While the discussion about the financing of start-ups and scale-ups in Austria is moving strongly in the direction of more equity (Trending Topics reported), the question arises for the banks of how they can remain attractive with their external capital offers, aka loans. Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) is now pushing ahead with the “Digital Basket” financing program, which is intended to bait scale-ups.
Basically, it is about loan volumes of one to seven million euros that companies can get that meet the criteria of the RBI for scale-ups. Depending on the agreement, the loan has a term of one to five years, whereby the interest rate depends on the rating and is then X percentage points above the Euribor – the interest should in any case be in line with the market and cheaper than common venture loans. The following scale-ups are possible for RBI, which is represented in 13 CEE markets:
- all industries except FinTechs
- focus on Europe (West, Central, East)
- At least 5 million euros in annual sales
- operating positive
- At least 3 million euros equity recorded
- in at least 2 markets successfully active
The RBI has a total of 100 million euros available for the program – at least more than 14 scale-ups from all over Europe can receive a loan. The first loans can be granted within 14 working days.
“I experienced that myself as a scale-up founder,” says Joerg Bartussek, who now heads the digital department at RBI and developed the digital basket – he is co-founder of the crowdinvesting platform Finnest and moved to RBI at the beginning of 2020. “The more valuable the company shares that you still hold as a founder, the more you prefer to pay interest for financing and not give up more shares.” There are 3,000 to 4,000 companies in Europe that are potentially eligible.
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