Monday, 19 November, 2018

European Union member states ink blockchain partnership

A scrap yard in Hamburg Germany | Alexander Koerner  Getty Images A scrap yard in Hamburg Germany | Alexander Koerner Getty Images
Stacy Diaz | 12 April, 2018, 02:52

The VentureEU fund will invest in six venture capital fund of funds, which is hoped to raise a total of €6.5 billion, double the amount of capital investment which is available now according to the European Commission.

The European Investment Fund, based in Kirchberg, and the European Commission announced their Pan-European Venture Capital Funds-of-Funds programme, dubbed VentureEU, on Tuesday. All member states are invited to become part of the Blockchain Partnership.

In the United Kingdom, we are constantly faced with news of Brexit and the pressures of the European Union referendum, to be honest, it is rare that we hear of any positive movements within negotiations and deals, this one however stands out as something both important and progressive.

EIF chief executive Pier Luigi Gilibert said: "VentureEU is an important addition to the European equity scene. Whilst we have supported more than 500 funds to date, this is the first time that the European Union has created such a unique programme". In the US, more than $155 billion in venture capital was invested a year ago.

The signing parties agreed to cooperate on boosting Europe's technology and industrial capacity in AI and its uptake, including better access to public sector data to influence AI development, fuelling innovative business models and creating economic growth and new qualified digital jobs.

"Whenever we talk about our health and that of our children, people are absolutely right to ask for the highest standards of transparency and scrutiny" said European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans.

These VC funds will in turn invest in a range of start-ups and SMEs in various sectors, including information and communications technology, life sciences, and energy.

Europe has traditionally suffered from a scarcity of venture capital funding compared to other regions.

The first two - IsomerCapital and Axon Partners Group - have been signed up. The EU hopes private investors will place €1.69bn in the new VC fund. If you don't have access to larger VC funds, you're always going to target being acquired or say, "I have to go to the USA to grow", instead of positioning to be a unicorn here, ' said Velázquez.

"However, investments by governments often come with conditions such as favouring their own local or national ventures to the detriment of cross-border activity and the growth of larger, cross-border funds".

The goal is to generate 6.5 billion euros in new funding for the region's startup companies, it said, and the the initial 410 million euros from the European Commission will be administered through the European Investment Fund (EIF).