European Commission - Enterprise and Industry

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First investment under the European Angels Fund Julkaistu: 15/05/2012

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Following its official launch on March 12, 2012, the European Angels Fund (EAF) has now commenced operation in Germany. Shortly after the EAF has given “European wings” to Business Angel Friedrich Georg Hoepfner, he has made a first investment into Fotografen-Service GmbH. Fotografen-Service provides a software-as-a-service tool to support professional photographers throughout their entire business cycle from client acquisition and sales to business monitoring.

Matthias Ummenhofer, Head of Venture Capital at the EIF commented: “It is exciting to see the European Angels Fund become operational so quickly after its launch. In view of the healthy pipeline, we look forward to teaming up with other Business Angels and believe that the EAF is an important tool to help bridge the financing gap in the seed and early-stage segment in Germany and in strengthening Business Angels and non-institutional investors as an asset class more generally. ”

After a successful ramp-up of the pilot in Germany, the activity of the EAF will be extended to other European geographies to support cross-border collaboration between Business Angels.

About the EAF

The European Angels Fund (EAF), managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF), provides equity to Business Angels and other non-institutional investors for the financing of innovative companies in the form of co-investments. It works hand in hand with Business Angels and helps them to increase their investment capacity by co-investing into innovative companies in the seed, early or growth stage. The activity of the European Angels Fund is adapted to the Business Angels’ investment style and mentality by granting the highest degree of freedom in terms of decision making and management of investments.

The EAF started its activities in Germany in March 2012 in close cooperation with Business Angels Netzwerk Deutschland (BAND) and the ERP-EIF Dachfonds. In the future, it will be extended to other European countries and/or regions in view of a pan-European coverage. Once rolled out, the European Angels Fund will foster and support cross border collaboration between Business Angels. It will also contribute to the establishment of European Angels and Family Offices as an attractive alternative asset class.

About the EIF

EIF's central mission is to support Europe's small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance.  EIF primarily designs and develops venture capital and guarantees 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. The EIF total net commitments to venture capital and private equity funds amounted to over EUR 5.4bn at end 2011. With investments in over 300 funds, the EIF is the leading player in European venture capital due to the scale and the scope of its investments, especially in the high-tech and early-stage segments. The EIF commitment in guarantees totalled over EUR 14.7bn in close to 160 operations at end 2011, positioning it as a major European SME loan guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor.