Invest NL

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was Invest-NL set up?
The Netherlands needs to become more sustainable and more innovative. This requires dedication, patience and capital. But above all, it requires entrepreneurs - genuine entrepreneurs with genuinely good plans for the Netherlands of the future. We are here to finance those genuinely good plans. When we look ahead to 2050, the economy we see is radically different from today’s economy. We see an economy that pays greater attention to people, the environment, society and our shared future. This cannot be achieved without major social transitions, confidence in opportunities and long-term thinking. Compared to other countries (Germany, the UK and the US), there is a lack of venture capital for these innovative entrepreneurs in the Netherlands. This manifests itself particularly in relatively large-scale financing with high risks and long payback periods.

 

What kind of organisation is Invest-NL? A government fund?
We are a private business. We are not a government fund. We are financed by public funds. We are a state-owned enterprise operating at arm’s length from the government, just like NS and Schiphol Airport for example.

But don’t you get €1.7 billion from the government?
That is our share capital. The government (Dutch Ministry of Finance) is our shareholder, but we decide which businesses we are going to finance. Politicians and civil servants do not make those decisions.

Are you going to squeeze competitors out of the market?
We don’t think in terms of competitors. We want to make it possible for other financiers to participate in financing opportunities that would otherwise go to waste because they are considered too risky. When we are willing to take risks and be patient when it comes to earn-back times, this offers comfort to other investors so they can participate in financing activities that would otherwise be considered non feasible. It is exactly this way of enlarging the market for risk capital that we consider to be a key indicator of our success.

What sets Invest-NL apart from the rest?
Our goal is to make the Netherlands more sustainable and innovative. We dare to turn opportunity into achievement. To deliver where others falter. How do we do this? By taking risks, by being able to invest larger sums, by waiting that little bit longer for our return, and by making judicious use of our access to European funds and our strong relationships with government bodies.

There is talk of an investment fund amounting to tens of billions. What do you add with €1.7 billion?
There is little to say as long as the plans for that fund have not yet been finalised. However, the ministers have already decided on one important difference between Invest-NL and the fund. Invest-NL only invests if there is a profitable business case, albeit one that is surrounded by many risks. Invest-NL wants to be able to earn the money back. The fund, on the other hand, spends money when something is socially profitable but cannot be converted into a business case that is profitable for private investors. That money does not return to the fund.

Can large corporations come to you as well?
The entrepreneurs who will create the Netherlands of tomorrow may only just be starting out. The technology that will be required is still in its infancy. This is where we come in and where we will make a difference. We focus on businesses that have good plans for the energy transition and innovative, fast-growing businesses (also called scale-ups). We will expand this over time. Multinationals may also come to us, but they will generally be less in need of capital than small and medium-sized enterprises.

As it appears, there’s hardly a shortage of investment capital. So why do we need an operation like yours?
True, there are plenty of markets in our economy where there is no lack of money. But if you tune into the needs of entrepreneurs who want to invest in radical innovations, you will soon notice that far less capital is available in the Netherlands than in countries such as Germany, the UK or the US. This means that we are missing out on opportunities, and in some cases companies are relocating abroad. And at the same time, for instance the climate change transition requires such an amount of new investments you can easily ask yourself whether the market for risk capital is able to deliver that what is needed.

Do I qualify for financing through Invest-NL?
Do you have a good business plan to make the Netherlands more sustainable or more innovative? Take a look at our conditions, which are available here. If you meet our conditions, answer the five questions in our Quick Scan to find out straight away whether you are eligible for financing by Invest-NL.

What forms of financing do you offer?
You can read more about our forms of financing here: forms of financing.

I have sent my business plan but have not yet heard back from you. What do I do?
We are sorry to hear that. We always try to respond within two weeks but something may have gone wrong. If you submitted a plan over two weeks ago and you still have not heard from us, send us an email ([email protected]) containing your detailed business plan and a clear financing request.

I have a financing request but I do not yet have a detailed business plan. Can you help me?
In order to process your financing request, we need a detailed business plan containing a clear financing request. The plan should include matters such as what the technology is, the qualities of the team, to what extent the business has been validated and, of course, a financial model. Here you can find a business plan format that we have developed. You do not need to copy this format exactly, but make sure that all elements are included.

What are Invest-NL’s focus areas?
Our primary focus areas are Circular Economy, Carbon-neutral Economy, Innovative Scale-ups and Affordable and Accessible Healthcare. For a description, go to Focus areas.

How much have you now invested in businesses?
For information about our investments, go to our portfolio.

I have a question regarding your annual report. Who can I contact?
For questions and remarks concerning our annual report, please contact our Press department. Send a mail to [email protected] To annual report 2020.

If you have any other questions, send an email to [email protected]. If you have a competition complaint, please refer to our Competition Complaints Procedure.