11th of April 2012
The European Investment Fund (EIF) has selected Eleven and LAUNCHub to manage a EUR 21 million Entrepreneurship Acceleration and Seed Financing Instrument under the JEREMIE Holding Fund.
Eleven will manage a EUR 12million acceleration & seed fund with a view to making around 200 investments in innovative young businesses. Investments into individual portfolio companies will typically be in the range of EUR 25,000 – EUR 200,000 per investee. The team is built around prominent professionals with substantial experience in the venture capital and private equity sectors in Bulgaria. Eleven has attracted Google as a technological partner, and Springboard – the London-based mentorship-led accelerator, as a strategic partner for its programme.
The other Fund Manager, LAUNCHub will manage a EUR 9million ICT focused fund, aiming to make around 120 investments over the next 4 years. Investments into individual portfolio companies will typically be in the range of EUR 30,000 – EUR 200,000 per investee. LAUNCHub partners with the largest early-stage micro seed investment fund and mentoring programme in Europe – Seed Camp and with the Cisco Entrepreneurship Institute Bulgaria. The team includes one of the most successful Bulgarian entrepreneurs in the ICT area – Lyuben Belov.
It is expected that the funds will start the investment process in the autumn of 2012.
The EIF’s new Entrepreneurship Acceleration and Seed Financing Instrument is composed of two complimentary compartments, acceleration compartment – providing initial financing for proof-of-concept testing and seed compartment – providing follow-on financing to successful graduates from the acceleration compartment as well as to other viable early stage opportunities. The instrument is unique for the Balkan region and is expected to help to establish Bulgaria as the hub for innovation and start-up business on the Balkans.
This decision brings towards a close a process known as a ‘call for expression of interest’ which attracted 11 applicant companies from Bulgaria for the Entrepreneurship Acceleration and Seed Financing Instrument. The EIF conducted a thorough analysis process to select the applicants against set criteria and using the EIF’s Risk Capital expertise built up through investing into over 370 Funds across Europe over the past 15 years.