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German start-up scene further strengthened – Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and EIF expand cooperation on start-up financing

    Date: 07 December 2020

The ERP/EIF Fund of Funds, which has been created by the European Investment Fund and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy on behalf of the ERP Special Fund, will be topped up by one billion euros, reaching a total volume of 3.7 billion euros. The capital resources of the EIF-managed ERP/EIF Fund of Funds are provided by the EIF and the ERP Special Fund, with each contributing 50 per cent. This further improves access to financing for start-ups and young companies in Germany.

Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier said: “I am pleased that we are continuing our successful cooperation with the EIF and that it will be further strengthened. The EIF’s expertise makes a substantial contribution towards the development of the German venture capital market. Innovative companies are key for making our country fit for the future. They help our economy and society move forward, create jobs and ensure growth and prosperity in the long term. However, start-ups in Germany often find it difficult to find capital donors. The ERP/EIF Fund of Funds thus has a valuable role as an anchor, particularly in these difficult times.”

EIF Chief Executive Alain Godard said: “Good access to venture capital is a key requirement for a thriving start-up scene. This applies to Europe in general and to Germany specifically. In a time where we are faced with particular economic challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we must ensure that young, innovative technology companies’ access to financing does not run dry. I am therefore delighted that Germany is expanding its cooperation with us and by topping up the tried-and-tested ERP/EIF financing instrument is making sure this does not happen.”

Background Information:

The ERP/EIF Fund of Funds has been investing in start-ups and fast-growing technology companies since 2004 and has played an important role in German start-up financing ever since. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and the EIF expanded their cooperation in 2012, when they initiated the European Angels Fund Germany (EAF Germany), which is also funded by the ERP/EIF Fund of Funds and co-finances investments by experienced business angels. The ERP/EIF Growth Facility was established in 2016 as a third pillar under which growth financing is provided for fast-growing companies in cases where venture capital is not enough.

The ERP/EIF Fund of Funds has financed more than 100 venture capital funds and growth funds and co-financed more than 50 investments by business angels who invest mostly in Germany. It has thus contributed to more than 2,000 investments in start-ups. The total amount of the capital raised together with other investors exceeds 10 billion euros by far. The cooperation between the ERP Special Fund and the EIF set up in 2004 in the wake of the dotcom crisis has considerably helped strengthen Germany’s venture capital market, which has now become an integral part of the European and globally competitive venture capital landscape. One of the programme’s greatest achievements is its seed-stage investments in companies, which have since become the unicorns of the German start-up scene, with their value exceeding one billion euros.

More on the European Investment Fund (EIF):

The EIF is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its most important task is to help micro, small and medium-sized enterprises obtain access to finance. To that end, the EIF is developing and implementing venture and growth capital products and guarantee and microfinancing instruments. The EIF is thus contributing to meeting the European Union’s goals on innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.

Press contacts


Anna Sophie Eichler, annasophie.eichler@bmwi.bund.de, Tel.: +49 3018 615-6111

Website: http://www.bmwi.de 

EIB Group:

Christof Roche, c.roche@eib.org, Tel.: +352 4379 89013 / Mobile: +32 479 65 05 88


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