The company is the first in Bulgaria to secure a venture debt backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), a key component of the Investment Plan for Europe.
Software Group, a global technology company that helps financial service providers digitize their business and successfully go through the process of digital transformation, signs a loan deal with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to receive EUR 18 million funding.
The loan to Software Group is EIB’s first transaction with venture debt features in Bulgaria. The operation provides direct support to the company and is backed by a guarantee from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), a key component of the Investment Plan for Europe. EIB financing will facilitate the execution of Software Group’s R&D strategy and strengthen its global reach.
The funds will be invested in two main areas – primarily in R&D and innovations, but also in Business Development and Marketing. In the next three years, Software Group will focus on developing new technologies, platforms and products in the fields of insurance, factoring and the Internet of Things (IoT). The company also plans to invest in strategic partnerships with other technology vendors and consultancy organizations.
„We are proud to be the first company in Bulgaria that successfully completed the procedure for receiving a venture debt by EIB. The funding will support our ambitious business goals and our development plan for the next three years. We will invest in innovations, attracting top talents, entering new business areas while continuing the steady growth of the company”, commented Kalin Radev, CEO of Software Group.
„This highly innovative project, backed by a guarantee from the Investment Plan for Europe, will support the growth of the Software Group and generate new jobs with high value. We have now improved the geographical spread of our projects enjoying an EU budget guarantee, and I’m happy that Bulgaria is one of important beneficiaries,” noted Vazil Hudák, EIB Vice-President.
About Software Group
Software Group is a global technology company focused on developing and offering software solutions that help financial services providers digitize and successfully go through the process of digital transformation. Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria, it currently serves a worldwide client base in more than 70 countries from 9 regional offices located in Australia, Bulgaria, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines and the USA. Its main operations include the development of innovative software products facilitating access to financial instruments and increasing the efficiency of the financial institutions. Some of Software Group’s customers are organizations such as Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, MasterCard & MasterCard Foundation, International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank, Asia Development Bank, 7 of the 10 biggest microfinancing networks in the world, Allianz Bank Bulgaria, Atlantic Bank, Bank South Pacific, Asia Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU) and others.
About The European Investment Bank
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the European Union’s bank. It is the long-term lending institution of the EU and is the only bank owned by and representing the interests of the European Union Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investments in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. The EIB works closely with other EU institutions to implement EU policy. As the largest multilateral borrowerand lender by volume, the EIB provides finance and expertise for sound and sustainable investment projects which contribute to furthering EU policy objectives. More than 90% of EIB activity is focused on Europe but the Bank also supports the EU’s external and development policies.
Investment Plan for Europe
The Investment Plan for Europe (the Juncker Plan) is one of the EU’s key actions to boost investment in Europe, thereby creating jobs and fostering growth. To this end, smarter use will be made of new and existing financial resources. The EIB Group is playing a vital role in this investment plan. With guarantees from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the EIB and the European Investment Fund (EIF) are able to take on a higher share of the risk in projects, encouraging private investors to participate in these projects. EFSI was initially intended to mobilise investment of EUR 315bn throughout the EU over a period of three years until mid-2018. In December 2017, the European Parliament and Member States reached an agreement to extend the duration of EFSI to 2020 and increase its financial capacity to EUR 500bn. In addition to EFSI, the new EIAH advisory platform helps public and private sector project promoters to structure investment projects more professionally. The Investment Plan also improves the investment environment in Europe.
In March 2019, the Juncker Plan was expected to mobilise close to EUR 380bn of additional investments, including over EUR 1.8bn in Bulgaria. Some 842,000 small and medium-sized businesses all over Europe are expected to benefit from improved access to finance.