Announced at Slush today, the EIC Fund, the equity investment vehicle of the European Innovation Council, has assembled its first batch under the Horizon Europe initiative, taking 35 investment decisions amounting to equity investments of €190 million.
The EIC Fund is, as the name might suggest, the investment component of the EIC Accelerator, an initiative aimed at supporting SMEs with up to €2.5 million in grant funding or equity investments of up to €15 million. With today’s announcement from Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth, the EIC Fund is demonstrating full “up and running” status.
Since launching in March of 2021 the EIC Accelerator hasn’t exactly had the smoothest of rides. In its early days, reports circulated that Commission infighting was holding up funding from flowing out the door and into worthy startups. So egregious was the situation that an external fund manager, in this case, Alter Domus Management Company S.A., was appointed in September of this year. It would appear as though now that an external party is involved, the wheels are turning at a much more rapid pace, and the EIC Fund says that it, “is fully engaged to deal with the backlog of equity investments.”
On the docket: of the 184 companies proposed to receive equity investments through the EIC Fund under Horizon Europe, 58 investment recommendations have been submitted to the EIC Fund for investment decisions. Of the 58, 43 made it through to be discussed by the advisory committee, with 35 investment decisions taken by the investment committee and two investment agreements, Apix Analytics, and Lattice Medical concluded.
“The EIC is a crucial instrument for the implementation of the New European Innovation Agenda, which aims to position the EU as the global leader in deep tech innovation to address our deepest societal challenges,” commented Commissioner Gabriel. “The EIC contributes to the scale-up flagship by supporting high-risk, deep-tech startups with a unique mix of grants, equity investments, and innovation ecosystem services. Today at Slush, the innovation ecosystem partners confirmed the necessity for the EU to help bridging the market gap by attracting investors reluctant to take the risk alone in the early stages of deep tech innovations. Our goal is for the EIC Fund to be the investor of choice for visionary European innovators."
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