Belgian fund secures €4.8M first-close to boost local startups

Syndicate One, a Brussels-based angel investment group, has completed an initial €4.8mn close of its debut fund, after opening its capital to external investors for the first time in 2023. A second close is planned for early 2024.

The capital will be used to further the group’s mission: boosting Belgium-based and Belgium-founded tech startups that show high potential.

The early-stage investment group was launched in 2022 and draws from a pool of experienced founders, startup operators, and executives, who have scaled businesses such as Cowboy and Collibra.

In its first two years of operation, Syndicate One has invested in startups such as Kennek in fintech and skills intelligence platform Techwolf. It has also lauhched initiatives to overall strenghten the Belgian tech ecosystem, including a standardised convertible loan aggreement (CLA), which, according to the group, is a first for the local market.

Now, over 70 investors answered the group’s first call for external capital in this initial close. These include institutional investors such as Sofina, SFPIM, and Wallonie; families and family offices represented by Balcaen, Vlerick, and Berghmans, among many others; and entrepreneurs among which are Jeroen de Wit (Teamleader), Stijn Christiaens (Collibra), and Stephane Kurgan (Index Ventures, ex-King).

“Belgium has world-class entrepreneurial talent, but sits at the bottom of seed funding per capita in Europe,” said Kurgan. “The Syndicate One team wants to change that.”

The external investors will not only support Syndicate One’s portfolio with capital, but also provide industry expertise and potential customer intros. As an overarching aim, they will seek to involve more stakeholders across the country in initiatives that could boost Belgium’s tech ecosystem in a holistic way.

To further bolster that, Syndicate One is increasing its team with nine new members, including Laurens De Beyter (N26), Pierrine Carlier (ex-Proxyclic, Javry), and Sibylle Greindl (ex-Accountable).

“Belgium has everything it takes to be a flourishing tech ecosystem, but we need to work together to make that happen,” said Laurens De Poorter, the founder of Syndicate One.

“The commitment of these institutional investors, government funds, and family offices allows us to make more and larger investments in Belgian tech startups, extend our network with more professionals who can help our portfolio companies thrive, and push for systemic change with all the relevant stakeholders.”

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