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EIB provides EUR50m funding for CEZ’s Inven Capital to support smart energy innovation

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing EUR50m to the Czech Republic Inven Capital Fund to develop a co-investment initiative to support the growth of clean energy and smart technology SMEs and midcaps.

Czech energy utility CEZ is contributing the same amount to this initiative so that the total financing available for joint co-investments to clean-tech and smart energy businesses is EUR 100m. The transaction is backed by the guarantee of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which is the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.

This operation will support clean-tech and smart energy companies’ investment projects, the mobilisation and deployment of further private sector investments to enhance innovation and sustainable development and generate employment opportunities in Europe. This co-investment initiative will provide additional liquidity to leading European venture capital-dependent SMEs and midcaps in the energy sector. These companies are typically in a growth stage and need early-stage investments to innovate and expand their product and service offering, increase their productivity and manufacturing capacity and expand internationally.

EIB Vice-President Vazil Hudák commented: “I am glad that this unique EUR 100m joint co-investment initiative benefitting from the EFSI guarantee will enable Inven Capital to accelerate its equity investments. This will help to strengthen the capital base and growth of leading highly innovative European clean energy and smart-tech businesses.”

European Commission Vice-President responsible for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic said: “Once again we see that EFSI means business. It means business for innovative clean-tech and smart energy companies in the Czech Republic and across Europe. It means another EUR 100m are now being injected into their growth and our environment. It means we’re moving in the right direction. Under EFSI 2.0, at least 40% of the projects will contribute directly to climate action, in line with our Paris Agreement commitments."

Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Renewable Energy and Distribution Officer of CEZ Tomas Pleskac stated: “Inven Capital’s activities have so far greatly helped CEZ Group to fulfil one of its main strategic objectives, which is to develop business in the decentralised energy and renewable sources segments. We feel very honoured by the European Investment Bank’s interest in investing jointly in energy start-ups, and it is a sign of appreciation of our efforts to date.”

Managing Director and Chairman of the Board of Inven Capital Petr Míkovec said: “Our partnership with the EIB will allow us to access additional capital and as a result provide greater support for further growth of innovative clean-tech SMEs and midcaps in Europe. This additional funding from the EIB along with the capital originally committed by CEZ means that Inven Capital Fund will have approximately up to EUR 240m of committed capital available.”