Eurostar has held a relative monopoly on rail journeys from London to Paris ever since it launched in 1994. Campaigners have long argued that greater competition is needed to reduce fares.
Dr Erich Forster of Brussels-based lobby group Alliance of Passenger Rail New Entrants said: “Start-ups such as Heuro are the future of passenger rail.
“We look forward to an alternative to the current situation where – with only one operator – the market is chronically underserved.”
Mr van den Biggelaar said Heuro has raised 10pc of its desired funding target and is now looking for investment in two further investment rounds.
He said the company’s headquarters could be based in Amsterdam, London or Paris.
Mr van den Biggelaar founded Dutch business magazine Quote in the late 1980s. The title, which publishes an annual list of the 500 wealthiest people in the Netherlands, was sold to French group Hachette, the publisher of Paris Match, for a reported €22m in 2006. Mr van den Biggelaar has since gone on to make a range of investments.