Saturday, 19 September 2020

European Investment Fund dedicates €100m to AI and blockchain

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is launching a dedicated investment scheme with €100 million available to artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain-focused venture funds and investors.

With the help of the European Commission (EC), the EIF says it wants to address the “blockchain and AI financing gap in Europe”.

The EIF says funding in blockchain and AI rarely gets beyond proof-of-concept stage in Europe

Off the back of this investment scheme, the EIF is expecting to see €300 million generated for AI and blockchain-focused ventures from other private investors ‘crowding in’.

Beginning in 2020, the EIF says it will increase capital further still through the scheme by allowing co-investments with national promotional banks.

In a blog post the EIF said it’s partnership with the EC “could be a powerful force [in the market] for setting regulatory and legal precedents, driving a clarity of language and easing the path to regulation on both AI and blockchain in Europe”.

“AI and blockchain can only change lives if they can be commercialised and used. We’re looking forward to making that happen,” the EIF adds.

According to the EIF, funding in these technologies rarely gets beyond the proof-of-concept stage in Europe. “Only a handful” of closed venture capital funds invest in blockchain in Europe, compared to more than fifty such funds in the US.

As for AI, the UK invested $18.24 million into the technology in 2018 which was just 1% of its $1.74 billion fintech venture capital investment total, according to Innovate Finance’s 2018 FinTech report.

The EIF wants to change these numbers and create “a dynamic EU-wide investors community on AI and blockchain”.


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