Small and medium-sized companies across the EU will have the opportunity to gain access to Google-backed financing thanks to its EUR 20.5m investment into two fund-of-funds advised by the European Investment Fund. Google’s investment consists of EUR 12.3m into a loan fund-of-funds for small businesses, and an investment of EUR 8.2m into a life sciences venture capital fund-of-funds, that will provide financing specifically to life sciences SMEs. Both fund-of-funds are advised by the EIF.
The loan fund-of-funds will provide capital to European investment managers, who in turn provide loans to SMEs that have trouble accessing bank financing, particularly amid the current crisis. This fund will help support more than 1000 businesses through these loans. Google’s investment builds on their efforts to provide tools, training and funding to people and SMEs recovering from the pandemic.
The life sciences venture capital fund-of-funds will target businesses operating in various fields across the industry, ranging from therapeutics and medical technologies, to digital health and healthcare. This fund will help support approximately 200 life sciences companies, many of which are directly involved in developing solutions to the COVID-19 crisis.
EIF Chief Executive Alain Godard said: “In these difficult times, it is great to see corporate investors with similar goals to our own, contributing to improving access to finance to SMEs. Google is the first corporate to invest in these funds, and we look forward to welcoming other corporates and investors so that we can strengthen the ecosystem to support even more small companies with financing”.
Matt Brittin, President, Google, Europe, Middle East and Africa added: “This investment is part of Google’s $800+ million commitment in response to COVID-19 relief efforts announced last year, and our ongoing efforts to provide tools, training and funding to help people recover. Small businesses are the lifeblood of the European economy and we are proud to be part of these funds and join the EIF in their mission to help small businesses access finance and foster innovation in Europe’s life sciences industry.”
Having provided capital to over 1.5 million SMEs throughout Europe with more than 6.8 million jobs supported, the EIF has a longstanding commitment to its community and to the small business financial ecosystem. Google is proud to be making these investments and support SME access to finance at this time as well as furthering the life science ecosystem in Europe.
About the EIF:
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 by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops both venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.
Last year, Google renewed its commitment to providing tools, training and funding to people and small businesses navigating the effects of the pandemic. This includes its Grow with Google program, which has trained millions of people on digital skills since it was founded five years ago, and contributed to two million Europeans finding a new job or growing their business or career, and products which help small businesses stay connected with customers and grow online… Details here.