Something huge is happening in Greece in the current month, which will massively impact economic growth, prosperity and tech entrepreneurship in the country and across Southern Eastern Europe (SEE). The Equifund (Fund of Funds) begins its activities with an official launch on April 16th 2018, in Athens. On the day, the European Investment Fund (EIF) will officially present the nine (9) investment funds selected and set up in recent months to invest over 400M€ in innovative ideas, startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from Greece.
The Equifund, is the biggest in investment size effort until today to boost innovation and technology entrepreneurship in Greece, since its predecessor the Jeremie Funds had a total of ~120M€ under management. In the Equifund, public participation will amount to 260M€, with 200M€ coming from the Hellenic Republic, through the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF/ ESPA) and 60M€ coming from the EIF, while private investors, are aiming to add another ~ 140M€.
In the next five years thousands of ideas and business plans are expected to swarm the nine Equifund investment funds responsible for the allocation of the ~ 400M€ approved to date. These funds are: BigPi, Metavallon VC, Uni.fund, Velocity Partners, Marathon VC, Venture Friends II, Ellikonos 2 Sicar, EOS Capital, and Synergia Hellenic Fund.
The fact that the nine investment funds are operational does not necessarily mean that the total amount of funds under management will be invested in startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), since the fund managers need to first find suitable businesses and investment opportunities to invest in. On the other hand, if the number of potential investments startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is really large, it cannot be ruled out that the Equifund investment budget can be enlarged through a possible expansion.
The fund managers are more or less well-known professional in the Greek business / technology / startup scene, and many have been involved before in private equity funds and / or venture capital investments in the past. However, it becomes apparent that these managers are called upon to create and support a big part of the next generation of economic activity in Greece, by investing in 250-300 innovative and technology driven startups and SME’s in the next five years.This may be a make or break opportunity for the economic prosperity of the country for years to come and also for positioning Greece as a technology and business innovation hub in Europe.
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Christos Lytras – Managing Partner