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InvestEU: €200 million to support innovation and sustainability.

InvestEU | Posted on 2023-05-06 18:38
  • The EIF is granting a €200 million guarantee to BBVA to enable it to offer more financing opportunities to startups via its BBVA Spark unit.
  • This agreement was made possible with the support of the InvestEU programme.
  • The transaction will drive innovation and the green transition in the Spanish technology ecosystem.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and BBVA (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria) are set to make it easier for startups with innovative and sustainable value propositions to get access to financing. The two institutions have concluded an agreement under the InvestEU guarantee programme whereby the EIF will grant a €200 million guarantee to enable BBVA Spark (BBVA's specialised startup initiative) to strengthen its support for startups, helping them with their expansion plans.

BBVA Spark promotes economic growth, competitiveness and sustainable development in the Spanish technology sector. It supports new and innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small mid-caps to grow in sectors such as digitalisation and sustainability. This agreement with the EIF will help BBVA Spark to expand its activity in Spain.

BBVA will have access to a guarantee line with specific products provided by the InvestEU Fund covering two areas — innovation and digitalisation, and sustainability — which will offer targeted support to innovative, high-growth technology startups.

Via the InvestEU innovation and digitalisation guarantee of up to €100 million, BBVA Spark will finance startups to adopt new digital technologies.

The InvestEU sustainability guarantee of up to €100 million will strengthen the support provided by the EIF and BBVA Spark for the green and sustainable economic transition. This backing will enable beneficiaries to make green, inclusive and environmentally friendly investments.

The agreement was signed in Madrid by European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix and Head of BBVA Spark Roberto Albaladejo.

“Startups need easy access to innovative sources of finance. The EIB Group and BBVA are joining forces to unlock the investment needed by companies whose mission is to innovate and boost the green transition, generating growth and creating jobs,” said EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix.

“At BBVA Spark, we want to help entrepreneurs seeking disruptive solutions to the challenges we face as a society. EIF support will enable us to offer more financing and growth opportunities to companies looking to scale their business,” added Head of BBVA Spark Roberto Albaladejo.

Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni said: “InvestEU is a key enabler in supporting startups specialising in green technologies and innovation, and providing access to the finance they need to expand and create jobs across Europe. This InvestEU agreement will support Spain's progress towards a greener and more innovative economy. I'm delighted that we will provide Spanish businesses with the support they need to continue to grow and create jobs. I am looking forward to seeing many other innovators follow suit”.

“We're happy to partner with BBVA once again, this time under the InvestEU programme, and provide support to innovative startups under the BBVA Spark initiative”, said EIF Chief Executive Marjut Falkstedt“Together, we can help these companies scale-up their sustainability, innovation and digital potential, increasing their contribution to the green and digital transitions within Spain and across the EU.”

Background information

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and micro-finance instruments that specifically target this market segment. In this role, it contributes to the achievement of key EU policy goals such as competitiveness and growth, innovation and digitalisation, social impact, skills and human capital, climate action and environmental sustainability.

The InvestEU programme provides the European Union with crucial long-term funding by leveraging substantial private and public funds in support of a sustainable recovery. It also helps mobilise private investments for the European Union's policy priorities, such as the European Green Deal and the digital transition. The InvestEU programme brings together under one roof the multitude of EU financial instruments currently available to support investment in the European Union, making funding for investment projects in Europe simpler, more efficient and more flexible. The programme consists of three components: the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal. The InvestEU Fund is implemented through financial partners that will invest in projects using the EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion. The entire budget guarantee will back the investment projects of the implementing partners, increase their risk-bearing capacity and thus mobilise at least €372 billion in additional investment.

BBVA Spark was created in July 2022 with a banking offer aiming to meet the financial needs of startups. Its backing for innovative, high-growth companies includes short and long-term financing, with products ranging from credit cards to venture debt and access to a team of experts who understand their business model together with international support via its presence in Spain, Mexico, and Colombia.

BBVA Spark has raised over €200 million in financing in Spain and Mexico and has just landed in Colombia. It offers its products and services to almost 500 customers.

Source :  European Commission

Posted on 2023-05-06 18:38

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