The European Commission says that it has facilitated equity financing worth more than 1 billion euros to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in startups from across the continent since January under the “Investment Plan for Europe” via the European Investment Fund (EIF) and various equity funds, such as include henQ (The Netherlands), Holtzbrinck Ventures, Paua Ventures, Project A (Germany), Notion Capital (UK), b-to-v Partners and Lakestar.
Since the beginning of this year, EIF and other funds have signed a total of 28 investment deals enabling managers to invest in promising European SMEs and startups. The Commission’s plan is to mobilize other investors including private sector, which could bring investment worth more than 12 billion across the block of 28 countries. European Commissioner Carlos Moedas, responsible for Research, Science and Innovation, explained that “too many start-ups leave our continent because they can’t raise the finance to commercialize innovative ideas. That is why it is so encouraging to see the European Fund for Strategic Investments off to such a good start, investing in promising innovative projects and SMEs from biotech to renewable energy.”
The European Commission has moreover recently broadened access to funding for about 2000 micro-businesses mobilizing €237 million in loans. The start-up policy-making is also newly being influenced by the European Tech Alliance, a recently-launched lobby that aims to support Europe’s technology “scale-ups”, “share their experience of building their businesses in Europe with policymakers” and “contribute to the Commission’s Digital Single Market strategy“. The group is led by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström, now the founder and CEO of VC firm Atomico.