The European Commission and the European Investment Fund (EIF) have launched a Pan-European Venture Capital Funds-of-Funds programme (VentureEU) to boost investment in innovative startups and scale-ups across Europe.

Backed by EU funding  amounting to €410 million, the funds are aiming to raise up to €2.1 billion of public and private investment. This is expected to trigger an estimated €6.5 billion of new investment in innovative startups and scale-ups across Europe, doubling the amount of venture capital currently available in Europe.

It is vital for Europe to remain an economic powerhouse 

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, says, “VentureEU is a key element of the Open Innovation strategy that we launched three years ago. It is vital for Europe to remain an industrial leader and an economic powerhouse."

VentureEU will provide new sources of financing, giving European innovators the opportunity to grow into world-leading companies. Around 1,500 startups and scale-ups are expected to gain access across the whole EU.

Ensuring a real market approach

The EU investment in VentureEU will be managed by the EIF under the supervision of the Commission and rolled out via six professional and experienced fund managers ensuring a fully market-driven approach. This will attract more investments and significantly increase the availability of VC funding for startups and scale-ups in the EU.

The six fund of funds managers selected to receive the money are Aberdeen Standard Investments, Axon Partners Group, Isomer Capital, LGT, Lombard Odier Asset Management and Schroder Adveq. These firms will, in turn, invest in a variety of European-based venture capital funds.

Taking full advantage of the Single Market

Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, states, “VentureEU will increase the amount and average size of venture capital funds. It will help our high-potential startups stay and grow in Europe, taking full advantage of the Single Market."

Venture capital (VC) is vital to a well-functioning Capital Markets Union, but remains underdeveloped in Europe. In 2016, venture capitalists invested about €6.5 billion in the EU compared to €39.4 billion in the US.