SMEs and life sciences companies in the EU will have the opportunity to gain access to €20.5m in Google-backed funding.
The finance, advised by the European Investment Fund (EIF), will be split into two fund-of-funds with €12.3m going towards a loan fund-of-funds small businesses and €8.2m going into a life sciences venture capital fund.
Google will provide finances to European investment managers who will in turn offer loans to SMEs that have trouble accessing bank financing, particularly amid the current crisis. The investment aims to support more than 1,000 SMEs.
The life sciences investment will target businesses operating in various fields across the industry, ranging from therapeutics and medical technologies to digital health and healthcare. The finance aims to support around 200 life sciences companies, many of which are directly involved in developing solutions to the Covid-19 crisis.
EIF chief executive Alain Godard said: “In these difficult times, it is great to see corporate investors with similar goals to our own, contributing to improving access to finance to SMEs. Google is the first corporate to invest in these funds, and we look forward to welcoming other corporates and investors so that we can strengthen the ecosystem to support even more small companies with financing.”
In August last year, Google announced plans to help support 60,000 SMEs in Ireland as they recover from financial difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, with a package of tools, supports, partnerships and funding.
The Grow with Google scheme was set up to enable businesses to adapt and thrive by learning how to operate online. It would also give SMEs access to free tools and training, as well as advertising credits and grants for NGOs.
Google EMEA president, Matt Brittin said the latest investment is part of an $800m commitment announced last year in response to Covid-19 as well as the company’s ongoing efforts to provide tools and training.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the European economy and we are proud to be part of these funds and join the EIF in their mission to help small businesses access finance and foster innovation in Europe’s life sciences industry.”
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