The ICF is an investment driver in this business segment by encouraging other investors to chip in to the funding rounds. The Institut Català de Finances (ICF) is continuing to back the Catalan entrepreneurial ecosystem and invest in digital start-ups. The ICF has pumped nearly €5.2 million into 10 Catalan start-ups across a range of industries. It has done this through the IFEM Innovation facility, which promotes and fosters the growth of start-ups in Catalonia with public-private co-investment, and ICF Venture Tech II, one of the institution’s venture capital funds that supports innovative technology projects with high growth potential.
Specifically, the facility has injected €1.2 million into six start-ups while the fund has invested €4 million in four firms. These transactions predominantly involved undertakings in the ICT and digital industry.
Driving the entrepreneurial ecosystem
The institution’s goal is to be an investment driver and promote the growth of early-stage companies via a range of fundraising sources.
Through the IFEM Innovation facility, first rolled out in 2012, coupled with equity loans of up to €200,000, this year the IFEM has funded iVoox, Trendier, Kubbo, Segle Clinical, Aquí tu reforma and Fittest Freakest. These are disruptive projects in legacy industries which are committed to standout business models. The ICF’s investment coming to €1.2 million is joined by €6.3 million from other investors, giving a total investment capacity standing at €7.5 million.
In the case of the investment funnelled through venture capital fund ICF Venture Tech II, the ICF’s financing is also part of rounds in which other investors are involved. The four rounds in which the ICF has played a role have raised a total of €30 million which will be earmarked for business projects with high growth potential.
The ICF Venture Tech II fund, launched just two years ago, now has a portfolio of 10 firms. Meanwhile, the IFEM’s equity loan facility, in operation since 2012, has built up investments in more than 130 undertakings worth over €20 million.
“Although the digital industry is obviously one of those to have emerged stronger from the pandemic, many start-ups are small firms which at some point, especially at the beginning of the crisis, have been severely stretched,” points out Emili Gómez, director of the ICF’s Venture Tech II fund. “Our support in these early stages is essential for them to continue to grow.”
About the ICF
The Institut Català de Finances is Catalonia’s public financial institution. Its main mission is to foster funding for the business community in Catalonia in order to support the growth, innovation and sustainability of the Catalan economy. The ICF acts as a complement to the private sector by offering a wide range of financing solutions focusing on loans, guarantees and venture capital. Since 2014 it has been a member of the European Association of Public Banks (EAPB) which brings together most of the public banks and financial institutions operating in Europe.
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