[Call for Applications] Innovation Fund of the Republic of Serbia: Serbia Ventures Biotech Program

28 June - 15 September 2023

The Innovation Fund of the Republic of Serbia is launching a new public call for the Serbia Ventures – Biotech Program with the aim of stimulating the financing of high-potential biotech startups. The program is designed to attract private investors, individuals, and institutions to invest in the development of startup companies operating in the field of biotechnology through the establishment of a venture capital fund.

The Innovation Fund will invest up to EUR 5 million in one venture capital fund as a limited partner. The program provides an initial investment in the venture capital fund, thereby enabling greater access to financial resources for the development of biotech companies, aiming to achieve significant success in the market.

The application is available through the Innovation Fund portal until September 15, 2023, at 3:00 PM. The criteria and application documentation can be found on the Fund’s website.

The Serbia Ventures – Biotech Program represents a significant step in the development of the innovation sector in Serbia, enabling the growth and progress of biotech startups. Additionally, this investment will have a positive impact on economic development and advance scientific and technological development in the field of biotechnology.

The funds for the implementation of the public call are secured from the budget of the Republic of Serbia, under the Ministry of Science, Technological Development, and Innovation.

Public Call for the Serbia Ventures Program

Program objective is to motivate qualified high net worth individuals and institutions with the capacity to engage in Venture Capital (VC) financing to structure their operations into conventional VC funds established in Serbia and begin investing more aggressively into high-risk/high-reward startup equity and equity-like instruments in Serbia (and beyond).

Within this public call, the Innovation Fund (hereinafter: IF) will gather Applications from existing fund management companies and teams whose ambition is to establish and operate a VC fund in Serbia. After an independent and merit-based evaluation, the IF will invest into the best Applications in the role of a limited partner.

The maximum amount of financing which the IF can invest in each individual VC fund is 5.000.000 EUR, and the IF’s investment mustn’t exceed 50% of the size of the VC fund’s final close amount.

The duration of the investment is not fixed due to lengthy investment cycles that are characteristic of the VC industry. The VC funds applying for this program should plan a general fund life of 10 years with 5-year investment periods and 5-year of divestment periods, with a maximum of 2 possible extensions of 1 year each.

Terms of application

Eligible applicants:

  • Incorporated in the SBRA as a legal entity (either as an LLC, a joint stock company, or a licensed fund management company),
  • Majority privately owned,
  • Must ensure that the fund manager’s contribution represents at least 1% of the total capital raised.

Application contents

Each Application must be duly submitted via the portal within the given deadline for this Public call and it must consist of the following documents:

  • Applicant statement (signed electronically directly on the portal)
  • The business plan, provided in free format in the English language, which should be ideally up to 25 pages A4 and needs to cover:
    • The VC fund’s management team (including profiles, experiences, shareholders, legal/governance structure);
    • Track record of the management team (if any, or a justification of the team’s soft or hard skills and resources which would ensure successful implementation of the proposed VC fund);
    • Market overview and mapping of high potential sectors and/or illustrative deals;
    • Capital allocation strategy (including the fund’s size, relevant investment and divestment time frames, target market segmentation, target sectors, deal flow forecast and demonstration of the ability to scout for and source high quality deals, etc.);
    • Key terms and conditions (including management fee, carried interest, hurdle rate, target IRR, incentives, winding-up, etc.).

At the time of applying for the Program, the Applicant is not required to be licensed by the Republic of Serbia Securities Commission.

In order for the Applicant to be able to ultimately receive the funds from the IF within this program, the Applicant needs to be fully registered and licensed by the Republic of Serbia Securities Commission and SBRA as a legal entity registered specifically for managing alternative investment funds (alternative investment fund managing company), and needs to register a VC fund (alternative investment fund) in Serbia and receive the appropriate license in line with the requirements outlined by the Republic of Serbia Securities Commission and other applicable legislative requirements.

The Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria: 

  • Management Team / General Partner
  • Market Segmentation and Pipeline Analysis
  • Investment Thesis / Capital Allocation Strategy
  • Fund Composition and Limited Partner Base
  • Proposed Terms and Fund Economics

Only Applications excelling in all the above-mentioned criteria will be chosen for financing. Additional details regarding the evaluation process can be found in the Program Manual.

Due to the international evaluation process, submitted Application documentation must be in English.

The deadline for Application submission is June 15th 2022 by 15:00h.

Incomplete Applications, as well as Applications that are not submitted until the submission deadline will not be considered.

Please use the following link to apply:  LOGIN

Contact: serbiaventures@inovacionifond.rs

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