The EBRD is launching a new venture capital investment programme for early and growth stage companies operating in technology sectors.
The programme is a long-term commitment to technology financing in the EBRD region – including the future region of the southern and eastern Mediterranean – with the Bank setting up a €100 million capital pool, dedicated team, and an advisory committee including outside experts and approval process.
The region in which the Bank operates, despite being home to an educated population and many technological innovations, is under-served by venture capital investment. Even Russia and Turkey, home to promising technology industries, do not have access to sufficient venture capital financing.
The EBRD's First Vice President, Varel Freeman said: "Recognising the gap in the market, the Bank's €100 million venture capital programme will co-invest alongside investors in innovative technology companies operating within the Bank's countries of operations, with the aim of catalysing investors' interest and supporting the emergence of a venture capital ecosystem in our region".
"Thanks to our local knowledge, the EBRD can bring together global venture capital investors and local actively growing companies. There are very few venture capital investment funds in the region, so there is significant potential – not to mention jobs, growth, innovation and tax revenue that can be realised as the result of commercialisation of these young technology companies," said Alain Pilloux, EBRD's Managing Director for Industry, Commerce and Agribusiness.
The EBRD's new programme will target innovative, high-growth companies of small and medium size, which operate in software and web services, semi-conductors and materials, communications, mobility and media and clean technology sectors. The Bank estimates that it will invest in 10-20 companies in the region over the next four years and will seek to invest alongside leading local and international venture capital investors.
The EBRD will work with experienced venture capital co-investors to identify high-quality entrepreneurs and management teams with innovative ideas, and back these companies at the stage when they move from post product development to commercialisation or from an early revenue stage to a larger global market opportunity. The programme will aim to back companies which already have early revenues and/or strategic partnerships and can demonstrate strong growth potential.