Two weeks after the opening of the Corona Bridging Loan (COL) and the Temporary Bridging Loan Program for innovative Start-up and Scale-ups (TOPSS), nearly 1,300 start-ups, scale-ups and innovative SMEs have submitted an application.
The companies are applying for a total of € 630 million through either facility. Almost a third of all applications in the Netherlands come from companies in the province of North Holland.
Approximately 1,270 companies applied for approximately € 460 million through the COL since April 29. These companies together account for employment of 14,500 FTEs. The high number can be explained by the large financing needs of startups, scale-ups and innovative SMEs. They can submit an application via the COL from € 50,000 and make use of favorable conditions. The average amount applied for nationally is approximately € 365,000. Initially, the Cabinet has earmarked € 100 million for the Corona Bridging Loan.
Due to the large amount of applications, the turnaround time of 9 working days for applications up to € 500,000 is not feasible and the aim is to process these within 14 working days. For financing between € 500,000 and € 2 million, we aim for an execution period of a maximum of three working weeks.
Invest-NL is allocating € 100 million to the Temporary Bridging Loan Program for innovative Start-up and Scaleups (TOPSS). Invest-NL applies a lower limit of € 2 million for TOPSS applications. The TOPSS financing is intended to continue investing during the COVID-19 crisis. Invest-NL received 27 applications in two weeks. The total financing requirement for these applications is € 170 million. Invest-NL will take up to 50% of the financing in case of a positive assessment.
The Corona Bridging Loan (COL) is an emergency loan for innovative entrepreneurs and SMEs without a bank credit relationship who have run into financial difficulties due to COVID-19. This arrangement was established in intensive cooperation between the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK), the joint Regional Development Companies (ROMs) and TechLeap.nl, also with the close involvement of Invest-NL. At the request of EZK, the ROMs provide bridging loans between € 50,000 and € 2 million.
In North Holland, the COL is provided by the Innovation Fund. Applications from Noord-Holland are handled by the cooperating parties PIM-NH, NHN Development Company, PDENH, E3 partners, the Municipality of Amsterdam and the Innovation Fund.
Invest-NL wants to guarantee the availability of risk capital for innovative start-ups and scale-ups with TOPSS. TOPSS applications have a lower limit of € 2 million. The TOPSS financing is in the form of a convertible loan and is always done with the involvement of other professional investors.
One of the companies that has successfully submitted an application for the COL is Happitech, a startup from Amsterdam. This tech company develops medical algorithms for the smartphone and offers software modules for remote care via apps. Founder Yosef Safi Harb is happy that the COL has been awarded. “We are currently busier than ever because of the corona crisis. The demand for digital care during the corona crisis suddenly increased enormously. In a short time we have integrated our technology with international partners who have developed beautiful solutions for Corona care. For example, last month we were asked by the OLVG and Luscii to add our heart rate software in the Corona Check App, because increased heart rate can be a sign of a corona infection. At the same time, the “non-Corona care” has come to a standstill recently, as a result of which we missed a large part of our income. During this period we have chosen to offer our Corona solution at cost price to our partners. I think it is our responsibility to contribute in these difficult times. ”
Happitech has been named one of the top 8 Dutch companies contributing to COVID-19 on behalf of Techleap and Prince Constantijn. "We also owe a lot to that in terms of support and guidance in recent weeks."
As a tip for other entrepreneurs, Yosef says: “I think that now that we are at home, it is especially important to contact other entrepreneurs and customers in the same industry via digital communication means to share knowledge and experiences. It has helped us tremendously with various entrepreneurs to discuss our strategy during the COVID-19 crisis. ”