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European Investment Fund invests EUR 15 million in Innovation Nest.

    Date: 09 May 2017

The European Investment Fund (EIF), with the support of InnovFin Equity, is announcing its first investment in a venture firm in Poland with Innovation Nest II.  This agreement was made possible by the support of Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme, and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The EFSI is the central pillar of the European Commission's Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called "Juncker Plan".

EIF’s EUR 15 million commitment into Innovation Nest II is in line with its mission of supporting SMEs by enhancing access to capital, helping to create jobs and fostering economic growth. This transaction is the first InnovFin equity operation in Poland.

Innovation Nest was created in 2011 and targets early stage innovative companies focused on Business to Business (B2B) Software solutions. In the last 6 years with the first fund it has invested in 24 companies in the Polish market.

“Creation of the second fund follows our strategy. We want to invest in European Early Stage Companies focusing on B2B Software that want to grow global. We are happy that EIF believed in our mission and we hope that the second fund will allow us to expand to European markets.” commented Piotr Wilam, Managing Partner at Innovation Nest.

Our EUR15 million commitment into Innovation Nest II will support SMEs by enhancing access to capital, helping to create jobs and fostering economic growth. We strongly believe that Innovation Nest has the knowledge and expertise that will allow them to target innovative early stage companies in Europe.” explained Pier Luigi Gilbert, EIF Chief Executive.

"This milestone agreement under InnovFin Equity – the first in central and eastern Europe – demonstrates that Poland is a vibrant and creative economy that provides many exciting investment opportunities, and that Europe's integration in the field of innovation is on track, including thanks to the wide range of opportunities that Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, provides." EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Moedas said.  

“Horizon 2020 was established to increase innovations in the real economy and to encourage the private sector for higher investments in RTD. Important role in the process – also in Poland – should be played by financial institutions, especially business angels and venture capital funds. I am glad that the next Polish financial institution joins the pro-innovative “alliance” in Poland” Piotr Dardziński, Undersecretary of State in Ministry of Science, responsible for Horizon 2020 in Poland.

“In our opinion this transaction is a great success for Innovation Nest. It shows that Polish financial institutions can compete with other European entities for the EU programmes.” mentioned Arkadiusz Lewicki, Director of National Contact Point for Financial Instruments of the EU Programmes.

About InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators

InnovFin Equity is part of InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators, the new generation of EU financial instruments and advisory services developed under Horizon 2020 to help innovative firms access finance more easily. "InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators" will help to inject around EUR 50 billion in investments in Research and Innovation across Europe.

InnovFin Equity consists of several predominantly early stage equity products offered in cooperation with the European Investment Fund. The product aims at improving access to risk finance by early-stage RDI-driven SMEs and small midcaps through supporting mainly early-stage risk capital funds that invest, on a predominantly cross-border basis, in individual enterprises. SMEs (and small midcaps) located in Member States or in Horizon 2020 Associated Countries are eligible as final beneficiaries. The aggregate investments to venture capital funds made out of InnovFin SME Venture Capital are expected to support between EUR 1.6 to EUR 2 billion of equity financing to final beneficiaries.

About the Junker Plan

The Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called Juncker Plan, is one of the European Commission's top priorities. It focuses on boosting investments to create jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects.

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the central pillar of the Juncker Plan. It provides a first loss guarantee, allowing the EIB to invest in more, often riskier, projects. The EFSI is already showing concrete results. The projects and agreements approved for financing under the EFSI so far are expected to mobilise more than EUR 183 billion in investments and support over 425,000 SMEs across all 28 Member States.

In September 2016, President Juncker proposed to extend the EFSI by increasing its firepower and duration as well as reinforcing its strengths.

Innovation Nest

Innovation Nest is an early stage VC Firm focused on B2B Software investments all around Europe. Started in 2011, out of Krakow, Poland currently holds 30+ companies in its portfolio including: UXPin, Picodi, Growbots, and Estimote. The firm mission is to fund great teams based in Europe and help them to grow and scale globally.

More info available: innovationnest.co 

European Investment Fund

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. More information on EIF's work under EFSI is available here.

More info available: http://www.eif.org/ 

The National Contact Point for EU Financial Instruments

NCP facilitates access to preferential financing for entrepreneurs and financial institutions (as intermediaries). NCP provides information on all EU programmes that include financial instruments, it is also a part of Polish support system for implementation of the Investment Plan for Europe in cooperation with the EIB Group.

More info available: http://www.InstrumentyFinansoweUE.gov.pl 

David Yormesor
Tel.: + 352 42 66 88 346
E-Mail: d.yormesor@eif.org

Innovation Nest:
Chris Kobylecki
Tel: +48 502 403 637
E-mail: chris@innovationnest.co

Michał Gorzelak:
Tel.: + +48 603 583 344
E-Mail: michal.gorzelak@zbp.pl


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