(Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness)

The European Commission claims that it has enabled equity financing to small and medium-sized business in startups from across Europe to the tune of €1 billion+ since the start of this year, via the European Investment Fund (EIF) and various equity funds, as part of its 'Investment Plan for Europe'.

Since January, the European Investment Fund (EIF) and funds from across Europe have signed a total of 28 investment agreements (PDF) worth over €1 billion, the Commission says, in turn enabling fund managers to invest in promising startups and SMEs. The Commission says that, by mobilising other investors - including funds from the private sector - the plan is expected to result in overall investments of more than €12 billion across the European Union.

Some of the funds that have been backed by the European Investment Fund include henQ (The Netherlands), Holtzbrinck Ventures, Paua Ventures, Project A (Germany), Notion Capital (UK), b-to-v Partners and Lakestar.

European Commissioner Carlos Moedas, responsible for Research, Science and Innovation, comments:

"Too many start-ups leave our continent because they can’t raise the finance to commercialise innovative ideas. That is why it is so encouraging to see the European Fund for Strategic Investments off to such a good start, investing in promising innovative projects and SMEs from biotech to renewable energy."

The European Commission and the EIF also recently opened up access to finance for micro-enterprises, mobilising €237 million in loans to support 20,000 European micro-enterprises.

Also read:

German late-stage tech investment firm Acton closes fresh $200 million fund

VC firm Atomico has researched the size of the late-stage funding gap in Europe

Analysis: European tech companies raised €3.47 billion in VC in Q2 2015

EIF and KfW Bankengruppe team up to provide €1 billion to German startups

Finnish adtech startup Kiosked gets a €15 million boost from the European Investment Bank

Rovio gets 25 million euros in financing from the European Investment Bank

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