>@Mercedes Landete/EIB
©Mercedes Landete/EIB

10 years focused on the development of Portugal’s SMEs and more than EUR 320 million invested in the Portuguese economy

  • More than EUR 320 million invested in the Portuguese economy
  • 6,000 jobs supported in multiple industries and districts

The Portugal Venture Capital initiative (PVCi) is celebrating a highly positive 10-year cycle of activity in the Portuguese economy, having invested more than EUR 320 million and contributed to supporting more than 6,000 jobs. The anniversary event held yesterday in Lisbon was attended by the Portuguese Minister for the Economy, Manuel Caldeira Cabral, Bank of Portugal Governor, Carlos Costa, European Investment Bank Vice-President, Emma Navarro, Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund, Pier Luigi Gilibert, and the Chairman of PVCi, John Holloway.

PVCi – Portugal’s first-ever dedicated fund of funds – is a EUR 111 million private equity/venture capital fund of funds set up by the European Investment Fund (EIF, the arm of the EIB Group focused on financing SMEs) and several Portuguese investors, such as the Government of Portugal, BPI, Novo Banco, Millennium BCP, Montepio, CaixaGest, Bankinter, Santander, Fidelidade, Octante, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian and PME Investimentos.

In her closing remarks, EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro said: “I am particularly pleased to note the important role that the EIB Group plays in the Portuguese economy, in particular by supporting SMEs. Fostering projects implemented by small companies is one of our priorities in the country and the Portugal Venture Capital initiative is a very successful example that contributes to this objective.”

Pier Luigi Gilibert, Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund (EIF) also noted that “by investing and managing PVCi, the EIF affirmed its role as a key market developmental actor in Portugal.”

Proud of this milestone, PVCi’s Chairman and Director at the EIF, John Holloway, highlighted that “PVCi was a key policy tool not only to build the PE/VC market as we know it in Portugal, but also to support many Portuguese SMEs during the crisis. PVCi was out there in the market when few others were willing to risk and invest in Portugal”. Regarding the future, John Holloway added “it is now time to showcase this success and to start working on the next programme, to support Portuguese start-ups and entrepreneurs and make dreams come true.”

By leveraging the EIF’s experience as a leading European “market-maker”, PVCi acted as a cornerstone investor in seven different funds (Pathena, OxyCapital, Menlo, HCapital, Explorer, Vallis, InterRisco), which supported 50 Portuguese companies in multiple sectors such as Consumer and Retail, Industrial and Intellectual Property, Life Sciences and Biotechnology. PVCi has also acted as a catalyst for the development of the venture capital and private equity market in Portugal.  As one of the most important equity initiatives in Portugal, PVCi helped to develop the market and build the foundations for this vibrant ecosystem of today.

As part of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group, the EIF designs and implements financial instruments which allow banks and PE/VC funds to close the financing gap faced by European SMEs. The EIF is the result of a public-private partnership between the EIB, the European Union through the European Commission, and several public and private entities, including the Portuguese bank BPI.

PVCi - 10 Years – 10 Numbers

  • 6,000 jobs supported
  • EUR 328 million invested in the Portuguese economy
  • EUR 111 million total programme size
  • EUR 50 million still available for investments up to 2020
  • PVCi committed capital into 7 Funds, which invested in 50 companies
  • 7 Portuguese districts
  • 7 companies divested
  • On average, a company supported by PVCi doubles its number of employees during the first two years