On Tuesday February 8th, the French Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire, announced the creation of a fund to consolidate the growth of “start-ups”, financed by EU countries and organizations with the goal of raising 10 billion euros in the coming weeks. “This fund starts right now with 3.5 billion euros,” said Le Maire during the conference “Building European Digital Sovereignty”. Also present were the German Minister of Finance, Christian Lindner, and the Vice President of the Government of Spain and Minister of Economy, Nadia Calviño, among others.
Part of the conference was dedicated to the “Scale Up Europe” initiative, which was launched in March 2021 by the Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, Cedric O, and the European Commissioner for Innovation, Mariya Gabriel. According to Euractiv, the collective brings together nearly 300 advanced start-ups and scale-ups, investors and experts with the goal to reflect on ways to develop the technological champions of tomorrow.
Le Maire explained that this first contribution of 3,500 million will include 1,000 million from France, 1,000 million from Germany, and the rest will be supplemented by other European countries and organizations. The fund will focus on supporting emerging companies (“start-ups”) that have already moved on to a consolidation and growth phase (what are called “scale-ups”).
In Europe there is a lack of money for start-ups, when they grow and become big they are quickly acquired by our American friends and succeed there. That model is overBruno Le Maire, French Minister of Economy
Le Maire revealed the launch of a new “fund of funds”. Managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF), a subsidiary of the European Investment Bank (EIB), the fund will add capital to existing venture capital funds, as well as improving their financing capacity. One of the goals is to create 10 to 20 European funds with at least €1 billion each. Currently, there are only two in existence.
The French minister estimated that, if there are 10 to 20 European funds capable of investing at least 1 billion euros in start-ups with sustained growth, “that will provide 10 companies in Europe worth 100 billion euros each” by 2030.
Lindner welcomed the initiative and recalled that start-ups advance society, as has recently happened with vaccines against Covid. Calviño, for her part, asserted that the start-up ecosystem is in good health, with an investment in the first half of 2021 of 2.6 billion euros. The invested money benefited 10,500 companies, of which 500 are unicorns (worth more than €1 billion)
Calviño asserted that her government “supports” entrepreneurs and “start-ups”. In his speech, the Minister of Economy and Finance of Italy, Daniele Franco, considered that it is “a matter of public policy” to invest in “start-ups” so that they can “improve in scale” as is the case with U.S. companies.