVID-19

March 2021 has finished and with it, we are finally able to look back at what a whole year of living under the COVID-19 era has brought to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

In this monthly update, we were able - thanks to our partner Dealroom - to compare and contrast the advances in the Dutch ecosystem. The monthly is made up of comparisons between February 2021 and March 2021, March 2020 with March 2021, Q1 2020 with Q1 2021, and how well the Dutch entrepreneurial ecosystem has performed in comparison to the Belgian one. 

Investments during March 2021

March 2021 witnessed 330 million euros being invested in start-ups and scale-ups in The Netherlands. Increasing by 27% in comparison to February 2021 and 300% in comparison to March 2020, respectively. 

Although there were not that many pre-seed and seed rounds this month, there were a few late VC investments that raised more than 120 million euros in March only - making up one-third of the overall money invested this month.

New Opportunities 

Although there was a steep increase in money invested this month, we are not able to see similar trends in other parts of the ecosystem. 

Job creations fell by 28% in comparison to February 2021, Start-ups and Scale-ups having created only 23 new jobs this month. Similarly, there were no new Start-ups launched this month, 100% less than in February 2021 and 400% less than in March 2020. 

Female entrepreneurs raised only 2.8M euros this month - raising 86% less than it was raised by women in February 2021, and 40% less than in March 2020.

Dutch vs Belgian Recovery

After a whole year of the COVID-19 pandemic, ecosystems were able to recover - and move forward. 

Although both ecosystems were able to recover, the Belgian ecosystem performed better than the Dutch one. 

In March 2021, the Dutch ecosystem witnessed a small 2% increase in the number of Deals compared to March 2020. However, the Belgian ecosystem witnessed a 300% increase. 

Both Dutch and Belgian ecosystems, however, saw a sharp increase in the amount of money being invested in start-ups and scale-ups, with The Netherlands having a 300% increase and Belgium having a 500% increase, respectively. 

The highlight of the month: Crisp

Crisp, an online supermarket that offers more than 2000 high-quality products, received 30 million euros as investment money this month. 

Crisp’s main goal is to increase the number of products being offered via their app whilst maintaining the quality of the product that they are known for. 

March 2021: Diversity in the entrepreneurial ecosystem 

March is typically known as Women’s month, hosting annually the international women’s day every March 8th. 

Even though The Netherlands outperforms countries in terms of gender equality, there is still a lot of work to be done. Only 37% of Dutch entrepreneurs are women and only 1.6% of VC investments go to female entrepreneurs - as we can see in this monthly update. 

The DSA believes that more should be done in this regard. You can read more about this in our Diversity and Inclusion Research published last year.

Would you like to know more about March 2021?

If you would like to know more about March 2021’s insights, please read our full entrepreneurship report that we prepared using data from DealRoom.


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