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€80 million for Croatian start-ups through new EIF-managed investment programme

    Date: 19 September 2023
  • European Investment Fund and the Croatian Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds announce a new €80 million programme to support Croatian start-ups.
  • The “CVCi 2” programme follows the successful €35 million CVCi programme launched in 2018, which has so far supported 140 start-ups in the country.
  • By investing in innovative SMEs with high growth potential through accelerators and venture capital funds, the EIF-managed fund will boost the VC and innovation ecosystem.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds of the Republic of Croatia have announced the signature of a new funding agreement, setting up the Croatian Venture Capital Initiative 2 (CVCi 2). The programme is a follow-up of the successful €35 million CVCi fund that was launched in June 2018, which is currently almost fully deployed in about 140 early-stage start-ups in the country.

With a contribution of €60 million from the ERDF-funded Programme Competitiveness and Cohesion 2021-2027, coupled with €20 million of additional resources, enabled also by expected proceeds from CVCi 1, some €80 million is expected to become available for investments in early-stage Croatian companies with high growth potential. The additional resources will further align CVCi 2 with the market and provide follow-on investment capacity beyond the time horizon of the Programme. Moreover, some further €20 million of private capital is anticipated to be invested in the new venture capital funds by market investors.

“By supporting emerging technologies and innovative ideas, and making them grow, venture capital can play an important role in bringing about the green and digital transitions.”  commented EIB Group Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska. “As the EU’s climate bank, the EIB Group wants to support initiatives that positively impact both our environment and support business, thus bringing about a just transition for all EU citizens.”

“This new initiative will build on the experience of its predecessor, supporting investments in innovative Croatian SMEs with high growth potential through accelerators and venture capital funds.”  added EIF Chief Executive Marjut Falkstedt. “By adopting an approach focused on crowding-in third party investments, we expect that the total positive impact on the Croatian economy can amount to €100 million over the coming years, contributing to the continued development of the Croatian venture capital and innovation ecosystem.”

Šime Erlić, Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds, added: “CVCi 1 achieved above average success, resulting in 31 million euros deployed through more than 140 different investments. Now, in the new programming period, we plan to implement a further 8 financial instruments aimed at SMEs, which are expected to enable significant additional investments in the Croatian economy.”

Among the priorities of CVCi 2, the EIF expects to select more than one fund manager with the objective to accompany business ideas from their very inception into their commercialisation and early growth stages. As part of the EIB Group’s climate focus, the EIF will encourage prospective fund managers to make allocations towards investments contributing to climate action and environmental sustainability.

While the original CVCi already foresaw the possibility of bringing innovators to Croatia, CVCi 2 will more explicitly support them in developing their business ideas there, with an allocation for investments in foreign businesses setting up operations in the country. The funding may also be partially used to further invest, alongside private investors, in successful companies originally supported under CVCi, to assist them in their further growth.

Background information

The European Investment Fund is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its main goal is to support microenterprises and small businesses by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments that specifically target this market segment. In this role, the EIF contributes to the pursuit of key EU policy objectives such as competitiveness and growth, innovation and digitalisation, social impact, skills and human capital, climate action and environmental sustainability.

The EIF has cultivated fruitful relationships to support start-ups and scale-ups with both the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds and the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR). With complementary programmes focusing on different stages of business development between the Ministry and HBOR, the aggregate amount of financing made available through equity investment partnerships between the EIF and its Croatian partners is nearly €300 million since 2018.

Press contacts

EIF: Tim Smit, +352 691 28 64 23, t.smit@eib.org

Ministry: Nataša Pavić; +385 99 3598 840, natasa.pavic@mrrfeu.hr

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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