EVP closes €105m venture debt fund

European Venture Partners (EVP), a venture leasing specialist with offices in the UK, Israel and Sweden, has closed its EVP II fund on target at €105m.

EVP, the European provider of venture debt products, has announced the final closing of its EVP II fund, having reached the original target of €105 million. It announced the launch of the fundraising in March 2004.

EVP said it would “utilise internal recycling” to allow EVP II to make total investments of more than €400 million over the next six years.

The EVP II fundraising was led by Deutsche Bank’s Structured Product team and included a cornerstone commitment from the European Investment Fund, the European Union’s financial institution specialising in venture capital and guarantees for SMEs.

Established in 1998, EVP claims to have been the first organisation to offer early-stage debt to venture capital-backed, young businesses in Europe. Since then, the firm has committed more than €160 million to 70 high-tech companies in ten countries.

EVP’s venture leasing combines traditional leasing and venture capital, and is designed to address the fixed asset financing debt requirements of innovative early-stage companies. The facilities enable entrepreneurs and venture capital investors to leverage a company’s initial equity at a time when traditional debt finance is not available.

“Closing EVP II is a strong endorsement of this team and their unique approach to the venture capital market,” said Jeffrey D’Souza, managing director of Deutsche Bank’s Structured Product team. “We are excited to be a part of what promises to be a bright future for EVP as they expand the penetration of venture leasing throughout Europe.”

Geoffrey Woolley, who founded US venture leasing firm Dominion Ventures, is chairman of EVP. A team of five directors comprises: Ross Ahlgren, Maurizio PetitBon, Neil Pitcher, Raoul Stein and Marten Vading.