June 23, 2022

The 45 Hottest Startups in the Netherlands

Cledara News

From Crisp and Bots to TestGorilla and Lightyear, the Netherlands hosts an eclectic and exciting group of startups. We’ve pulled together the ones to watch in 2022 and beyond.

Home to the likes of Just Eat and Adyen, the Netherlands has had a massive impact on the startup scene, as well as the lives of millions of people around the world.  

As we come down from the stock market exuberance of 2021, the Dutch startup ecosystem remains strong. According to the Startup Genome Project, Amsterdam has risen from the third to the second-best startup ecosystem in Europe. 

And while VC investments in Amsterdam based startups are down 75% compared to last year, total investment in the first half of 2022 totaled €698M, the second-largest amount on record.

The perseverance of investment and innovation suggests that the Dutch startup space continues to thrive.  

To help you uncover the movers and shakers to look out for, we’ve pulled together the startups that we think are set to shape the future of technology in the Netherlands.

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How we shortlisted the entries

Given the Netherlands’ reputation as a startup hub, there were plenty of startups vying for a place on our list. 

For this list, we selected startups from various sectors that had demonstrated growth or innovation locally and internationally. We also prioritized companies that generated interest from investors with ambitious plans for expansion.  

So who made the list? Let’s find out.    

Hottest Startups in the Netherlands

1. TestGorilla

Founded in 2019, TestGorilla aims to make the recruitment process more fair, efficient, and data-driven by enabling organizations to use skills assessments as soon as candidates apply for open roles. The company has attracted more than 5000 customers in less than two years and recently secured a €70M Series A investment in June 2022.

Founders: Otto Verhage, Wouter Durville

Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands‍

2. Bots

This innovative trading platform enables retail investors to use so-called “trading bots” – a program that buys and sells based on trading algorithms with specific strategies. The company currently only offers cryptocurrency trading. However, after closing a €13M Series A round in 2021, they aim to add the option to trade currencies and stock.

Founders: Michiel Stokman, Colin Groos, and Stefan Bijen

Location: Haarlem, the Netherlands

3. Lepaya

Training startup Lepaya boosts employee development with the right training, at the right time, focused on the right skill, allowing organizations to be more productive. With a recent injection of €40M Series B funding, the company plans to double its headcount to 200 employees and focus its efforts on Germany, the Nordics, and the UK.

Founders: René Janssen, Peter Kuperus

Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands

4. Payaut

Founded in 2019, Payaut helps online platforms and marketplaces accept and collect payments via any Payment Service Provider of choice and takes care of the seller onboarding process, split payments, and payouts through a single API. This fintech recently raised €8M in seed funding in a round led by Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused venture fund.

Founder: Ernst van Niekerk

Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands

5. Lightyear

Founded in 2016 by alumni of Solar Team Eindhoven to develop the world's first solar car, Lightyear has gone from concept to production car in just 6 years. Their first model, Lightyear 0, is slated to go into production in the summer of 2022. The company has so far raised over €100M in funding.

Founders: Lex Hoefsloot, Arjo van der Ham, Martijn Lammers, Qurein Biewenga, Koen van Ham

Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands

6. Meatable

Since 2018, Meatable’s goal has been to satisfy the world’s appetite for meat without harming people, animals, or the planet. The company replicates natural processes to produce delicious “harm-free” meat. After a €41M funding round in March of 2021, Meatable has strengthened its leadership team to support expansion and product launch.

Founders: Krijn de Nood, Daan Luining, Mark Kotter

Location: Delft, the Netherlands

7. Hadrian

This “hacker-led” cybersecurity startup offers a SaaS platform that simulates cyber-attacks and scans companies’ IT infrastructure to look for weaknesses from the outside in. Founded in the summer of 2021, Hadrian just raised a €10M seed round led by HV capital to develop their product further.

Founders: Maurice Clin, Olivier Beg, Rogier Fischer, Tijl van Vliet

Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands

8. Lalaland 

Lalaland generates AI fashion models for eCommerce brands, enabling companies to showcase collections on diverse models tailored to resemble their customers. Since its founding in 2019, the company has onboarded European fashion giants like Zalando, Wehkamp, and Otto. Its latest success has been a pre-Series-A funding round of €2.1M.

Founders: Michael Musandu, Ugnius Rimsa

Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands

9. Workwize

This 2020 startup aims to provide and maintain any kind of remote equipment for a company’s workforce, no matter where they are. On top of a marketplace for remote-work equipment, Workwize also offers smart software to facilitate hybrid working. They recently raised €1.5M in seed funding.

Founders: Michiel Meyer, Victor Dik, Sebastiaan Scholten, Dirk Kranendijk

Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands

10. Trunkrs

With a fresh injection of €15 million from a Series B funding round, Trunkrs aims to make last-mile deliveries more sustainable. The company maximizes efficiency and reduces the carbon footprint per parcel by filling up underutilized space in existing distribution centers and carrier routes. Trunkrs was founded in 2015 and serves mostly e-commerce firms in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Flanders.

Founders: Dimitri Balai, Jan Wijn

Location: Nieuwegein, the Netherlands

11. Channable

Channable was founded in 2014 to create easy-to-use technology for companies to reach audiences across any channel and market. Online retailers can perfect their e-commerce strategy by managing product feeds, automating PPC campaigns, and fully integrating with marketplaces via Channable. The Dutch startup aims to scale its presence in North America and Europe after closing a €50M series B round at the start of 2022.

Founders: Rob van Nuenen, Robert Kreuzer, Stefan Hospes

Location: Utrecht, the Netherlands

12. Withlocals

Since 2013, experiential travel startup Withlocals has given travelers an insider’s perspective of their destination by matching them with local guides. It’s proven to be a popular platform with tourists and raised €8M of Series B investment in March 2019.

Founders: Marijn Maas, Ronald Crooy, Willem Maas

Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands‍

13. BTCDirect

Crypto startup BTCDirect lets people easily convert their Euros into Bitcoin. It first launched in 2013 and bootstrapped until it successfully raised investment. Its Series A funding of €13M in October 2020 will help it to expand as Bitcoin continues to become more mainstream.

Founders: Davy Stevens, Mike Hutting

Location: Nijmegen, the Netherlands

14. Nutrileads

Food startup Nutrileads develops crop-derived healthy ingredients with clinically proven benefits for specific patient and consumer groups. The company has operated since 2012 and raised €6.5M of Series B funding in August 2020.

Founders: Erik Dam, Ruud Albers

Location:  Wageningen, Netherlands

15. Microsure

Medtech company Microsure develops robots that assist in microsurgery procedures. First founded in 2014, the company raised € 2.7M as an extension of its 2020 Series B round – intended for the initial clinical roll-out of its microsurgery robot, Musa. 

Founders: Raimondo Cau

Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands ‍

16. Leyden Labs

‍Biotech company Leyden Labs is developing products that protect people from respiratory illnesses like Covid-19. Founded in 2020, it raised €40M of Series A investment in March 2021, and a subsequent €124M of Series B investment in 2022 to create medicines that protect against a broad range of viruses. 

Founders: Koenraad Wiedhaup and Dinko Valerio

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands‍

17. Growth Tribe

Growth Tribe is a digital learning platform that allows people to learn growth marketing, UX design, and analytics. In 2020, the EdTech startup raised a total of €5M, Series A funding, with €3M in May and €2M in December 2020.

Founders: David Arnoux, Kees van Nunen, Peter van Sabben, Pia Ella Elmegård, Quentin Lacointa

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

18. Sensorfact

Sensorfact helps SMEs manage their energy consumption with their energy management system. The company has 350 customers in 14 countries and raised an extra €13M in January 2022 to scale further.

Founders: Massimo Coduti, Pieter Broekema, Sjoerd Sloterdijk

Location: Utrecht, Netherlands ‍

19. Felyx

‍Electric scooter-sharing company Felyx has 3000 scooters to its name in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague, since its launch in 2016. The company raised €24.8M Series A investment in February 2021 and has plans to expand into France and Germany.

Founders: Maarten Poot, Quinten Selhorst

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands‍

20. Sketch

Digital design tool Sketch is a firm favorite for people working in the UX and interface space. Since 2010, the company has grown in popularity and is regarded as a must-have design application. In March 2019, the company raised $20M in Series A investment to continue to scale.

Founders: Emanuel Sá, Pieter Omvlee

Location: The Hague, Netherlands

21. Lipocoat

Borne from the University of Twente, Lipocoat is a biotech startup that has created coating technology to reduce the chances of infection with items like contact lenses, catheters, and implants. The multi-award-winning startup was founded in 2016 and raised €1.5M of Series A investment in April 2020.  

Founders: Jasper van Weerd, Pascal Jonkheijm

Location: Enschede, Netherlands

22. ChannelEngine

SaaS startup ChannelEngine helps retailers automate sales through online international e-commerce marketplaces. The company first launched in 2015 and raised a €5.5M Series A investment in January 2021.

Founders: Jorrit Steinz

Location: Leiden, Netherlands‍

23. Grassa

Sustainable food startup Grassa refines grass and vegetables and processes them in local food or feed products. The startup launched in 2014 and wants to create a more sustainable agricultural industry by continuing to scale with its €2M Series A investment, announced in June 2019.

Founders: Bram Koopmans, Gjalt De Haan

Location: Grubbenvorst, Netherlands

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24. Manus

Virtual reality startup Manus VR has developed gloves that enable users to track hand movements in an immersive experience. The gloves have been used for military training, virtual concerts, and stroke rehabilitation. The company raised €2M of investment in November 2019 to develop its technologies.

CEO: Bart Loosman 

Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands

25. Polarsteps

Traveltech startup Polarsteps has created an app for travelers to track their plans, track and remember their holiday experiences. Polarsteps launched in 2015, raised €3M of Series A investment in January 2019, and has 3 million users.

Founders: Job Harmsen, Koen Droste, Maximiliano Neustadt, Niek Bokkers

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

26. Cytosmart

Smart device company Cytosmart is a spin-off company from the Eindhoven University of Technology. It develops smart devices for laboratories, supporting research in stem cell, drug discovery, and oncology, and raised a €5.2M Series B investment in March 2019.

Founders: Charles Maltha, Jan-Willem Van Bree, Joffry Maltha

Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands‍

27. Creative Fabrica

Creative Fabrica is a marketplace for graphics, fonts, and other digital assets. The Amsterdam-based startup was founded in 2016 and raised a Series B investment of €5.7M in January 2021 to add more tools and products for creators to sell their digital inventions. 

Founders: Anca Stefan, Roemie Hillenaar

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands‍

28. ViriCiti

ViriCiti is a telematics platform for electric and mixed bus fleets. It enables buses to charge at optimal times to minimize peak demand fees. In January 2019, the startup announced a €6.25M Series A investment to expand into North America.   

Founders: Alexander Schabert, Freek Dielissen, Jan-Willem Heinen, Simon Rijk

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

29. SymPower

Cleantech startup SymPower helps organizations work towards a carbon-free future by optimizing alternative energy sources. In March 2021, the company raised a Series B investment of €5.2M and counts Booking.com’s CEO as one of its investors.

Founders: Simon Bushell

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

30. Dwarfs

Ecommerce platform Dwarfs buys and develops ecommerce brands through online marketplaces like Amazon and ePrice. The company recently acquired Dutch home goods brand Cofaro and raised €7.5M of Series A investment in May 2021.

Founders: Demian Beenakker

Location: Frederiksberg, Netherlands 

31. Naduvi

After its 2020 launch, interior design outlet Naduvi experienced rapid growth and raised an €8.2M Series A investment in May 2021. The online home and living startup sells popular interior living items at discount prices and has ambitions to become the largest interior retail outlet in Europe. 

Founders: Itai Gross

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands 

32. Oaky

Hospitality software startup Oaky helps hotels upsell services and experiences to guests. Following its launch in 2013, the firm has expanded to 1,500 hotels across 90 countries. In February 2020, the company raised a Series A fund of $9.5M to broaden its global reach. 

Founders: Erik Tengen, Lars Jonker, Tako Paddenburg

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands 

33. Shypple

The digital freight-forwarding platform Shypple offers real-time updates on the location and status of shipments using a web-based dashboard. It connects with 3,000 businesses to provide end-to-end transparency of shipments and raised a Series A investment of €7.1M in April 2021, followed by a Series A2 round of €18.5M in August 2021.

Founders: Jarell Habets

Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands

34. Cobase

Fintech startup Cobase makes it easier for companies to access multiple accounts from a single point of access. The Amsterdam-based company first launched in 2016 and raised a Series A investment of €10M in June 2020.

Founders: Jorge Schafraad

Location:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 

35. PlantLab

Indoor farming startup PlantLab allows farmers to grow crops anywhere. The company aims to make fresh produce affordable and accessible to all with its patented technology and raised an extra €50M in 2022 to scale further.

Founders: Gertjan Meeuws

Location: 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands

36. Orderchamp

B2B marketplace Orderchamp connects independent brands with retailers. It offers tailored recommendations to 30,000 retailers and features 200,000 products from 1,800 European brands. The online marketplace raised €16.8M Series A investment in May 2021 and plans to double its headcount from 40 to 80 people by May 2022. 

Founders: Dennis Cuijpers, Joost Brugmans, Max Verduyn, Menno Wolvers, Ruud Stelder

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands 

37. Sendcloud

Sendcloud saves time and money for ecommerce retailers by connecting them with several shipping providers like DHL, Bpost, and PostNL. The Eindhoven-based startup was founded in 2012 and raised a Series C investment of €150M in 2021. 

Founders: Bas Smeulders, Rob van den Heuvel, Sabi Tolou

Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands

38. Siilo

Medical messaging app Siilo makes it convenient for healthcare professionals to enhance patient care through collaboration. Founded in 2016, the startup raised a total of €14M, including a Series A round of €9.5M in July 2020.

Founders: Arvind Rao, Jan-Joost Rueb, Joost Bruggeman, Onno Bakker

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands‍

39. Connecterra

Agtech startup Connecterra uses AI to monitor cows and optimize dairy production. In June 2020, the company raised a Series B investment of €7.8M - the largest Series B funding for livestock technology in Europe.

Founders: Saad Ansari, Yasir Khokhar

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

40. Desolenator

Desolenator makes our list through sheer innovation and the huge impact their solution could have on the world. Using 100% solar power, Desolenator can purify any water source into potable water. With pilot customers including the Dubai Energy & Water Authority, AB InBev, and Booking.com, Desolenator is blazing a trail in sustainable purification.

Founders: Alexei Levene, William Janssen

Location: Maastricht, Netherlands ‍

41. Valyuu

Founded in 2020, Valyuu is another innovative Dutch company working to make the world more sustainable, specifically by extending the lifespan of electronic products to reduce electronic waste. Valyuu makes it easy to sell, buy and donate all used electronic products. With sustainability being a pressing problem for all of us, don’t be surprised to see the startup take off this year. 

Founder: Ferhat Topuz

Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands 

42. Voyc

Voyc is disrupting the contact center industry. The startup’s speech analytics AI software helps regulated firms check all their contact center interaction and in turn helps them save money, catch complaints and provide a better customer experience.

Founders: Lethabo Motsoaledi, Matthew Westaway

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands ‍

43. Safened

Safened is another startup innovating in the regulated payments world with a fully digital KYC solution, as well as a B2B deposit platform. Powered by advanced machine learning algorithms, and with €14M funding to date, the company makes it simpler to identify customers, increase trust, and prevent fraud.

Founder: Rudolf Booker

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

44. Codesandbox

Codesandbox offers free and instant collaborative sandboxes for rapid web development and is used by 2 million developers each month. The Amsterdam-based company was founded in 2017 and raised a Series A round of investment totaling $12.7M in October 2020.

Founders: Bas Buursma, Ives van Hoorne

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

45. Crisp

Crisp is an app-only supermarket for fresh food that stocks over 2000 products from 650 farmers. Offering same-day delivery, Crisp has zero inventory and was first launched in 2018. In March 2021, the company announced a €30M Series B investment.

Founders: Eric Klaassen, Michiel Roodenburg, Tom Peeters

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands 

Did we miss anyone that should be on our list? Let us know at hello(@)cledara.com.

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