IFC supports early-stage technology startups in Central and Southeast Europe
Early-stage technology startups in Central and Southeast Europe will have improved access to finance, in the wake of an investment by IFC that aims to support the region's potential to foster technology development and application.
IFC has invested €15 million in the LAUNCHub Fund II, managed by LAUNCHub Fund II Management, a venture capital firm headquartered in Bulgaria. The Fund aims to provide increased access to early-stage equity and operational value add for technology startups in the region, which are underserved by venture capital thus hindering their growth. Given the growth of digital entrepreneurship during the COVID-19 pandemic, this funding is critical to help promising start-ups scale and strengthen their delivery of critical goods and services.
Lyuben Belov, Founding Partner, LAUNCHub Ventures: "The startup ecosystem for innovative tech companies in Central and Southeast Europe has transformed entrepreneurship in the region over the last decade. With the support of IFC, as an experienced and reputable institutional investor, we can go even further investing in the exceptional growth potential of the region."
The Fund will support startups that are developing technology-led innovative solutions to disrupt traditional business models. IFC's investment is expected to help drive competitiveness across targeted markets by increasing productivity and efficiency while bolstering the region's venture capital ecosystem.
Wiebke Schloemer, Director for Europe and Central Asia, IFC: "With their young and technology-savvy populations, countries in Central and Southeast Europe have a clear opportunity to invest in the digital economy. Our partnership with LAUNCHub Fund II will help more promising start-ups grow regionally and globally, create local jobs opportunities in the digital space, and fight the brain drain that is currently affecting the region."
IFC has supported the development of the private equity and venture capital funds in its Europe and Central Asia Region for over 20 years, with commitments of over $600 million in the region as of April 2021.