Few billionaires are more famous for their donations than for their business success.
This does apply to the Dutch entrepreneur Steven Schuurman.
Earlier this year he already gave a lot of money to D66 and the Party for the Animals and is now doing so again, to the German party De Groenen.
The goal: tackling the climate problem, in his view the greatest challenge of the moment.
Until his political donations, Schuurman was barely known to the general public and he was fine with that.
The tech billionaire does not have the need to be in the spotlight.
But unknowingly, many have already taken advantage of his technology.
In 2012, Schuurman founded Elastic.
That company makes search software, which many well-known companies use, including Facebook, Uber, dating app Tinder and Microsoft's search engine Bing.
An IPO a few years ago significantly boosted the entrepreneur's wealth.
IPO was a big hit
That capital had already grown considerably through the sale of two other software companies: Orange11, which he sold for 6.25 million euros, and Springsource, which he sold for 420 million euros.
The fortune of the forty-something is estimated at more than 1 billion euros.
According to the American business magazine
Forbes, he is
just not one of the two thousand richest people in the world.
Now that Schuurman has all that money, he wants to give something back to society.
He is particularly concerned about the climate problem.
"The climate crisis is so urgent and the price of doing nothing so high that we cannot justify not taking action now towards our children and grandchildren," Schuurman told
earlier this year
And for action you have to go to politics, he thinks.
That is why Schuurman decided earlier this year to donate money to D66 (1 million euros) and the Party for the Animals (350,000 euros) in the run-up to the elections to the House of Representatives.
On Tuesday he announced that he will also donate 1.25 million euros to De Groenen.
According to him, that party is the most ambitious in tackling the climate problem and he hopes that the party will score well in the upcoming elections in Germany on September 26.
Large gifts are exceptional in the Netherlands
Political parties in the Netherlands and Germany often receive donations, but donations of this magnitude are unusual.
For example, the 1.25 million euros from Schuurman is the largest gift ever for De Groenen.
D66 and the Party for the Animals also rarely or never receive such amounts.
The question arises whether the entrepreneur does not want to influence the course of the parties, in order to benefit from it.
From the United States, among others, stories come from business people who support political parties, but want favors in return.
A few months ago, questions were also raised in the Netherlands about a gift from a millionaire to the CDA.
Schuurman says he has no hidden agenda.
He has simply gone through the election manifestos of various parties and chosen the parties that want to do the most about the climate problem, because he believes it is too late to wait.