The Commission today announced the first wave of direct equity investments through the new European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund. 42 highly innovative start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will together receive equity funding of some €178 million to develop and expand breakthrough innovations in areas such as health, the circular economy or advanced manufacturing. Among these, the French company CorWave is the first EU company to benefit from an investment from the CIS Fund.
Equity investments, ranging from €500,000 to €15 million per beneficiary, complement the grant funding already provided through the CIS Accelerator pilot project to enable businesses to grow faster. This is the first time that the Commission is making direct equity or quasi-equity investments, i.e. equity investments combined with grants in early-stage companies, with equity investments of between 10% and 25% of the capital.
In total, since December 2019, 293 companies have already been selected under the CEI Accelerator to benefit from overall grant funding of more than €563 million. 563 million. Of these, 159 companies have been selected to receive new equity investments from the CEI Fund. The 42 companies announced today are the first of this group to have successfully completed the evaluation and due diligence process. The results of this process are still pending for the remaining 117 companies, which are also expected to benefit from such investments.