Deloitte Fundraising Index 2015

Belgian startups have risen 20% more funds than the year before

Belgian tech startups have raised 300 million euros in 2015, a rise of more than 20% compared to 2014. The numbers confirm the vitality of the Belgian technology sector and mark the growing role of finance and risk capital for these young innovating companies.

General conclusions

Investments in Belgian startups are booming. In 2015, 132 innovating companies have raised a total amount of 301,6 million by investors, a rise of 22% compared to the year before.

The average amount collected by start-ups of a complex technology nature has been elevated with 2,3 million.
The most dynamic sector is the Technology, Media & Telecom (TMT) sector, with a total amount of 178 million euros for the year 2015, a dazzling rise of 174% compared to 2014.

The software sector has attracted almost half of the funds injected in this category. This is in line with our annual Fast 50 programme, in which young companies that offer a broad range of digital solutions to the market are widely represented.

But the Biotech sector is also a large contributor, with 21 startups having raised a total amount of 98,2 millions. This amount is comparable to 2014 where 24 startups have raised 105,4 million altogether.

Risk capital, accelerator of development

Our study shows that 45% of the funds have been realized by companies not older than three years. Technology startups financed with risk capital is in full expansion. The funds are a means to develop technology and accelerate the commercial development, as well as internationalize the activities. This last objective is essential, given the limitation of the Belgian market.

The raised amount depends on the stage of development of the company

The study reveals that the collected amount strongly varies in function of the age of the company. Startups younger than three years have collected an amount of 1,2 million. Those between 3 and 10 years have collected 2 millions and 3,7 millions have been raised by companies older than 10 years.

Flemish startups attract more capital

Flanders represents 45% of the total collected amount, while Wallonia takes 30% and Brussels 25% of the account.

The TMT category examined

The total amount of funds that young innovating companies have been collected in the TMT (Technology, Media, Telecom) has more thand doubled, going from 65 million in 2014 to 178 million in 2015!

These numbers indicate a higher maturity of the startup ecosystem, but also an accomplishment of our startups to attract investors.

21 companies have raised an amount that surpasses 2 million

The number of companies that have raised more than 2 million euros has tripled, from 7 companies in 2014 to 21 in 2015. These numbers indicate again an important dynamism or companies that have done several fundraising rounds in the past.

4 TMT startups have even risen an amount that is equal or surpasses 10 million, while small fundraisings (less than 1 million) represent 65% of the operations.

The average collected amount is bigger in Flanders

The Flemish region is very performant, raising an average amount of 2,1 million, followed by the Brussels region with 1,7 million and Wallonia with 0,7 million.

This difference can be explained by the presence of startups in Flanders, having arrived in a stage of more advanced growth (“scale up”), attracting international investors, while Wallonia finds itself more in a developing stage.

Half of the operations relate to young companies of less than 3 years

52% of the funds in the TMT sector have been realized by startups younger than 3 years, with an average amount of 0,5 million in 2014 to 1,2 million in 2015. We note a spectacular rise of the round table talks at the level of startups that began their course.

Companies that have been active form more than 3 years averagely rise 1,7m EUR, while companies older than 10 years reach an amount of 3,1 million.

Emergence of new investors

More than 50% of the fundraising operations is accomplished by private investors (or business angels). We notice an increased participation in startups by company owners, corporate executives or former enterpreneurs, often for amounts starting from 10.000 EUR. It is no surprise to determine a growing number of shareholders that are active in the network of business angels (BAN Vlaanderen, Be Angels).

With the foundation of tax stimuli (tax shelter for startup), we expect an increase of interest by the private investor for this type of risk investment.

Apart from Belgian investors, we also notice an increase of foreign private funds, participating this year for about 16 operations in Belgium (17%), while this was only 8% in 2014!

13 companies have raised an amount over 2 million EUR

The number of companies that have raised more than 2 million EUR has remained stable. 77% of the operations have been realized in Wallonia where the TMT sector is widely represented, for an amount of 66 million EUR.

Companies older than 10 years have realized 25% of the operations

Young startups of less than 3 years have realized 38% of the operations and have raised an average amount of 1,4 million, against 2,1 million in 2014.

Moreover, 25% of the operations have been realized by companies older than 10 year, for an amount of 3,9 million EUR.

Startups active in the category of Life Sciences are generally older compared to other ones in the TMT sector, given their specific development cycle. In fact, the developed technologies by these companies obtain longer R&D phases, and require a more important financing spread over a longer time period.




The older the company, the more mature, the more important the amount raised becomes

Jean-Michel Noé, Senior Manager M&A




Amount of funds raised in 2015 by Belgian startups

        Category                Sector             Amount raised                 TOTAL         
TMT Software €   89 895 000 € 177 947 000
Digital services €    1 350 000
Web €   33 815 000
Technologie €   50 129 000
Media € 2 100 000
Telecom € 659 000
LIFE SCIENCES Biotech €   98 161 699,38 € 102 452 000
Medtech €    4 290 014,34
CLEANTECH & ENERGY Cleantech € 5 125 000 € 21 190 000
Energy € 16 065 000
     € 301 560 000



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