InnovFin case studies

Innovative organisations and businesses can benefit from InnovFin financial tools. You can see some examples of successful beneficiaries below.

15 million received by Mobidiag under the InnovFin Infectious Diseases Finance Facility

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Mobidag 2017
Mobidag 2017
Rapid and reliable diagnosis is vital to stop the spread of disease. Founded in 2000 and with headquarters in Espoo, Finland and a subsidiary in Paris, Mobidiag develops molecular diagnostics for laboratories of all sizes.

An InnovFin loan is helping it to finalise, manufacture, validate and commercialise its Novodiag range of in-vitro diagnostic tests. The Novodiag platform offers fast, easy-to-use and accurate solutions for small laboratories, particularly in cases where immediate disease detection is crucial.

Mobidiag is the third recipient of funding through the Infectious Diseases Finance Facility. For CEO Tuomas Tenkanen, “InnovFin is valuable in different ways. Firstly, it fills a gap for companies developing new products, as when you get to the commercialisation stage there aren’t many funding sources out there. Secondly, the process for obtaining the funding is so thorough that afterwards it becomes much easier to find further financing elsewhere. This has certainly been our experience.”

Company website: mobidiag.com


10 million credit line secured by AW-Energy under the InnovFin Energy Demonstration Projects instrument

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AW-Energy, 2017
AW-Energy, 2017
Ocean waves are constant and more predictable than energy sources like wind and sun, yet their potential is untapped. Finnish firm AW-Energy aims to change this with WaveRoller, a submerged device based on a hinged panel attached to the sea bed near the shore. It generates electricity from the movement of the waves and is connected to the electrical grid onshore.

CEO John Liljelund says: “There aren’t many instruments to fund demonstrations and especially the commercial roll-out of technology, so having InnovFin on board is very helpful. It puts us in a good position to attract more financing and industrial partners with the right know-how.”

Founded in 2002, AW-Energy currently employs 20 managers and engineers. In addition, over 100 engineers and technical staff are working on development of WaveRoller. The firm has a research centre in Finland and an operations site in Portugal. It connected three half-scale WaveRoller prototypes to the grid in 2012 and is demonstrating the full-scale model in 2017-18. Delivery of devices to customers is expected to start in 2018-19.

AW-Energy is the first recipient of financing under the InnovFin Energy Demo Projects tool. The funds will help the company complete development of the WaveRoller and support its commercialisation to major energy companies.

InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators is a joint initiative launched by the European Investment Bank Group (EIB and EIF) in cooperation with the European Commission under Horizon 2020.

Company website: aw-energy.com/


€2.4 million received by DISCORDIA under the InnovFin SME Guarantee facility

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DISCORDIA under the InnovFin SME Guarantee facility
DISCORDIA under the InnovFin SME Guarantee facility
Bulgarian freight transporter DISCORDIA is growing at 40 % a year. A CIBANK loan backed by the European Investment Bank has provided working capital to help it digitalise processes and develop an innovative business model as part of its growth plan.

DISCORDIA had found it hard to get funding due to the time needed to review applications, collateral requirements and administrative burden. Some banks would withdraw offers at the last minute.

“The credit helps cover our working capital needs,” says CEO Hristo Hristov. “Big advantages are processing speed and good financial terms. Most of all, it’s innovative, using our receivables — our main assets — as collateral. These grow at the same rate as our need for working capital, and are the most natural collateral source. In Bulgaria, there’s still a preference for using real estate as collateral.”

The loan has helped create jobs, with 160 openings expected in 2017. By May 2017, the company had hired 35 staff for the positions. Since getting the loan, DISCORDIA has had more interest from other lenders thanks to its stronger financial position and collateral structure.

InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators is a joint initiative launched by the European Investment Bank Group (EIB and EIF) in cooperation with the European Commission under Horizon 2020.

Company website: www.discordia.eu


20 million received by Heliatek under the InnovFin MidCap Growth Finance facility

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Heliatek Solar films from the R&D lab
Heliatek Solar films from the R&D lab
Solar panels need a lot of space to generate the amount of power businesses need, but space is at a premium in many cities. Dresden-based Heliatek has developed HeliaFilm, a light, transparent, flexible and organic solar energy-producing film. It can be sandwiched between layers of glass in windows or integrated into building facades so that even firms in built-up areas can produce clean energy.

Rather than the rare metals often used in solar technology, HeliaFilm uses an organic molecule synthesised by Heliatek’s laboratories. Containing several layers of the molecule, the film generates energy even when the sun is in.

A loan has provided the finance Heliatek needs to boost production capacity to commercially viable levels and create 50 jobs. “With our HeliaFilm, we are clearly executing our strategy to provide de-carbonised, de-centralised energy generation directly on buildings all over the world,” says chief executive Thibaud Le Séguillon.

InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators is a joint initiative launched by the European Investment Bank Group (EIB and EIF) in cooperation with the European Commission under Horizon 2020.

Company website:  www.heliatek.com/en


€15 million received by Innovation Nest under the InnovFin Equity facility

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Innovation Nest
Innovation Nest
Founded in Kraków in 2011, Innovation Nest is a seed and venture capital firm investing in early stage business-to-business (B2B) software companies. From its first fund, it invested in 24 Polish businesses. Its second fund is Europe-wide in scope, in line with the company’s aim of helping strong European B2B software teams become global players.

Given this outlook, when it needed backing for its second fund, Innovation Nest approached the European Investment Fund (EIF). The loan for Innovation Nest II is the first EIF investment in a Polish venture capital firm and the first transaction in Poland under the InnovFin Equity facility.

There are now some 30 firms in Innovation Nest’s portfolio and for managing partner Piotr Wilam, “Creation of the second fund follows our strategy. We want to invest in European early stage companies focusing on B2B software that want to grow global. We are happy that the EIF believed in our mission and we hope that the second fund will allow us to expand to European markets.”

“InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators” is a joint initiative launched by the European Investment Bank Group (EIB and EIF) in cooperation with the European Commission under Horizon 2020

Site: www.innovationnest.co

Other examples


12 million received by Planon under the InnovFin MidCap Growth Finance facility

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Planon Software
Planon Software
Founded in 1982, Dutch software developer Planon now employs more than 600 people in 11 countries. It provides integrated workplace management systems for real estate and facility management.

Historically, clients have bought licences to use Planon software. While keeping existing licences, Planon is moving towards a ‘software as a service’ model to meet demand. This means hosting software on its cloud and giving clients remote access to use the programs.

The change — part of a wider growth initiative — involves R&D and a move from up-front payments to service contracts. This shift raises costs and delays revenue. To help bridge the gap, Planon needed a loan. The company became the first Dutch ICT company to get one under InnovFin’s MidCap Growth Finance facility.

Global Finance Director Jos Knops says: “InnovFin was by far the best option compared with more traditional financing solutions which we had investigated. For a fast-growing company such as Planon, the flexibility and setup of the agreement is perfect for realising our ambition of becoming a world leader in our field and at the same time investing further in innovative world-class software solutions for our customers. From day one, the European Investment Bank showed a comprehensive understanding of our business needs and the transaction was finalised in a very short time.”

InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators is a joint initiative launched by the European Investment Bank Group (EIB and EIF) in cooperation with the European Commission under Horizon 2020.

Site: planonsoftware.com

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€850 000 received by Smart Eye under the InnovFin SME Guarantee scheme

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Smart Eye
Smart Eye
The eye-tracking technology developed by Smart Eye automatically alerts drivers if it senses they are getting sleepy while behind the wheel. The technology can potentially be used in cars, trucks and aeroplanes, leading to safer roads and air travel.

To make this happen, the Swedish company had to first interest the market in its innovative technology. The InnovFin loan from ALMI allowed the company to secure key contracts with two car manufacturers in Germany. The company hired 12 new staff to look after the contracts, expanding the team to 43 employees.

Without the loan, Smart Eye could have risked not being able to secure the first contract, which in turn could have jeopardised the second, says company chief executive officer Martin Krantz.

“The InnovFin loan allowed us to leverage our current business and take it to a larger market share,” says Krantz. “With high-tech products it is very important to be the first company entering into a new market. It provides our business with the ‘first movers’ advantage.”

Now the company can use the agreements to approach other car manufacturers. “Our goal is to expand beyond Europe and land a contract in Asia as soon as possible,” Krantz says.

This year, Smart Eye was able to finalise a financing round with private investors for new equity of €4 million, further strengthening the company’s strategic options. “Thanks to InnovFin we have been able to take the company to the next level,” says Krantz.

InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators is a joint initiative launched by the European Investment Bank Group (EIB and EIF) in cooperation with the European Commission under Horizon 2020.

Company website: www.smarteye.se

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€100 million received by Tunisie Telecom under the InnovFin Finance for Innovators facility

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Tunisie Telecom
Tunisie Telecom
Tunisie Telecom is rolling out a 4G mobile network across the country thanks to the first InnovFin loan by the European Investment Bank to be granted outside of the EU. The loan will finance the development of 1500 cellular network sites and 2000 km of optic fibre cables. This will establish the necessary infrastructure for development of the “4th Generation” (4G) mobile network across the country and improve access to high-speed internet for Tunisians, particularly those in remote regions.

The InnovFin loan is part of the EIB’s wider support programme for the country. This consists of €1.4 billion in loans granted to public and private sector projects throughout the country since the 2011 revolution. This support programme aims to create new opportunities for Tunisia’s youth and promote jobs, growth and stability in the region.

M. Nizar Bouguila, CEO of Tunisie Telecom, says: “We are very proud to establish this partnership with the EIB and to benefit from a loan that will support Tunisie Telecom in the development of its networks and the achievement of its commercial objectives.”

InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators is a joint initiative launched by the European Investment Bank Group (EIB and EIF) in cooperation with the European Commission under Horizon 2020.

Site: www.tunisietelecom.tn

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