20 years of risk capital activity: the ICF supports 450 Catalan companies with a total investment of 730 million euros

05 December 2022

The Secretary General of Economy and Finance, Josep Maria Vilarrúbia, assures that "the ICF has contributed to the development of the entrepreneurial and investment ecosystem in Catalonia, promoting innovative and strategic projects for the growth of the Catalan economy". The ICF's CEO, Jordi Òliva, announced "a 140% increase in own funds allocated to venture capital between 2022 and 2025 compared to the previous four years".

The Catalan Institute of Finance celebrated the 20th anniversary of its activity in risk capital with a commemorative event at the Palau de Pedralbes. The General Secretary of the Ministry of Economy and Finance and President of the ICF's Board of Governors, Josep Maria Vilarrúbia, who chaired the event, pointed out in his opening speech that "over the last two decades, the ICF has contributed to the development of the Catalan Finance Institute and to the creation of the ICF, ICF has contributed to the development of the entrepreneurial and investment ecosystem in Catalonia, providing venture capital managers and companies with resources to promote innovative and strategic projects for the growth of the Catalan economy".

Vilarrúbia explained that, since 2002, the ICF has invested 350 million euros through its own venture capital funds. In total, through its own venture capital funds and those in which the institution participates, "the ICF has accompanied around 450 Catalan companies with a total investment of 730 million euros".

For his part, the ICF's CEO, Jordi Òliva, stressed in his speech that "between 2022 and 2025, we aim to commit up to €390 million, an increase of 140% compared to the last four years, when we reached an investment of €160 million". "The ICF aims to contribute to promoting Catalonia's leadership as an innovation hub by fostering entrepreneurship, the creation and growth of companies through the strengthening of the venture capital investment ecosystem, through collaboration and complementarity with the private sector," Òliva said.

The delegate councillor also referred to the ICF's ability to adapt over the last 20 years. "We have always looked for ways to listen to the sector and accompany it, providing solutions that meet its needs and that are leading the way in boosting Catalonia's productive fabric. Now, with our sights set on the future, we want to continue to promote investment in managers and companies in order to continue to fill gaps in the market, complementing the resources of the ICF with those of the Generalitat de Catalunya - as we have done with the Fund for Investment in Advanced Technology (FITA) -, and demanding a minimum multiplier of x2 in investments in Catalan companies from the managers", said Jordi Òliva.

The ICF launched its venture capital activity in 2002. At first, it invested in Catalan managers that allocated capital to accompany emerging and innovative projects. A few years later, the institution also began to invest in Spanish and international venture capital funds, on the condition that the funds were invested in Catalan companies. In total, the ICF has collaborated with 39 managers, investing in 62 venture capital funds.

In 2010, ICF Capital, ICF's own fund manager, was created with the aim of injecting capital directly into companies. Through ICF Capital, four vehicles have been set up to cover projects in their initial stages with a strong technological and innovative component, and projects to be developed by consolidated companies: the ICF Capital Expansion II and ICF Venture Tech II funds, in the investment period, and ICF Capital Expansion and ICF Capital MAB, in the disinvestment period.

Through IFEM (Financial Instruments for Innovative Enterprises), the ICF offers companies in the early stages or in the first stages of growth financing in the form of equity loans together with more than 40 private investment entities.

Through these three lines of action - indirect investment through venture capital funds, direct investment through ICF Capital's own funds, and public-private co-investment with equity loans - ICF meets the needs of the companies in the initial stages of their development, ICF meets the needs of start-up companies, innovative and technological business initiatives and SMEs in traditional sectors, projects in which capital investment is a suitable option due to their characteristics.


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