European VCs to get extra €1bn from the European Investment Fund
ItemDate=2021-05-03 00:46:00 Status=publish
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In an interview with Sifted Alain Godard the chief executive of the European Investment Fund which is already one of the biggest backers of the region’s VC funds said it would allocate about one third of its latest capital increase to indirect equity investments. The EIF’s shareholders last month approved a 64% increase in the fund’s share capital from €4.5bn to €7.4bn. Godard said that the fund which also supports small and medium-sized businesses through guaranteeing loans last year worked with about 600 counterparties to provide credit guarantees to small businesses as well as investing in 700 funds.
Godard added that EIF was increasing its focus on environmental projects where Europe was a “step ahead” of the rest of the world in terms of coordinating public policy and private investment. “I see a new generation of fund managers clearly investing more and more into sustainable business ” he said. The EIF has backed VC funds that have invested in some of Europe’s most successful startups including UiPath and Spotify generating extremely strong returns for their backers. Godard said the EIF would continue to invest via UK VC funds post-Brexit so long as a large enough proportion of their investments were made within the EU. As well as aiming for decent financial returns the EIF also focuses on the EU’s broader policy objectives. Godard said the EIF’s role over the past 20 years had been to develop nascent markets both in terms of supporting underdeveloped capital markets around Europe and in backing disruptive new technologies. The EIF’s presence on a company’s cap table was often seen as a “quality stamp.” Every €1 invested by the EIF mobilised an additional €5 of private money. Last year the EIF helped finance 370k businesses across Europe supporting 2.8m jobs. Dario Scannapieco the EIF’s chair told Sifted that the fund’s loan guarantee programme was easing the flow of credit to smaller businesses. The shareholders of the EIF which forms part of the European
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