EU becomes a direct shareholder in Irish start-up Geowox
European Union to provide funding of between €500,000 and €15m in companies
Geowox co-founders Paul van Bommel, Stefano Francavilla and Marco Giardina
Geowox is one of the first tech companies in Europe to receive direct investment from the EU, which is intending to become a shareholder of promising start-ups through its new European Innovation Council Fund.
The new fund, details of which were announced on Wednesday, combine grants and equity stakes to finance early-stage companies.
Equity investments ranging from €500,000 to €15 million are to be made via the fund with the EU taking a stake of between 10 and 25 per cent in start-ups it backs.
More than 40 companies are to receive combined financing of about €178 million under the fund to help develop and scale breakthrough innovations in areas that include health and advanced manufacturing.
French company Corwave is the first company to have received direct funding, securing €15 million to help it bring an innovative medical solution that improves the lives of those with advanced heart failure to market.
Geowox has secured €1.6 million in funding from the EU, of which approximately €500,000 is equity.
The new fund is meant to complement grant financing already provided through the European Innovation Council’s Accelerator Pilot programme, which has seen 293 companies receive funding of more than €563 million in grants since December 2019.
Automated property valuations
Founded in Dublin in late 2017 by Stefano Francavilla, Paul van Bommel and Marco Giardina, Geowox uses open data and machine learning to generate high-quality automated property valuations for mortgage providers. It employs 15 people.
The company’s backers include Killian O’Higgins, the former managing director of real estate company WK Nowlan. Other investors in the company include Enterprise Ireland and Italian angel investor Gianni Matera, who has backed a large number of Irish tech start-ups in recent years through his investment firm, Growing Capital.
“Banks are working with mortgage buyers to take the process online. As part of this we are piloting with Irish banks later this year to help make this happen,” Mr van Bommel told The Irish Times.