European Investment Fund makes first investment in Israel

The European Investment Fund (EIF), the venture arm of the European Investment Bank, has made its first equity investment in Israel, injecting up to $20 million into a fund being set up by Israel Cleantech Ventures.

“This is the first ever equity investment of the EIF in Israel,” chief executive Pier Luigi Gilbert said on the sidelines of a press conference held in Tel Aviv, announcing the investment. The fund is looking to invest similar amounts in two additional Israeli funds shortly, he said.

“As Start-Up Nation, Israel is at the forefront of innovation,” Gilbert said. The EIF investment marks a sort of a “quality brand” on the funds it invests in, allowing them to raise additional money from other investors.

The EIF’s main mission is to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses by helping them to access finance through venture funding, guarantees and microfinance tools. The fund has a portfolio of 600 funds and private equity firms it has invested in, in Europe and around the world, totaling some 12-13 billion euros.

The investment in Israel is part of a financial backing program, InnovFin, set out by Horizon 2020, the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) of the European Union.

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