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EIF first ever equity investment in Israel

    Date: 13 September 2018
  • The European Investment Fund (EIF) makes it first ever equity investment in Israel under the European Commission’s InnovFin programme
  • USD 20 million anchor Limited Partner investment in the USD 75 million ICV III fund to support Israeli seed and early stage companies
  • High-level delegation in Tel-Aviv officially launch the fund today and visit several start-up companies

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is making the first ever equity investment in Israel under the European Commission’s InnovFin programme, with a USD 20 million anchor Limited Partner investment in ICV III. This investment is a direct benefit of Israel's participation in Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020). 

ICV III will invest in Israeli seed and early stage companies developing software, hardware and infrastructure innovation that enhance resource efficiency and sustainability. Target companies will be promoting new technologies and business models that can modernise established industries, particularly those that have been slow to adopt new technologies.

ICV has been making early stage and seed investments in Israel since 2006, and with the support of Horizon 2020, ICV’s third fund will aim to continue backing emerging leaders with USD 75 million of capital. To date, ICV has invested over USD 150 million in over 25 companies from its first two funds.

Following the official launch of the fund in Tel-Aviv today, the high-level delegation met several start-up companies and tested some of their tech products. 

"We are proud that EIF has chosen to make its first investment in Israel through ICV”, said Meir Ukeles, one of the founding partners of ICV. “Since inception in 2006, our firm has partnered with entrepreneurs seeking to disrupt some of the largest markets in the world, and given their vast experience as an LP in over 300 VC funds we are thrilled to have EIF as the anchor investor in ICV III. We are excited about opportunities ahead of us, and look forward to making our first investments soon.”

EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert commented: “We are delighted to be launching our first equity fund in Israel with the support of the InnovFin programme. Israel offers a strong early stage market opportunity and ICV III is an attractive first investment due to its sustainability focus. EIF's participation in ICV III is an opportunity to support innovation through a fund with an established presence in Israel and unique access to high-quality deal flow.”

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "This deal will open up new ways of funding for research and innovation and support technology uptake in Israel. It is yet another example of how open innovation and being open to the world under Horizon 2020 benefits both the EU and its partners."

EU Ambassador to Israel, Emanuele Giaufret said: “This new area of investment adds to already successful work done by EU institutions in developing Israeli infrastructure, and technology and innovation sectors. For more than 20 years, Israel has been a partner in the EU's research and innovation programme creating the right environment for significant investment to be made. Such investments, especially in sustainability, not only encourage the local economy but also prepare Israel to manage its environmental challenges".

CEO Israel Innovation Authority, Aharon Aharon said: “As the government entity responsible for Israel's innovation policy and through our involvement in Horizon 2020 via ISERD we are proud of EIF's investment in Israel. The profound synergy between Israel and Europe as well as the tool set offered by Horizon 2020 framework programme present excellent funding opportunities to support innovation and collaboration initiatives. Such investments present Israeli Start-Up and Scale-Up companies with a substantial growth path and smoother entry to the European market."  

The fund benefits from the InnovFin Equity Facility for Early Stage with the financial backing of Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme. Working with EIF under the InnovFin programme, the fund will offer investees the know-how and connections to the European market while sharing European innovation expertise in the Israeli market.

Israel's contribution, via the Israel Innovation Authority, to industrial development in Horizon 2020 will total EUR 1.1 billion in seven years. One of the important benefits of this contribution is the involvement of European financial institutions in Israel via investments in venture funds, equity as well as to provide guarantees to the local banks for loans to grown companies.

About Israel Innovation Authority & ISERD

The Israel Innovation Authority, responsible for the country’s innovation policy, is an independent and impartial public entity that operates for the benefit of the Israeli innovation ecosystem and Israeli economy as a whole. Its role is to nurture and develop Israeli innovation resources, while creating and strengthening the infrastructure and framework needed to support the entire knowledge industry.

ISERD is the Israeli Directorate for the EU Framework Programme – it aims at promoting Israel's participation in the EU’s R&D Framework Programmes, Europe's main funding instrument for research bringing together industries and academic research. ISERD an inter-ministerial directorate, established by the Israeli Ministry of economy, Ministry of Science and Technology, the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education, Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is operating through the Israel Innovation Authority and is Israel’s official National Contact Point (NCP) with the EU, for all the activities of the Framework Programme.

About ICV

Founded in 2006, ICV is an early stage venture capital fund focused on technologies driving sustainability and resource efficiency. This latest fund brings ICV’s total managed capital to over USD 200 million. ICV has completed more than 25 investments in its first two funds. ICV funds are backed by leading institutional investors, multinational corporations and family offices in Europe, the US and Israel.

About EIF The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance 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. About InnovFin Equity

This investment is supported by InnovFin Equity with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020, the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020). Through or alongside selected Venture Capital (VC), Business Angels (BA), Technology Transfer funds and funds-of-funds, the EU provides risk capital financing to enterprises, research organisations, universities in their proof-of-concept, pre-seed, seed, start-up and other early-stage phases allowing them to set up or reach their next stage of development.

InnovFin Equity investments, deployed by the European Investment Fund (EIF), can represent up to 50% of the total commitment made by the financial intermediary, who shall demonstrate a high policy fit by targeting in its investment strategy sectors covered by Horizon 2020 including ICT, medical technologies, biotechnologies, green technologies, nanotechnologies, etc. In addition, the facility has been designed to support Horizon 2020 objectives addressing societal challenges such as those related to resource efficiency, bio-economy, health and demographics, and climate change.

Press contacts:

Eido Minkovsky, +972 50 65 28 001

Israeli Innovation Authority
Hagit Sela-Lidor +972-3-7157908

David Yormesor
+ 352 24 85 81 346

EU Delegation to Israel
Sharon Offenberger
+972 544 282 213


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