Europe boasts a wealth of talent, world-class researchers and skilled entrepreneurs, but it can do better at turning that excellence into success stories. Access to risk capital for innovation plays a key role. Today, the Commission and the EIF have announced six participating funds to receive EU support in their mission to invest in the European venture capital market.
Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "In venture capital, size matters! With VentureEU, Europe's many innovative entrepreneurs will soon get the investment they need to innovate and grow into global success stories. This means more jobs and growth in Europe."
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, added: “VentureEU is a key element of the Open Innovation strategy that we launched three years ago. It is vital for Europe to remain an industrial leader and an economic powerhouse."
Pier Luigi Gilibert, Chief Executive of the EIF, added: "VentureEU is an important addition to the European equity scene. Whilst we have supported more than 500 funds to date, this is the first time that the EU has created such a unique programme. EIF is proud to be part of this initiative."
VentureEU will provide new sources of financing, giving European innovators the opportunity to grow into world-leading companies. Around 1,500 start-ups and scale-ups are expected to gain access across the whole EU. The EU will provide cornerstone investments of up to €410 million – including €67 million of EIF own resources: €200 million from the Horizon 2020 InnovFin Equity, €105 million from COSME (Europe's programme for small and medium-sized enterprises), and €105 million from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) – the so-called Juncker Plan. The rest of the financing will be raised by the selected fund managers primarily from independent investors.
The EU investment in VentureEU will be managed by the EIF under the supervision of the Commission and rolled out via six professional and experienced fund managers ensuring a fully market-driven approach. This will attract more investments and significantly increase the availability of VC funding for start-ups and scale-ups in the EU.