Amersfoort, January 17, 2024
Golden Egg Check has announced that their venture capital fund has raised 2.5 million euros from investors. With this fund, GEC Capital I, Golden Egg Check aims to make a total of 30 to 35 investments in tech companies over three years.
The fund, which launched in 2022, now has a portfolio of 14 startups, mostly Dutch software companies. At its inception, the fund had an investment budget of half a million euros, at the time the smallest venture capital fund in the Netherlands. With the new capital injection from several (former) tech entrepreneurs and investment companies, the fund now has 2.5 million euros available to invest.
Distinctive about the investment strategy is the co-investment model, in which investments are always made together with a specialized venture capitalist or with a group of relevant angel investors.
Thomas Mensink, partner at GEC Capital, explains how this works: “We cleverly hitch a ride on their knowledge and expertise. At the same time, we bring in our network of investors so that our portfolio companies get faster and better access to (follow-on) capital. We outsource most of the paperwork to the lead investor and don’t need board seats either. In this way we can do many deals with a small team and ensure an optimal spread for our investors.”
A community of entrepreneurs
Ytsen van der Meer, venture partner at GEC Capital, adds: “We are also building a founder community because we see that entrepreneurs learn an awful lot from each other. That peer-to-peer interaction is valuable and comes into its own in an active fund in which many deals take place.”
That there are many entrepreneurs among the new investors is no coincidence, according to Van der Meer: “We consider them part of our community. Their experience is very valuable for the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
Investors contributing capital and knowledge to GEC Capital include Koejans Capital, 819 Capital Partners, Arjé Cahn (ex-Hippo), Geert-Jan Smits (ex-Flinders, author “The start-up scorecard”) and Investeringsfonds Groningen.
The first investor in the fund, Jan-Willem Tusveld (founder Visymo, Koejans Capital), is involved in several successful venture capital funds. He dared to financially enable the start of Golden Egg Check’s first fund in 2022. Tusveld: “The team has a huge network of both startups and investors. The strategy of co-investing with top VCs appealed to me and fits with my preference to invest in startups as widely as possible. In addition, I like to encourage quality initiatives from the region and it gives me great satisfaction to see the team make strides.”
819 Capital Partners is one of the new cornerstone investors in the fund. Among other things, this investment firm manages a venture capital fund with a focus on deep tech. In addition to the investment, Golden Egg Check will intensify its substantive cooperation with 819 Capital Partners. Wim Smit, Managing Partner at 819: “Like GEC, we believe in an ecosystem approach, but we opt for active management with larger investments in fewer companies. Collaborating with GEC’s team allows us to monitor in-depth so that we can move forward with the most promising companies. With this approach, we have the best of both worlds.”
Jan Martin Timmer, Fund Manager at Investment Fund Groningen, explains why IFG invested in GEC Capital I: “In addition to the investments in Groningen that the fund plans to make, we also see the value of the network of international investors that GEC can bring to our region.”
Koejans Capital, 819 Capital Partners and IFG will serve on the Advisory Board to provide GEC Capital with further advice on portfolio management, M&A and strategy.
Gilles Meijer, founder of Golden Egg Check and partner at GEC Capital, is pleased with the dealflow the fund is able to attract so far. Meijer: “For years we have been known in the market as the organization that has great insight into startups as well as access to investors. This has helped us to do one new deal about every month. While many venture capitalists have taken a pass in the last two years, we saw an opportunity to invest right now.”
Companies GEC Capital has invested in include Propel, Valyuu, Quan, Orquesta and Roseman Labs. A number of companies have since raised follow-up rounds. Arosha Brouwer, co-founder and CEO of employee well-being startup Quan, sees the value of having GEC Capital on board: “Golden Egg Check has introduced us to a number of investors who were quick to commit. The team understand early-stage and keep communication lines short. They are responsive, helpful and their huge Dutch VC and Founder network means we are usually within 1 or 2 degrees of separation from who we need.”
Before the summer, Golden Egg Check aims to close the fund at 5 million euros. Meijer: “This will allow us to make 30 to 35 investments and still keep enough as a reserve to continue investing in the most successful companies.”