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Spain: EIF and Axis launch European Angels Fund (EAF) - Fondo Isabel la Católica

    Date: 27 November 2012

Read this press release in  Spanish  [pdf]

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Axis, the Venture Capital entity of the Instituto Crédito Oficial (ICO) have  launched the `European Angels Fund (EAF) - Fondo Isabel La Católica‘ in the framework of the pan-European initiative European Angels Fund (EAF).

Richard Pelly, Chief Executive of EIF, and Román Escolano, President of ICO and Axis  have signed the agreement to create the EAF-Fondo Isabel la Católica, in the presence of Fernando Jiménez Latorre, Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs. After its successful launch in Germany in March 2012, Spain is the second country to benefit from this new facility.

The EAF - Fondo Isabel La Católica in Spain, is a co-investment fund which provides funding to Business Angels and other non-institutional investors wanting to invest into innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Through this type of financing, the EAF - Fondo Isabel La Católica strengthens the investment capacity of Business Angels and encourages investments into growth-oriented SMEs in their seed, early or growth stages.

The EAF - Fondo Isabel La Católica addresses the investment objectives and needs of the Business Angels: Instead of co-investing in individual enterprises, the EAF leaves all investment decisions to the Business Angels and provides them with funding for various future investments.

The amount of funding depends on the total target investment and generally ranges between EUR 250,000 and EUR 5.0 million. Investments can be made in all SME sectors and development stages of an enterprise but they have to be new investments.

The EAF - Fondo Isabel La Católica in Spain was developed in close cooperation with Axis, the Venture Capital entity of the Instituto Crédito Oficial (ICO), a shareholder of the EIF.  It initially amounts to EUR 20 million with a view to reaching a possible EUR 30 million and will be funded equally by the EIF and ICO. The EAF - Fondo Isabel La Católica will be managed by the EIF.

During the launch today, Fernando Jiménez Latorre, Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, outlined the importance of EAF - Fondo Isabel La Católica towards the support of seed capital, representing an “alternative to bank financing for Spanish SMEs”.

EIF Chief Executive Richard Pelly said: „With the European Angels Fund - Fondo Isabel La Católica, we aim to stimulate the business activity of Business Angels and small Family Offices in Spain in a targeted and sustainable way. Particularly in the current economic situation, Business Angels are an important source of financing for new and innovative SMEs; therefore, the EIF plans to roll out the initiative more widely in Europe.“

Román Escolano, President of AXIS and ICO, stressed the importance of promoting iniciatives like the EAF - Fondo Isabel La Católica, as it offers a “source of new and alternative financing that allows entrepreneurs to develop their investment projects under optimal conditions”.  Furthermore, the initiative underlines the close collaboration that ICO and AXIS have with European institutions, such as the EIF, to develop new formulas of non-banking financial support for Spanish SMEs.

If you are a Business Angel and you are interested in collaborating with the EAF - Fondo Isabel La Católica, you can submit your application online on this website. By clicking on How to apply at the bottom of the European Angels Fund web page you will be redirected to the online form.

Please note that important criteria for a successful selection are the demonstration of your financing capacity during the tenure of the agreement, the capacity to generate a high quality deal-flow, a proven track record and experience your area of investment.

About the European Investment Fund
EIF's central mission is to support Europe's small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture capital and guarantees instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment. The EIF total net commitments to private equity funds amounted to over EUR 6bn at end 2011. With investments in over 390 funds, the EIF is a leading player in European venture due to the scale and the scope of its investments, especially in high-tech and early-stage segments. The EIF guarantees loan portfolio totalled over EUR 4.4bn in close to 220 operations at end 2011, positioning it as a major European SME guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor.

About the European Angels Fund (EAF)
The European Angels Fund (EAF), managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF), provides equity to Business Angels and other non-institutional investors for the financing of innovative companies in the form of co-investments. It works hand in hand with Business Angels and helps them to increase their investment capacity by co-investing into innovative companies in the seed, early or growth stage. The activity of the European Angels Fund is adapted to the Business Angels’ investment style and mentality by granting the highest degree of freedom in terms of decision making and management of investments. The EAF started its activities in Germany in March 2012 in close cooperation with Business Angels Netzwerk Deutschland (BAND) and the ERP-EIF Dachfonds. In November 2012, it has been expanded to Spain. In the future, it will be rolled out in other European countries and/or regions in view of a pan-European coverage. Once rolled out, the European Angels Fund will foster and support cross border collaboration between Business Angels. It will also contribute to the establishment of European Angels and Family Offices as an attractive alternative asset class. For more information on EAF Spain, please refer to the Spanish leaflet [pdf]

About Axis / ICO
Wholly owned by Instituto de Crédito Oficial, AXIS is a venture capital manager providing enterprises with capital and quasi-capital instruments to finance their growth. It was the first management company for Venture Capital, constituted in 1986, with registration number 1, Axis in one of the sector’s oldest operators.  AXIS has invested more than €250m in over 130 companies and currently manages the following funds:
  • FOND-ICOpyme: Providing backing for enterprises’ expansion plans, in the form of finance and a long-term business vision.
  • FOND-ICOinfraestructuras: Participating in projects involving transport infrastructure, energy, social aspects and services.

Press Contacts:
- Susanne Gutjahr, Head of Communication, s.gutjahr@eif.org, Tel. +352 2485 81487
- MªJosé Luque, Responsable de Comunicación del ICO, mjose.luque@ico.es, Tel. +34 91 5921641

Note: Following the recent withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, we are updating the relevant EIF.org pages.


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