The European Investment Fund (EIF) and HBOR are launching [CROGIP], a EUR 70 million-investment programme to support fast-growing SMEs and mid-caps established and operating in Croatia. The investment programme is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the core of the Investment Plan for Europe.
This programme follows the launch of the CVCI ESIF Croatia programme in June 2018. This fund was developed by EIF and the Croatian Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds to tackle the early stage funding gap in the country. The CVCI programme consists of EUR 35m and will take the form of a venture capital fund with an accelerator compartment for seed stage investments. CROGIP comes in addition to this and completes a holistic strategy for Croatia by targeting later stage growth equity, SMEs and mid-caps.
EIF and HBOR will each commit EUR 35 million to finance this jointly developed programme and the combined commitments of EUR 70 million are expected to catalyse additional private-sector investments into equity funds. A key programme objective is to support the emergence of fund managers, which focus a significant part of their investments into Croatian SMEs and midcaps.
EIF will manage and deploy the [CROGIP] programme, through fund investments and co-investments into target companies. The programme is not restricted to any particular sector. The investment programme will also seek to support emerging teams established in Croatia and specifically focused on the country through a Call for Expression of Interest with the objective to select such fund managers.
[CROGIP] is a financing programme launched by the EIF under the EIF-NPI Equity Platform, of which both EIF and HBOR are founding members, and the Investment Plan for Europe, in cooperation with EU National Promotional Institutions.
EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “I am delighted to sign a new EUR 70 million equity programme to support high-growth Croatian businesses. This new agreement will support the emergence of a sustainable private equity market in Croatia and to attract private investors to this market, by helping both national and international fund managers to target SMEs and midcaps.”
Tamara Perko, President of HBOR’s Management Board, said: “The agreement signed today represents the continuation of venture capital industry development in the Republic of Croatia that is supported and initiated by HBOR as development bank for the purpose of establishing independent functioning of the financial market of this type.”
European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “Equity funds play an essential role in ensuring that European small and medium businesses have a better access to financial markets. I am very pleased that the Investment Plan is backing this new programme, which will support investments in Croatia and help boost employment in the country”.