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Pitchdrive launches EUR20m fund in collaboration with SmartFin

Pitchdrive, a Belgian-based start-up funding platform investing in European early-stage ventures, has held the first closing of its second fund at EUR20 million, organised in collaboration with SmartFin. 

Pitchdrive leverages data-driven deal selection and extensive entrepreneurial expertise towards one goal: to offer promising technology start-ups the initial funds they need to launch their business. Pitchdrive was founded by known tech entrepreneurs all confronted with an underserved and scattered European seed investment landscape. Among the founding fathers of Pitchdrive Fund II are Jonas Dhaenens, Jürgen Ingels, Lorenz Bogaert, Wim Derkinderen, Toon Coppens, Luc Verelst, Koen Christiaens, and Boris Bogaert.

Pitchdrive’s Fund II secured EUR20 million in a first closing with a potential increase up to a maximum of EUR30 million. With these new resources, Pitchdrive plans a substantial expansion of its investment portfolio. The Pitchdrive Fund I portfolio today numbers over 20 European start-ups, including Oper Credits, Smooved, Hotelmanager, Openface, Brauzz, and Picky. With its new fund Pitchdrive plans an additional 40 portfolio investments in Europe and beyond in the coming 24 months.

Seed investing is largely ignored in most European investment portfolios as it’s a very time consuming and subjective process to set up the funding round. Early-stage start-ups are also difficult to follow up on, especially since early-stage portfolios tend to contain a large number of companies to diversify. Pitchdrive closes that gap in order to impact innovation at its core, spark creativity to society and boost economic growth in Europe.

The investors backing Pitchdrive’s Fund II are mainly entrepreneurs and family offices. These include Jürgen Ingels (ex Clear2pay), Matthias Geeroms (OTA insights), Johan Van Damme (Joos Consulting), Jan Helskens (Cookware Company), Anthony De Clerck (Dovesco), Fons Tooten (Vavato), Carmen Cordier and Paul Cordier.

Pitchdrive is led by Wim Derkinderen, Boris Bogaert and Koen Christiaens, who are all seasoned entrepreneurs now sharing their experience with a new generation of founders. The Fund is also co-managed by SmartFin, a European growth capital investment platform managing several mid- to late-stage technology funds. Together, Pitchdrive and SmartFin are coaching a new generation of European founders from their early- to late-stage growth.

Investors count on the experience and data-driven technology of Pitchdrive to scale seed stage investing by helping them qualify and select promising start-ups from thousands of investment opportunities. This enables investors to diversify their portfolio massively. For founders, Pitchdrive offers simple and quick access to the funding needed to launch businesses, as well as expert advice from serial entrepreneurs to scale their start-up.

“At Pitchdrive we believe that in the right hands, EUR200,000 can change the world. We want to make it as simple as possible for founders to find the expertise and funding they need to launch their business. A lot of complexity has crept into seed funding, while we believe founders should be focusing on their business, not on the long and stressful process of raising funds. Our core philosophy is that we let founders be founders, and with the closing of our second fund we now have over EUR20 million to make a new selection of founders’ dreams come true,” says Wim Derkinderen, managing partner of Pitchdrive.

“We’re excited to see that Pitchdrive’s Fund II proved to be very popular among investors. There is a clear demand in the European market for a partner who makes seed funding accessible, secure, and scalable. Given the massive interest in our second fund, we’re confident we will be able to reach our ideal goal of reaching a EUR30 million closing. We’re already seeing some promising results from Pitchdrive’s first investments, and we’re all looking forward to what the future will bring,” says Jürgen Ingels, Supervisory Board member of the fund.

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