Institut Català de Finances (ICF - Catalan Finance Institute) is the public financial institution of Catalonia. ICF's mission is to foster the access to funding for enterprises in Catalonia in order to contribute to the growth, innovation and sustainable development of the region's economy. In this sense, the ICF acts as a complement to the private financial sector.
The institution offers to start-ups, SME’s, companies and entities different financial solutions through its activity in loans, guarantees and venture capital investments.
In the venture capital area, the ICF seeks to promote the growth and consolidation of existing companies, as well as to promote the creation of new companies, with the aim that they could launch innovation, internationalization and growth projects. Venture capital activity is another strategic route through which companies can access the financing they need for their development.
In this area, the Group acts in order to multiply the resources from other investment sources that are allocated to each business project. On the one hand, as a «fund of funds», the ICF participates in investment funds that invest in companies in Catalonia. At December 31, 2019, the ICF accumulated investment commitments in venture capital worth 318.6 million euros through 48 capital instruments that, with the 2,645 million euros committed by other investors, add up to an investment capacity over 2,963 million euros.
The ICF also manages four funds directly through ICF Capital: two are in divestment period (Capital MAB and Capital Expansió) and the other two were created during the first half of 2019 (ICF Capital Expansió II and ICF Venture Tech II) to invest in SMEs with growth projects and technological and/or innovation projects, respectively.
In addition, the ICF promotes innovation and supports start-ups through IFEM Innovació with which it co-invests in newly created innovative companies, with investors accredited by the entity, adding additional funds. Through this line of public-private co-financing, the institution empowers innovative companies through participatory loans of up to 200,000 euros and, in some cases, capital investment. Since the creation of this vehicle, ICF has invested in more than 120 start-ups.
Josep-Ramon Sanromà Celma, CEO
Anna Àlvarez Santiago, general manager – Credit investments and risk
Joan Carles Rovira Garcia, general manager – Venture Capital and capital markets
Vanessa Servera Planas, general manager – Finance and operations
Marta Gomà Rigat, corporate manager – Compliance and control
Assís de Riba Cusó, manager
Venture Capital and capital markets - Joan Carles Rovira Garcia, general manager
Investment in venture capital funds - Irene Bertran Aixut, manager
Treasury and capital markets - Xavier Auguets Pratsobrerroca, manager
Capital Expansió - Adrià Torrelles Burgués, manager
Venture Capital - Emili Gómez Jane, manager
FEDER and European programs - Marc Lloveras Llavina, manager
The ICF offers start-ups, self-employed persons, SMEs, companies and entities multiple financing solutions adapted to their needs.
In the venture capital area, the ICF operates in three market segments through ICF Capital, the management company of closed-ended collective investment entities, authorized by the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), manages, promotes and advises public and/or private funds or venture capital companies that contribute capital to Catalan companies.
• Seed/start-up capital: Projects in their initial phases that have not yet reached mass production and present technology and/or business model risk.
• Development/Venture capital: Resources allocated to technological projects (ICT, Bio, etc.) to finalize the initial development and the first commercialization of the product or service, and the first phases of growth.
• Growth: Investments to finance the growth of consolidated and profitable companies, to acquire assets or develop new products.
Currently, ICF Capital directly manages the following funds:
• ICF Capital Expansió II: 50 million euros venture capital fund whose investment is focused on Catalan companies with turnover volumes starting at 10 million euros and with positive results, which are immersed in strategic growth projects through organic level (processes of internationalization or increase of productive activity) or inorganic (acquisition of companies). Investments are made through the contribution of own resources to the company through capital increases and/or convertible equity loans with an amount of up to 5 million euros.
• ICF Venture Tech II: 20 million euros venture capital fund that is aimed at technology and/or innovation companies with a high growth and revaluation potential in early advanced phases and series A. In this case, investments are made both in equity as with debt instruments, convertible debt or equity, preferably.
In addition, it manages the Capital Expansió and Capital MAB funds, currently in the divestment period.
In the venture capital area, the ICF acts in order to multiply the resources from other investment sources that are allocated to each business project. On the one hand, as a "fund of funds", they participate in investment funds that invest in companies in Catalonia. In addition, on the other hand, they collaborate with the specialized private sector to identify market niches and participate as a driving force and dynamizer of investment.
In this sense, each euro invested by the ICF in venture capital in 2019 has contributed to mobilizing more than 9.3 euros from other investors, expanding that way the investment potential of these instruments.
The ICF has its own venture capital management through ICF Capital, its own venture capital funds, and co-invests with private investors, business angels, venture builders, accelerators and venture capital funds, to promote and develop start-ups. The aim of this line of co-financing is to promote and encourage the development of start-ups in Catalonia and, at the same time, facilitate their access to finance, diversify their sources of fundraising and act as a driver for greater investment.
ICF Capital Expansió II
Venture capital fund destined to invest in transformative and growth projects.
• Types of investment: operations of capital increase and/or convertible equity loans.
• Amount of the operation: between €1M and €5M.
• Characteristics of the company: companies with a turnover from €10M, positive EBITDA, with plans for organic growth (internationalisation, increase in production capacity, new production centres, etc.) or inorganic growth (through acquisitions).
• Sectors: generalist fund, but with special focus on companies in the industrial sector.
• Business models: defined levers of growth, identified competitive advantage, record of good management, focused on a particular market niche...
• Location: company with a corporate office in Catalonia.
• Fund size: €50M.
ICF Venture Tech II
Venture capital fund focused on technological and/or innovative start-ups with high growth potential.
• Type of investment: Equity and/or with debt instruments.
• Amount of the operation: Between 500,000€ and 2M€.
• Project characteristics: Early stage, pre-series A and series A.
• Sectors: Digital, technology and, occasionally, life sciences (companies requiring clinical phases are excluded).
• Business model: High growth potential, with product-market fit proved and focused on scalability and large markets. Technology and/or innovation must be a clear differentiation that provides a sustainable competitive advantage. Capital-efficient companies are highly valued.
• Team - Stakeholders: High-performing, experienced and committed teams seeking for co-investors and management board with proven experience. Stakeholders' capacity for attracting new investors.
• Fund size: 20 M€.
The ICF, through IFEM, supports the creation and growth of innovative start-up through venture capital programs and the co-investment with private investors through participative loans.
Innovation IFEM. Co-investing with private investors.
• Beneficiaries: entrepreneurs or innovative companies focused on technology or science, with strong growth potential, that seek early-stage funding.
o IFEM innovation: Coinvestment with private investors
o IFEM innovation: Knowledge Industry Programme
o IFEM innovation: Corporate Entrepreneurship Programme
Investment IFEM. Venture Capital. IFEM acts as a venture capital investor in companies with a base in Catalonia.
• Beneficiaries: start-ups and companies at an early stage of growth that have a high technology and innovation component.
• Brokers: Encomenda Seed I B, FCRE, SA; Caixa Innvierte Start, FCR; INVEREADY BIOTECH III SCR, SA; INVIVO VENTURES, FCR; i K Fund, FCRE.