The EBRD is supporting the development of alternative funding sources in Poland by committing €15 million in favour of AVIA Capital’s first independent private equity growth fund, AVIA Capital I.The new fund will increase the availability of private equity financing for local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which is crucial for the development of private and entrepreneurial initiatives as well as for supporting companies’ growth.

This is particularly important now when countries face the unprecedented challenge of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy. The EBRD is stepping up its efforts with a series of response and recovery measures and now expects to dedicate all of its activities to helping the 38 emerging economies where it invests to combat the economic impact of the crisis.

The EBRD is an active investor in the Polish private equity market and sees its further development as a crucial step to providing much-needed equity capital to local companies, ultimately increasing the overall competitiveness of portfolio companies, developing alternative funding sources and strengthening the resilience of the financial sector.

“Equity funds inject capital to the real economy and support the stabilisation and growth of corporate entities,” said Anne Fossemalle, EBRD Director for Equity Funds. “We are particularly pleased to be supporting an independent ‘first-time’ fund manager in this challenging period.”

AVIA completed first close with €58.8 million of commitments from institutional investors and is seeking a final fund size of up to €100 million.

“The EBRD’s investment will support the growth of Polish SMEs,” added Grzegorz Zieliński, EBRD Regional Director for Central Europe and Head of Poland. “The Bank’s investment will contribute to the development of alternative funding sources for SMEs in Poland.”

The EBRD has been investing in private equity and venture capital funds since 1992 and has provided €4.4 billion to around 200 funds, which between them have combined fund capital exceeding €27.1 billion. These funds have financed more than 1,700 companies across the regions where the EBRD invests.

Since the beginning of its operations in Poland in 1991, the EBRD has invested almost €10.5 billion in 434 projects in the country. Diversifying funding sources for the corporate sector, supporting the green economy and developing the capital market are among the Bank’s priorities in Poland.