The Fund of Funds about to make a final selection of three teams for the investment of more than BGN 100 million in start-ups
The launch of the three new funds will double the capital available for investment in new business ideas in Bulgaria in the wake of the JEREMIE generation of funds
The tender conducted by the Fund of Funds (FoF) for the selection of financial intermediaries for three Accelerator Seed Capital Funds is at the final stage of evaluation and ranking of the final proposals received. Once selection has been finalised, the three new funds will commence operating. They will manage a total budget of BGN 100.3 million under Operational Programme ‘Innovation and Competitiveness’ (OPIC), co-financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).
Within the framework of the selection procedure the FoF has so far conducted negotiations with six applicants approved at the stage of preliminary selection who were subsequently invited to submit initial proposals. The goal was to achieve optimal conditions for the three new funds to be set up. This includes both prerequisites for the achievement of the goals set out in the operational programme, notably supporting start-ups, attracting know-how and raising additional funds from private investors.
Following the successful conclusion of negotiations, a total of seven final offers were received from the six applicants remaining in the tender. On 31 May 2018, the evaluation committee opened in public the following tenders:
Three tenders for Accelerator and Seed Capital Fund I to which BGN 27.3 mln. in financing comprising public funds is available;
Two tenders for Accelerator and Seed Capital Fund II to which BGN 35.7 mln. in financing comprising public funds is available; and
Two tenders for Accelerator and Seed Capital Fund III to which BGN 37.3 mln. in financing comprising public funds is available.
The final stage of selection includes reviewing, evaluating and ranking the final tenders received. The experience of applicant teams in the management of seed equity investment funds and their ability to raise additional private funds will have the greatest weight in evaluation. In order to ensure effective implementation of the new financial instrument, the investment strategy and business plan will also be evaluated.
The instrument structured by the FoF under the OPIC will double the public financing available for equity investment in new businesses established in Bulgaria as compared to the funding available under the JEREMIE initiative.
As a continuation of the opportunities for seed financing of start-ups, on 15 May the FoF launched a call for the selection of a fund manager of the second equity instrument under the OPIC — the Venture Capital Fund. It is designed to address the needs of high-tech companies and innovative SMEs with high growth potential. A total of BGN 47.1 mln. in financing comprising public funds is available under the instrument and the deadline for the submission of applications in the call is 25 June 2018.
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