A total of BGN 64.7 mln. Levs will go to starting companies from the EU funds and after a selection of managers from the state
After a 9-month procedure, The State Fund of Funds chose managers of the first two funds that will finance startups with public resources. A total of BGN 64.7 million Levs of initial capital is provided to the Bulgarian-Italian trust “Joint-Stock Company-Ventures”, in which the leading partner is “Cleantech Bulgaria” and the unification “Next Tech Ventures” with participants Konstantin Petrov, Zlatina Mukova, Yordan Zarev and Alexander Terziiski (from NEVEQ team). The funds are for equity investments in start-ups and for acceleration of the growth of already established innovative companies. The selection was made in a competition with a total of 10 candidates, with the initial plan being the funds to be three. However, one of them did not have a winner and the competition will be made again in the autumn.
New funds for startups
A total of 200 startups will be supported within the initial 5-year period for which the funds are created. The funding that companies can count on is between 25,000 and 1 million euros. The public resources come from the Operational Program “Innovation and Competitiveness” 2014-2020 and the managers will have to add their own funding resources as well as to attract private co-investors.
From The Fund of Funds are yet to set up a commission that will control the selected fund managers, with the aim of starting their operation as soon as possible. “With this procedure we are feeding the start-up ecosystem, which in the last five years proved to be able to work with a similar amount of public resources and to develop it,” said The Executive Director of the state structure, Mrs. Svetoslava Georgieva.
At this stage, it is not clear who will be the partners that promised support with letters of engagement, it is expected to become clear in the autumn when the contracts with the selected fund managers will be officially signed.
The two funds
“Joint-Stock Company-Ventures” will manage a fund with an initial capital of EUR 14 million. The first-ranked offer obliges the manager to provide 3.19% of the total resource, or 446,000 euro. The attracted co-financing will amount to EUR 1.87 million. The association has offered a total of 215 enterprises for initial investment, or 43 average per year. It provided an evidence of 24 potential deals it can make. It has applied 6 letters of intent from international partners and 8 from local investors who would be involved at individual projects. The manager’s proposal is to cover expenses amounting to 19.99% of the amount of the managed funds, which is at the limit of the admissible. Interestingly, the other positioned participant has offered for the same a price of 15.73%.
“Next Tech Ventures” will work with already established startups and will invest in them 19.1 million euros. He has committed to provide 6% of its own funds to the fund or an additional 1.2 million euros plus a minimum of EUR 7 million private capital from outside investors. The association has proposed a list of 45 enterprises that can be supported under this scheme, 6 letters of intent from international partners and 10 local counterparts willing to support fund customers. The team of Zlatolina Mukova won 95.62 points, which is very small difference from the second place “Invist Capital Partners”, which received 92 points.
The third fund that had to be set up under this procedure had to finance the acceleration and early stage of development by EUR 18.2 million, but there is no manager selected and the procedure will be repeated. The reason is that the competition was conducted under the Public Procurement Act (PPL) and since only one participant was selected to the final stage of the procedure, “Impeuts Early Stage”, has been awarded the final classification, the Assignor (the State Fund of Funds) availed himself of the right to terminate the procedure, to ensure that more favorable offers can be made in a new procedure.
Millions also for the urban development
The Fund of Funds also chose the intermediaries through which will be received a funding of BGN 353.3 million Levs for urban development, provided by the Operational Program “Regions in Growth”. Both candidates who have expressed interest in the procedure are awarded. The association “Sustainable Cities Fund”, which includes UBB, the FLAG Fund, Bulgarian consulting organization, will allocate funding of BGN 135 million Levs for clients from the South Region and BGN 87.4 million Levs for the region of Sofia.
The other participant, “The Regional Fund for Urban Development”, with SG Expressbank, “Sogelease” and “Elana Holding” will allocate BGN 130.4 million Levs for North Region.
The public resource provided to the managers will have to be complemented by 40% of side investors and own funding, with the expectation that the amount invested in urban development will reach BGN 600 million Levs for public infrastructure – construction of underpasses, stops, bicycles paths, restoration of fountains, monuments, renovation of sports halls, etc. They will be provided in the form of investment credits at a reduced interest rate, collateral requirements and a long repayment term – from minimum of 12 months to 20 years.