The “Belgian Growth Fund” raised 213 million euros in total, the initiators said during their first closing on Friday.
The Fund was set up by the Michel government, to raise funds to invest in new technology companies.
The end goal is to raise 300 to 400 million euros. It is mainly investment institutions like banks, insurance companies and pension funds that have pledged money so far.
The Belgian Growth Fund (BGF) was created by the former Finance minister Johan Van Overtveldt (N-VA), to make Belgium stronger in the risk capital sector. The SFPI (Federal Participation and Investment Society) and it partners Participatiemaatschappij Vlaanderen (PMV) and BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity have been tasked with raising money.
Growing Belgian companies that want to raise more than 20 million euros to finance their expansion are currently turning to foreign investors. Only a small number of Belgian investors are able to hand over that kind of money. The BGF is there to bridge the gap.
Around 213 million had been raised by the end of the first closing,but that is expected to increase. The total should eventually reach between 300 and 400 million euros.
“Our aim is to allow more start-ups to expand and become scale-ups. This would allow us to increase the impact new and expanding companies have on growth, prosperity and job creation”, said Finance minister Alexander De Croo (Open Vld). Mr De Croo said scales-ups also often offer a bigger variety of jobs at different levels.
Other than the financing offered by the SFPI, PMV and BNP Paribas Fortis, the BGF has also received money from investment institutions. These include AG Insurance, Belfius Insurance, Ethias, KBC Verzekeringen, vdkbank and Crelan.