ICO, through AXIS, invests in the Extension Fund, a debt fund for technology start-ups

30 July 2021

  • The investment will be made through the COVID-19 Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Initiative, part of Fond-ICO Pyme and endowed with a total of 50 million euros to cover the liquidity needs of innovative technology-based companies.
  • The investment fund plans to invest in 30 companies in the fintech, insurtech, cleantech and consumer goods sectors

AXIS, ICO's venture capital subsidiary, will participate with a 49% commitment up to a maximum of 17.15 million euros in the Extension Fund. This 35 million euro investment fund was created in 2021 as a vehicle of opportunity to revitalise the post-COVID environment, with the main objective of investing in 30 Spanish technology-based start-ups in the fintech, insurtech, cleantech and consumer good sectors. The Fund, which was set up as a joint venture between Antai Venture Builder and the fund manager Riva y García SGIIC, is closing at more than half of its target size for the first time.  

The Fund is supported by AXIS in the framework of its Fond-ICO Pyme COVID-19 Entrepreneurial Ecosystem initiative. This initiative was launched in 2020 with the aim of covering the liquidity needs of SMEs and innovative technology-based companies in our country.
The Chairman of AXIS, Jose Carlos García de Quevedo, said that "through this initiative, AXIS aims to support the Spanish entrepreneurial ecosystem, especially those companies based on digital and innovative business models with high growth potential, and which are facing temporary liquidity problems caused by the health crisis".

The Extension Fund's strategy is based on providing capital to companies to prolong their periods of liquidity, as well as providing its team's relevant operational expertise, thus contributing to boosting and energising the companies in which it invests. One of its key features is that it is an investment vehicle with a hybrid strategy, using convertible securities and venture debt loans to invest in the chosen companies. 

The Extension Fund has already closed its first operations and its investment tickets range from 400,000 to 800,000 euros for the convertible securities and from 1 million to 3.5 million euros for venture debt loans.  The company plans to invest in around 30 start-ups, of which 15-20 will be invested in the form of a convertible security and the remainder will be invested in the form of venture debt loans.

Committee of Experts 

In addition to financial resources, the Extension Fund will provide its investees with the expertise and knowledge of renowned entrepreneurs with extensive experience in the sector. The vehicle includes Jordi Safont and Ignacio Moro as managing partners of the firm; Miguel Vicente and Gerard Olivé, co-founders and co-CEO of Antai Venture Builder; Borja and Ignacio García Nieto, chairman and CEO of Riva y García, respectively; and Ernest Quingles, vice president of Epson Europe and CEO of Epson in Spain, Portugal and France. 

Ignacio Moro, Managing Partner, states that: “we are very excited to launch a new VC investment vehicle that will serve to invigorate the Spanish entrepreneurial ecosystem, for which our partnership with AXIS has been essential. The Extension Fund seeks to extend the liquidity periods of investee companies by providing capital, operational expertise and a global network, so that they can achieve their growth objectives before a new round of capital raising," he adds.

The Extension Fund has already closed on more than half of the fund's size and plans to hold its final closing in September.

About Antai Venture Builder

Antai VB, founded by Miguel Vicente and Gerard Olivé, is internationally renowned for having launched more than 25 start-ups valued at over 2 billion euros, with a network of over 350 investors and with results of 17x MoM growth in start-ups created and 4.6x MoM in start-ups invested in at pre-series.

About Riva y García SGIIC 

Riva y García Gestión, headed by Borja and Ignacio García-Nieto, is a Private Equity and Venture Capital firm operating in Spain and abroad since 2000. It specialises in the SME sector, companies in maturity stages from start-ups to expansion and internationalisation.

About Axis 

AXIS is the ICO Group's venture capital manager. Incorporated in 1986 and registered under number one with the CNMV, it provides Spanish companies with alternative financing channels to promote their development and competitiveness through public-private partnerships. Throughout its history, it has invested around 2.1 billion euros in the growth of more than 230 companies and funds.