Dutch firm targets €150m for debut fund

Holland Private Equity has held a first close on €40m for its Northern European tech fund. The firm was co-founded earlier this year by Tim van Delden, previously with Avenue Capital and General Atlantic, and Hans van Ierland of Holland Corporate Finance.

Holland Private Equity (HPE) has raised €40 million for the first close of its debut fund, which it began marketing in June. The firm hopes to raise €150 million by summer 2009 and plans to hold a second closing by the end of this year.

Co-founded by former Avenue Capital and General Atlantic executive Tim van Delden, the firm’s limited partners are technology entrepreneurs, executives and institutional investors, including Alex Ribbink and Manfred Reitzler each of whom contributed €12 million.

Tim van Delden

Ribbink, who is is on the supervisory board of bio research company Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics, has worked closely with Delden in the past, both at General Atlantic and Avenue, while Reitzler, founder of radio frequency identification company SMARTRAC, has worked closely with Delden’s partner, Hans van Ierland, at Holland Corporate Finance.

Both Ribbink and Rietzler are working as special advisors for the firm.

Van Delden said the current tough fundraising climate was not an issue for the first-time fund.

Capital is still available but investors simply ask more questions.

Tim van Delden

“Capital is still available but investors simply ask more questions,” he said, noting that HPE  had consciously approached investors with whom its associates had previous relationships. Roughly 70 percent of the fund’s LPs were previously known to himself or the other senior partner. The firm will target a broader range of LPs as it raises the rest of the fund, he said.

Van Delden added that being a new firm gives is an advantage because “investors like that we do not have a legacy portfolio”.

The Amsterdam-based firm will make  late stage growth investments in small- and mid-cap technology companies, primarily in Northern Europe, which have revenues in excess of €20 million to €30 million.

The fund will likely make 10 investments, and is likely to close its first deal in the next two months.