A Venture Capital Fund of 10 million Euro has been launched with the aim of helping start-ups which may find it difficult to secure financial aid from banks.
Silvio Schembri, Minister for the Economy, EU Funds and Lands announced the launch where he explained that Government will be investing equity in these companies, particularly in the sector of innovative technology such as game development, fintech and esports.
Speaking at the official opening of the first national Techxpo, Minister Schembri explained that Government’s main aim in launching this fund is to aid ambitious entrepreneurs come up with innovative solutions and products to ensure a complete ecosystem of support and financing for Malta.
“We keep working on measures to facilitate quality business in our country. The initial stage of each start-up is the most difficult time, particularly if the sector is non-traditional. For this reason, Government felt the need to intervene and give these start-ups the initial push for them to thrive,” said Minister Schembri.
Start-ups which are in the initial stages of commercialisation will be able to avail themselves of this fund. The Malta Venture Capital Scheme will be led by Malta Government Investments and at a later stage, a bespoke company, Malta Government Ventures will be incorporated to focus solely on this type of investment.
A Board of Directors will also be brought together to define the investment policy which will cover this scheme. This board will be made up of representatives from Government entities including MGI, MIMCOL, Malta Enterprise, Malta Development Bank, the National Development and Social Fund and Gaming Malta amongst others. A committee will also be set up to assist the board with the assessment of applications.
Each start-up will be given a maximum of €500,000 in equity. It is estimated that over a two-year period, there will be investments in around 20 companies. Innovative sectors will benefit from this investment, namely video gaming, esports, ICT, fintech, life sciences, pharma, green energy, filming industry, agritech, AI, communications, electronics, financial services, medical devices, software, technology, VR, bluewater industries, and digital technologies.
Minister Schembri concluded by saying that “Government is committed to keep working in favour of sustainable economic growth which welcomes innovation and is at the forefront of this digital revolution. Let us ensure that digitisation and AI in our country will keep thriving, making us more attractive and competitive while creating quality employment.”
Silvio Schembri / DOI / Jason Borg
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