Paris, 8 January 2021. – The European Commission has announced today the first round of direct equity investment through the new European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund.
42 highly innovative start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) will together receive equity financing of around €178 million, the Commission said, to develop and scale up breakthrough innovations in health, circular economy, advanced manufacturing and other areas.
Among them, the French company CorWave is the first EU company in which the EIC Fund is investing.
The equity investments, ranging from €500.000 to €15 million per beneficiary, complement the grant financing, which has already been provided through the EIC Acceleraator Pilot to enable companies to scale up faster, the Commission said.
This is the first time the Commission has made direct equity or quasi-equity investments, namely equity investment blended with a grant, in start-up companies, with ownership stakes expected to range from 10% to 25%.
Under the EIC Accelerator a total of 293 companies have already been selected for funding worth over €563 million in grants since December 2019. Among those, 159 companies have been selected to additionally receive the new equity investments from the EIC Fund. The 42 companies announced today are the first of this group to successfully pass the evaluation and due diligence process. The other 117 companies are in the pipeline to receive investments pending the outcome of the relevant process.
CorWave’s mission is to bring a new standard of care to patients with life-threatening heart failure. The €15 million EIC Fund investment has played a critical role by mobilising additional investors to unite behind the French SME, which led to a €35 million of investments in the fourth stage of start-up financing for CorWave.