The Success of the Startupbootcamp Convertible

The Netherland’s tech startup ecosystem is emerging and the demand for simpler funding terms that enable startups to grow is getting hard to keep up with. Startupbootcamp E-commerce decided to tackle this issue and launch the first Netherlands based accelerator to offer convertible notes to startups. For Leapfunder, this was a great opportunity to extend our service package to a broad range of organizations.

The Success of the Startupbootcamp Convertible

Convertible Notes and Startupbootcamp

Being a SBC company, at Leapfunder we have always nurtured a very close partnership with SBC in developing our products and systems. Therefore, when it came to providing a solution for their needs, we had 95% of the idea already in place. With this round, we are giving mentors and investors around SBC the chance to participate in a wide range of startups, with the convenience of investing in a single one. At the same time, we are making sure that all SBC companies have access to sufficient funding that will boost their acceleration and connect them with the investor community at the Demo Day, in the most optimal way.

Marc Wesselink, the director of Alumni Growth Program explained, “With this initiative we wanted to only involve our existing E-commerce mentors and Angels who have previously taken a hands-on role in supporting our startups. Leapfunder, a Startupbootcamp alumni, will be issuing the notes through their website – we’re really mobilizing our entire ecosystem to make this pilot a success.”

How does it work?

The system is organized in a way that every startup which is selected gets an offer of investment. The offer is made by a syndicate of investors that has been formed beforehand. The amount is clear from the start, but the startups do have a choice in how much they are willing to accept.

According to SBC Co-Founder, Patrick de Zeeuw, the scheme gives startups within the program greater flexibility and the ability to focus on other parts of their business. “We want our startups to really focus on their growth, marketing, business development and getting early traction. So by offering the startups this extra money, not only will they have more time before they start their fundraising rounds, but they’ll also be able to negotiate better terms with investors.”  

What do startups say?

Rutger Teunissen, founder of 24 sessions, one of the  pilot startups confirms, “The Convertible Note gave us the opportunity to expand our tech team, and made it possible for us to take our first serious step as a company. The fact that the legal construction is managed through the Leapfunder platform is also a great advantage; this way we don’t have to worry about the legal hassle and have more time to focus on growing our business.

This type of positive responses caused the Convertible note initiative to continue in 2016, and this time, in the  Smart City & Living sector of the SBC Accelerator.

The future

There are universities throughout the Netherlands that would like to fund all of their spin-outs with some seeding. Leapfunder can facilitate that by giving every alumni of these universities the opportunity to invest. The fund that is then created can be disbursed via Leapfunder Notes. This kind of fund carries no management fee, it’s easy to set up and there is minimal risk for the managers. We see a world in which many special-purpose funds are unmanaged and our solution allows the ultimate investors to do exactly that – manage their own positions via Leapfunder Trust Office. We are changing the climate for investors.

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