Santander to help finance high-growth tech start-ups

Santander has bought a 30 per cent stake in venture debt manager Atempo Growth, which has just launched a fund focussing on financing European tech businesses with high growth potential.

The investment range per company is between €3 million and €10 million to be tailored to the circumstances and needs of each company.

The bank will act as an anchor investor in the fund, which also has investment from the European Investment Bank.

Atempo's debut fund has investment commitments of $200 million - approximately €175 million - on the first close. According to Santander, due to the interest received, the fund is expected to have a second close in the second quarter of 2022.

Santander said that in recent years, financing start-ups via venture debt has increased exponentially as a complementary route to traditional venture capital.

This type of financing is used by companies in the early or growth stages which are already backed by a venture capital fund.

“With this investment in Atempo Growth, Santander is taking a further step in its commitment to support and add value to companies in their various stages of growth,” said the bank in an announcement. “In addition to traditional bank financing, Santander supports technology start-ups by taking minority stakes in their capital through Mouro Capital. Now, through venture debt with Atempo Growth, Santander widens the financial services available to these companies whilst partnering with a prestigious manager.”

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