InvestEU: CREAS, supported by the EIF and ICO, launches Creas Impacto II, a new fund to invest in social impact companies in Spain and the EU

10 July 2024

  • Creas Impacto II has a €70 million target size.
  • Investors includes the EIF and ICO, the Carasso Foundation, and private investors, among others.
  • EIF's becomes lead investor with €20 million pledge under the InvestEU programme.
  • ICO, through AXIS, will invest up to 10 million euros in the fund.
  • Creas Impacto II will invest in approximately 12 growth-stage companies in Spain as well as additional companies in Europe.

ICO has signed a €10 million investment in Creas Impacto II, a new fund launched by CREAS, a pioneer fund manager in impact investing in Spain. This new vehicle, with a target size of €70 million, is a further effort by CREAS to invest in and support Europe's best social impact companies in areas such as empowering people through education and inclusive employment; caring for vulnerable people, with a focus on elder care; and building regenerative models for climate change mitigation and adaptation. 

Creas Impacto II reached approximately €40 million at its firs closing, a significant milestone in the current macroeconomic environment. Investors includes the EIF and ICO (already investors in the first fund Creas Impacto I), Spanish family offices and European investors with extensive experience in impact investing, like the Carasso Foundation.

CREAs founder Luis Berruete stated, “We are at a brilliant and critical moment for the sector: We see significant growth and acceptance of impact investing as a key tool for tackling the major challenges we face. At the same time, we see a need to go one step further in our impact investment mission, strengthening what makes us unique to reinvent the sector.”

The EIF invests €20 million in Creas Impacto II as lead investor under the InvestEU programme. This is the second time the EIF has supported CREAS. In 2018, the EIF invested €15 million in Creas Impacto I, the first institutional impact fund in Spain to support social enterprises. 

EIF Chief Executive, Marjut Falkstedt, commented, “Ensuring social inclusion is more important than ever. At the EIF, with the support of the InvestEU programme, we strive to make a very real contribution by boosting investments in European businesses with a social impact. In this spirit, we are delighted to be backing CREAS and look forward to achieving real progress on the ground.” 

ICO's investment in Creas Impacto II will be made through the Social Impact and Sustainability Initiative of AXIS (ICO's venture capital subsidiary) and will amount to €10 million. ICO also participated in Creas Impacto I, the first institutional impact fund of the same fund manager in Spain, with €5 million.

José Carlos García de Quevedo, President of ICO, stressed that "This operation shows the ICO Group's commitment to the development of the impact investment ecosystem in Spain and strengthens our role as one of the sector's key players. The investments we make promote public-private collaboration, a key element for consolidating a solid impact investment sector that contributes to driving sustainable economic growth and responding to social and environmental challenges".

Lucía Casani, Director of the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation in Spain, adds "Participating in Creas Impacto II represents an extraordinary opportunity for the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation to amplify our commitment to impact investing in Spain and Europe. We strongly believe in the transformative potential of this fund to address critical challenges such as social inequality and climate change, aligned with our mission to foster a more just and sustainable society. We are proud to support companies that seek not only profitability, but also a significant positive impact on our communities."

Creas Impacto II will continue raising funds over the next 12 months, targeting institutional and private investors in Spain and other EU countries, allowing them to pursue their social and environmental impact objectives while achieving market returns.  

A fund to fight climate change and social inequality

We face major global challenges in the coming decade such as climate change and social inequality. These are challenges that private companies, governments and civil society seek to address to ensure a more humane and sustainable future.

The investment focus of Creas Impacto II is companies that want to be a part of this systemic change, working in key areas like education and inclusive employment, caring for the vulnerable, and promoting circular and sustainable models of production and consumption. Companies that provide transformative solutions to empower people, improve their quality of life, and fuel economic regeneration. 

Creas Impacto II was created precisely to support impact companies in Spain and Europe that have demonstrated market traction and want to enhance their growth, showing that active impact management is a true lever for long-term value creation. 

The fund manager has experience in the impact investing sector, and has also signed an alliance with Tyton Partners, an investment banking and strategic consulting firm in the field of education technology and knowledge services to strengthen the fund's origination, research and value creation capabilities.

Spain and the European Union present a major investment opportunity, with more than 15.000 impact companies in mature growth stages that come under the new fund's investment strategy. The management team already sees a number of advanced investment opportunities in key sectors like nursing homes, early childhood education and mental health, and plans to make the fund’s first three investments in the next quarter. 

Impact investing in Spain is growing

Impact investing is clearly a growing market in Spain, with a significant increase in capital supply in recent years. According to the latest data published by the industry association SpainNAB, by the end of 2022, impact investing had grown by 60% in assets under management, reaching nearly €3 billion between funds and bank-based impact financing — which includes ethical, social, and sustainable banking and impact financial cooperatives. 

Institutional investors like the EIF and ICO have contributed significantly to the sector’s development in Spain, together with impact sector representatives like CREAS, which promoted the creation of industry associations such as SpainNAB, and the creation of impact committees in venture capital associations such as SpainCAP or Spainsif. 

Background information

About the EIF
The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments that specifically target this market segment. In this role, it contributes to the achievement of key EU policy goals such as competitiveness and growth, innovation and digitalisation, social impact, skills and human capital, climate action and environmental sustainability.

About InvestEU
The InvestEU programme provides the European Union with crucial long-term funding by leveraging substantial private and public funds in support of a sustainable recovery. It also helps mobilise private investment for EU policy priorities, such as the European Green Deal and the digital transition. The InvestEU programme brings together under one roof the multitude of EU financial instruments currently available to support investment in the Member States, making funding for investment projects in Europe simpler, more efficient and more flexible. The programme consists of three components: the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal. The InvestEU Fund is implemented through financial partners who will invest in projects using the EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion. The entire budget guarantee will back the investment projects of the implementing partners, increase their risk-bearing capacity and thus mobilise at least €372 billion in additional investment.

Currently, CREAS manages a portfolio of 11 leading innovation and impact companies in its three industry verticals, including Qida, a leading Spanish company transforming home-based care for dependent patients and those in critical condition; Refurbed, a European leader in refurbished electronics marketplaces, transforming consumption towards sustainability; Smileat, Spain's leading brand of organic baby food, improving children's health by offering formulas with much lower added sugar and salt; and Mitiga, creator of a software that can calculate the impact of climate change on risk management linked to natural disasters, now aiming to become a global standard in its sector. 

CREAS seeks to fill a market gap with low competition — occupying the space between conventional venture capital, which comes in at earlier stages, and private equity, which targets more mature companies.

CREAS will continue working to build a better world through investment by leveraging its extensive experience in fund management, corporate transactions and business growth. At the same time, it will expand its ability to generate value through the impact ecosystem it co-leads, thanks to its network of investors, funds, advisors, CEOs and business experts.

About Axis
AXIS is active in public-private partnerships with the private equity industry in all areas of activity and currently has commitments to manage up to 12.15 billion euros across its four funds: Fond-ICO Global, Fond-ICO Next Tech, Fond-ICO Pyme, and Fond-ICO Sustainability and Infrastructures. These commitments will jointly mobilise public and private resources of more than 24 billion euros over the next five years, depending on the private sector’s capacity to absorb resources and deliver projects.

Press contacts

Maite Cordero | | Tel.: +34 606 66 82 62
Website: | X: @eif_eu 

Marta Montesinos |, tel. +34 670 727 564
Lara Viada |, tel. +34 669 87 23 04

Begoña Amores 
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