Greece launches Equifund Venture Capital Fund project

Greek authorities on Monday published an invitation to Financial Intermediary Organizations to participate in an Equifund Venture Capital Fund.

The Venture Capital Fund (Equifund) is an investment platform with a multiplying impact on the economy and society. It is an innovative product for entrepreneurship, combining finance and experience from major institutional agencies and the necessary flexibility to create successful investments. Such an effort is made for the first time in the country and it is also the first time to be endowed with such a high amount of public funds (200 million euros public expenditure by the Operational Program “Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation” (Restart), under the NSRF 2014- 2020 programe). Additional funds will come from international financial institutions and private investors.

On Thursday, December 22, 2016, a presentation event and signing of the agreement establishing the Fund Venture was held at the presence of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, European Investment Bank President (EIB), Werner Hoyer and EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu.

The fund was established by the Ministry of Economy and Development and the European Investment Fund and as reported in statements of Finance Minister Dimitris Papadimitriou: “The Venture Fund endowed with 260 million euros and will have additional funds from international financial institutions and private investors through leverage of over 1 billion euros”.

“The creation of the new Venture Capital Fund, Equifund, seeks the coupling between innovative and dynamic Greek SMEs, which experience difficulty in accessing funds on the one hand, and investors, domestic and international, on the other, who wish to invest in such operations, and they recognize the potential and prospects of the country, but because of the size of firms, they are unable to identify and approach them,” as Alternate Economy Minister Alexis Charitsis said recently.

Funding will be done through intermediary venture capital funds which will result from a tendering process.

There will be three main areas of investment, called “windows” of the platform: investment in research and innovation, overall business investment in companies in the early stages and general business investment companies in the development stage. Intermediate Capital Funds therefore correspond to the so-called “windows”, that in these three key areas of investment.