Managed by SORIDEC, SAS JEREMIE Languedoc-Roussillon is a co-investment venture capital vehicle which takes equity in technology-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) active in different sectors inter alia, health, information technology, robotics and services for the environmental and manufacturing sectors.
The co-investment scheme ensured the involvement of a financial intermediary well-grounded in the region and with a long track-record in technology investing. The selection process of the financial intermediary was a milestone of the implementation process, since several candidatures also from outside the region, had been received from specialised financial intermediaries to manage the fund. Governance mechanisms and clear investment strategy ensured alignment of interests between the public and private investors while keeping focus on the most promising business initiatives. In addition, the establishment of broad eligibility criteria for target SMEs allowed sufficient diversification at the level of the portfolio.
The implementation of the financial instrument was particularly difficult in the set-up phase, given its innovative nature at regional/national level: with a view to find the right balance between market practice and EU regulations the drafting of the legal documentation and of the operating rules of the co-financing model took more time than expected.
At the end of June 2015, approximately EUR 10.5 million of Operational Programme (OP) contributions have been invested into 29 SMEs. In addition to this money channelled to SMEs by the selected financial intermediary, many private co-investors provided additional resources for an amount of more than EUR 31 million. Overall more private resources have been attracted than initially expected, thanks to the substantial involvement of business angels and venture capital (VC) firms from outside the region.
Enterprises in the portfolio, which are primarily young businesses, were systematically supported by the financial instruments with advice and coaching, especially on management.