The European Investment Fund (EIF) and the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds of Croatia (MRDEUF) have presented a signed agreement to establish the Croatian Financial Instrument ‘ESIF Venture Capital Fund’.
The ESIF Venture Capital Fund instrument has an Acceleration compartment that will turn investments into risk capital funds targeting local small and medium-sized enterprises with high growth potential.
This fund is the first EIF-managed Croatian Fund of Funds for equity investments which will benefit from the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF).
What will the fund be used for?
The EIT said the €35m from the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020 will target earlier stage investments via venture capital funds to support the development of a Croatian early-stage start-up ecosystem.
The selected fund managers will be expected to attract private capital to be co-invested alongside the EU Funds, as well as to boost the availability of financing to promising high-growth ventures, combined with business mentoring and development services for the investee companies.
Commenting on the new initiative, EIF secretary general Maria Leander said: “We are delighted to be launching the first Croatian ESIF Fund of Funds, with the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds of Croatia. This ESIF Fund of Funds demonstrates how we can provide risk capital to early stage high-growth SMEs and encourage the development of national ecosystems for equity financing.”
About the initiative
The initiative, which represents EIF’s first partnership in the country with public authorities in implementation of European Structural and Investment Funds, will benefit from EIF’s experience with successful implementation of similar equity instruments in Central and Eastern European countries.
Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds Gabrijela Žalac said: “The European Investment Fund has published the Call for Expression of Interest for the selection of ‘ESIF Venture Capital Fund’ manager, which will be open until 13 August 2018, after which the European Investment Fund will decide upon the fund manager.”
Žalac invited all interested fund managers to apply and therefore contribute to the development of the Croatian economy through the EU funds as well as the efforts to make Croatia an interesting country for attracting investors.