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An extra billion euros in funding is to be made available for two successful venture capital instruments: the ERP/EIF Fund of Funds and the European Angels Fund. The European Investment Fund and the ERP Special Fund - represented by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy - have topped up the highly popular start-up funding programmes by a billion euros to €2.7 billion. Combined with funding under the Growth Facility launched in March, approximately €3.2 billion is now available to support German start-ups and high-tech companies with fast growth trajectories.

Federal Minister Sigmar Gabriel said: "We need more young, innovative technological companies in Germany. In an increasingly digitalised world, these companies are the driving force for innovation, modernisation of the economic structure and a catalyst for employment. In order to set the stage for a dynamic start-up ecosystem, facilitating access to Venture Capital is the key. This is a top priority for Germany. The €1 billion increase of these well-functioning financing instruments brings us another step closer to our goal of initiating a new era of start-ups in Germany."

The Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund, Pier Luigi Gilibert, said: "The cooperation with ERP is a real success story and continues to deliver finance solutions for innovative and growing German SMEs. With an additional € 1 billion of financing, together with the German Economic Affairs Ministry, we can target fast growth SMEs in Germany to support future investment projects. The ERP-mandate is an example of the positive impact that stable providers of co-investment capacity have on potential investment opportunities."

Since its launch in 2004, the ERP/EIF Fund of Funds has played an important role in start-up funding. It participates in venture capital funds which invest in technology firms in the early and growth phase. The European Angels Fund, which is also financed with money from the ERP/EIF facility, complements this with cofinancing for investments by selected, experienced business angels. These funding services have been supplemented since March by the ERP/EIF Growth Facility, which covers the growth-phase segment. Together with the funding for the Growth Facility, the total volume of these three venture capital instruments will be €3.2 billion. Since the investments always involve other private co-investors, they generate considerable leverage.