EIF - European Investment Fund

10/31/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/31/2020 02:19

Invest-NL and European Investment Fund support innovative Dutch scale-ups

  • Invest-NL and the EIF launch the Dutch Future Fund (DFF), targeting investments in venture and growth capital funds, to offer fresh funding to innovative Dutch SMEs in the ongoing Covid crisis.
  • After a joint initial commitment of €300 million (€150m each), the crowding in of additional investors is expected to help the Fund mobilise total investments in SMEs of around €1.5 billion
  • DFF will pay special attention to investments with a focus on the energy transition, sustainability and the circular economy, all of which are priorities for Invest-NL and the EIB Group.

A new initiative between Invest-NL and the EIF is set to make more financing available for SMEs that are ready to scale-up their business. Both parties invest €150 million in the 'Dutch Future Fund' (DFF), making available €300 million for Dutch SMEs. The €150 million committed by Invest-NL includes a €25 million contribution by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. The DFF will pay special attention to investments with a focus on energy transition, sustainability and the circular economy, as well as climate change in general, all of which are priorities for The Netherlands and the EIB Group. The initiative will offer fresh funding to Dutch SMEs, already hard-pressed by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Overall, the 'Dutch Future Fund' (DFF) aims to support the Dutch economy, and contribute to preparing it for the future by focussing on areas such as Digital Innovation, AI, Life Sciences and Key Enabling Technologies, as well as thematic objectives such as energy transition, sustainability and the circular economy. The programme will be implemented by the EIF, who intends to build a balanced portfolio of 15 to 20 funds that must have a strong commitment to the Netherlands.

Both EIF and Invest-NL acknowledge the fact that, besides the funds supported by DFF, there is still room and justification for additional and dedicated risk capital support in the Netherlands. Industry data reveals that, relative to the size of the Dutch economy, the volume of investments in innovative SMEs is still lagging behind similarly developed economies. The EIF and Invest-NL therefore agree to cooperate in exploring further possibilities to strengthen the Dutch venture capital landscape.

Wouter Bos, CEO of Invest-NL welcomed the agreement, saying: 'One of the reasons why Invest-NL was founded is to enlarge the availability of risk capital for Dutch SME's by strengthening the cooperation between the Netherlands and European institutions like the EIF. Therefore I am very pleased that we can now introduce the Dutch Future Fund. All together it will most likely mobilise over €1 billion for SMEs that will make the Netherlands more sustainable and innovative. I'm looking forward to our cooperation with the EIF and our joint commitment to make DFF successful.'

'This new programme is a testimony to the very positive evolution of the Dutch venture capital ecosystem over the past decade,' added Alain Godard, Chief Executive of the EIF. 'The launch of DFF brings the total of assets advised by the EIF in the Netherlands to over €800 million, by which the Netherlands have gradually become one of the most relevant territories for the EIF. Especially in the context of the current crisis, we're glad that we are able to support innovative businesses in the Netherlands and provide capital to those who are not only trying to weather the storm, but actively looking to scale up.'

Background information:

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.

Invest-NL is the Netherland's main National Promotional Institution (NPI). As an impact investor, Invest-NL is committed to businesses and projects that will make The Netherlands more sustainable and innovative, with a focus on the energy transition and innovative, fast-growing companies, or scale-ups. Invest-NL supports innovative entrepreneurs through financing and advice according to one simple principle: impact is our goal, return is our means. Invest-NL is a private organisation funded by the Dutch government with a capital base of €1.7 billion. For more information, visit https://www.invest-nl.nl

After the successful implementation of the two Dutch Venture Initiative programmes (DVI and DVI-II), DFF will be the third equity fund-of-funds (FoF) program advised by EIF targeting innovative SMEs in the Netherlands. The launch of DFF also marks the second partnership between Invest-NL and the EIF, following the Dutch Growth Co-Investment Programme, which was launched in 2017. Including the Business Angel program EAF Netherlands, the total of assets advised by the EIF in the Netherlands has now reached over € 800 million.

Press contacts:

EIB Group: Tim Smit, +352 691 286423, [email protected]

InvestNL: Chris Roelen, +31 (0)6 26 37 80 95, [email protected]