Top 250 Scaleups 2021

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Top 250 Scaleups are still an engine of job creation
Download the Top 250
Who are the fastest-growing companies in the Netherlands? What is behind their success? Welcome to Top 250 Scaleups 2021 – the lustrum edition of our yearly monitor of the top scaleups in the Netherlands. This research is the result of a long-standing cooperation with Rotterdam School of Management (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and nlgroeitScroll down for the Insights Report and the full list of companies!

Top 250 Scaleups 2021 is not just another edition of our yearly report. Not only because it’s our lustrum edition, but also because our economy is in the process of recovering from months of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Top 250 Scaleups 2021 and the COVID19-pandemic  

As it appears on our ScaleUp Dashboard 2020, fast-growing companies are vulnerable to crises; yet, they can be the quickest to recover from economic shocks and act as an engine of economic recovery. ”The 250 innovative companies represented in this report are the perfect examples of scaleups as an engine for economic recovery. In total, these scaleups have created about as many new jobs as the Top 250 Scaleups before the pandemic,” says Martin Luxemburg, director of Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship. 

This lustrum edition shows that fast-growing companies are benefiting from accelerated changes in customer demand and relationships, especially in the field of digitalisation as innovative revenue models were already implemented before the corona pandemic.  

Top 250 Insights Report

Including the full list of the top Dutch fast-growing companies of this year, together with special content from Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship, this Insights Report also shares case studies on some of the Top 250 Scaleups 2021 and some insights from our year-long research into Dutch and international scaleups.  

Top 10

The Top 10 Scale-ups have been ranked twice: once in the number of jobs created in FTE in the period 2017-2020 and once in the average annual growth in FTE. The average of these two placements then determines the final score. With an equal ranking, the ratio of growth of the scale-ups to the two criteria was examined. The largest grower ends up higher.

1. MediaMonks

Founder: Wesley ter Haar; Year of establishment: 2001; Growth rate: 71%; New jobs created: 2299; Location: Hilversum.
MediaMonks is a creative digital production company producing websites, games, and films, often to serve the needs of advertising agencies.


2. Picnic

Founder: Michiel Muller; Year of establishment: 2015; Growth rate: 57%; New jobs created: 2381; Location: Amsterdam.
Picnic is the world’s fastest growing online supermarket with a unique business model and a highly engaged customer base. Their mission is to make grocery shopping simple, fun, and affordable for everyone.


3. Coolblue

Founder & CEO: Pieter Zwart; Year of establishment: 1999; Growth rate: 23.1%; Jobs created: 1658; Location: Rotterdam.
Coolblue is an online enterprise that’s made up of 11 physical stores in the Netherlands and Belgium, with one important goal: to make customers happy.


4. EVBox

Founders: Huub Rothengatter & Bram van de Leur; Year of establishment: 2010; Growth rate: 78%; New jobs created: 563; Location: Amsterdam.
EVBox has reinvented the way we do business and given us the freedom to travel farther than ever before reducing mobility’s impact on the environment.


5. Red je Pakketje

Founders: Tijs van Driel, Sam & Kay Rohn; Year of establishment: 2016; Growth rate: 109%; New jobs created: 654; Location: Arnhem.
Red je Pakketje is a scale-up and e-commerce platform for parcel delivery specialized in same day delivery.

Red je Pakketje

6. Adyen

Founders: Pieter Van Der Does & Arnout Schuijff; Year of establishment: 2006;  Growth rate: 39%; New jobs created: 1114; Location: Amsterdam.
Adyen provides a single payments platform globally to accept payments in a single system, enabling revenue growth online, on mobile devices and at the point of sale.


7. Mollie

Founder: Adriaan Mol; Year of establishment: 2005;  Growth rate: 76%; New jobs created: 351; Location: Amsterdam.
Mollie is a pioneer in the payment industry facilitating companies of all sizes to scale and grow by using different payment methods. It can offer multiple payment methods in a uniform way while becoming the most-loved PSP in Europe by simplifying complex financial services.


8. Workrate

Founders: Michiel Muller, Jop Wolff, Eelco Wiertsema; Year of establishment: 2003;  Growth rate: 37%; New jobs created: 578; Location: Schiphol-Rijk.
Workrate is a security company with a unique approach to the manned guarding industry. The company provides a service of transparent and measurable processes and a culture of continuous improvement.



Founders: Bart & Paul Manuel; Year of establishment: 2016; Growth rate: 28%; New jobs created: 617.9; Location: Amsterdam.
DEPT is an international digital agency with over 1,500 experienced thinkers & makers in 13 countries across Europe and the Americas.


10. NewCold

Founder & CEO: Bram Hage; Year of establishment: 2012; Growth rate: 26%; New jobs created: 451; Location: Breda.
NewCold provides leading food companies with the most compelling logistic cold chain experience possible.


Top 250 Scalups 2021 in sectors

Most fast-growing companies are located in sectors at the intersection of digitalisation, services and marketing & media.

Top 250 Scaleups 2021 across regions

Amsterdam is the city in the Netherlands with the most companies in the Top 250 Scaleups 2021, followed by Rotterdam (17) and Eindhoven (17). 
“These companies are progressive in developing new solutions and also able to manage the high-growth of their organisation. They do this by continuously improving, accelerating and adapting the organisation to future challenges.”
– Prof. dr. Justin Jansen, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Academic Director of Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship

Top 250 Scaleups 2021

In alphabetical order

About Top 250 Scaleups

The Top 250 Scaleups is an overview of fast-growing companies (or scaleups) published in collaboration with nlgroeit. The research is led by Prof. dr. Justin Jansen, Academic Director of Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship and Professor of Corporate Entrepreneurship at Rotterdam School of Management.

Top 250 Scaleups consists of a selection of fast-growing companies (scaleups) that:

  • have at least 10 FTE (Full-Time Equivalent) and / or at least 5 million euros in turnover at the start of the measurement period;
  • achieved an average growth of at least 20% in FTE and / or revenue in three consecutive years in the 2017-2020 period.
Discover the rankings of previous Top 250 Scaleups editions (click on the photo):


Top 250 Scale-ups


Top 250 Scale-ups


Top 250 Scale-ups


Top 250 Scale-ups

More about Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship

Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship is the leading entrepreneurship centre in Europe. Fueled by our belief that entrepreneurship is the primary driver for innovation, we strive to embed entrepreneurship in the DNA of people by applying the knowledge and network of Erasmus University Rotterdam, a university founded by entrepreneurs more than 100 years ago.

We work together with several municipalities, regional development companies, ministries and other public organizations around the world to help them stimulate the growth of companies. Thanks to years of research into fast-growing companies (e.g. ScaleUp Dashboard and European ScaleUp Monitor) we know which internal and external factors facilitate the growth of companies. Find out how we can support you:


Our growth programmes for entrepreneurs are based on scientific research and practical insights on successful companies such as Top 250 Scaleups

Growth programmes

Executives and professionals

Prepare yourself for the next stage of growth by building a culture of innovation that drives your company or public organisation forward.

Executive Education


We investigate young and fast-growing companies, such as startups and scaleups, and the innovation ecosystems in which they emerge and develop.

Get in touch

Would you like to know more?

Get in touch with Leonardo Fuligni:


T: +31 10 740 2334

Leonardo Fuligni

Deputy Director