EIC Becomes the Investor of Choice for European Deep Tech Startups with Over Euro 1 Billion Investment

22 Nov 2023

On 14th November 2023, the European Innovation Council (EIC) announced its venture investment arm, the European Innovation Council Fund, which has approved nearly €1 billion in investments for deep tech companies since it commenced operations in September 2022.

The EIC Fund operates under Horizon Europe to encourage breakthrough technologies and innovations. The EIC Fund has become the investor of choice for European deep tech companies. Over a year, 159 startups and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were selected through the EIC Accelerator programme and have successfully secured investments.

The European Innovation Council Investment Procedure in Deep Tech Space

Within the framework of the European Innovation Council program, companies go through a meticulous assessment conducted by external experts, complemented by comprehensive due diligence carried out by the European Investment Bank, which acts as the investment adviser for the EIC Fund.

Following the approval of investments, companies usually have a window of up to 12 months to secure co-investors. Notably, 71 companies have effectively navigated this process, drawing co-investments that amount to three times the initial investments from the EIC Fund.  

Moreover, The EIC Accelerator offers grants of up to €2.5 million combined with equity investments through the EIC Fund ranging from €0.5 to €15 million or more. It supports startups and SMEs across various sectors. In addition to financial support, participants benefit from business acceleration services, providing access to expertise, corporates, investors, and ecosystem actors.

Some Notable EIC Funded Deep Tech Startups 

Some notable companies that have thrived with EIC investments include Quandela, a French quantum photonics leader; Microsure, an innovation leader in robot-assisted micro-surgery based in the Netherlands; and Methinks, a Spanish company specializing in AI-based early detection and management of acute stroke patients.

Quandela recently secured €50 million from various investors to support international expansion and further industrial development. Microsure obtained €38 million to finalize the development of their newest microsurgical robot for clinical studies, while Methinks announced securing €2.5 million in convertible loans to prepare for an upcoming investment round.

Furthermore, the EIC recently revealed the results of the latest EIC Accelerator call on 30th October, with 47 additional companies selected for EIC support, amounting to €349 million, of which €236 million is earmarked for investments through the EIC Fund. Since its launch in 2021 under the Horizon Europe programme, a total of 493 companies have been selected by the EIC Accelerator, showcasing the program's impact and competitiveness.

The Deep Tech Landscape in Europe

In MedTech, the Europe nucleic acid sample preparation market is projected to reach $3.35 billion by 2032 from $1.30 billion in 2022, growing at a CAGR of 9.89% from 2022-2032. The increased demand for downstream applications, such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) and other associated developments in nucleic acid extraction/isolation techniques, is expanding the market in the region. Moreover, the growing adoption of infectious disease diagnostics kits, tubes, and reagents among significant end users are major factors propelling the growth of the Europe infectious disease diagnostics market. The Europe infectious disease diagnostics market was valued at $1.39 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $7.90 billion by 2031, witnessing a CAGR of 16.48% during the forecast period 2021-2031.

In AgriTech, the European market is moving ahead with deep technologies. Insights into farm economics, crop scouting, weather tracking and forecasting, irrigation management, yield monitoring, and field mapping are some of the agricultural industry's primary benefits of these technologies. For figures, the Europe farm management software and data analytics market (excluding the U.K.) was valued at $1.12 billion in 2022, which is expected to grow with a CAGR of 15.79% and reach $2.34 billion by 2027.

In SpaceTech, the sub-orbital testing service providers have witnessed the demand from the government, research institutions, and the growing commercial industry. The Europe sub-orbital testing services market is estimated to reach $30.7 million by 2032 from $16.4 million in 2022, at a CAGR of 6.48% during the forecast period 2022-2032.  Moreover, Global communication networks are being revolutionized by the European space-based laser communication sector, marked by lower latency and faster data speeds. The Europe Space-based Laser communication market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.55% from 253.9 million in 2022 to 1,313.3 million by 2033.

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The Establishment of EIC as the Investor of Choice for European Deep Tech Startups 

Iliana Ivanova, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth, expressed her satisfaction with the EIC's achievements, stating, "The European Innovation Council stands as the cornerstone of Europe's innovation landscape. It's a launchpad for revolutionary technologies and transformative innovations. We are empowering Europe's brightest startups to grow, secure investments, and emerge as global frontrunners in technologies pivotal for Europe's journey towards a greener, digitally advanced future."

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