ČMZRB Group, in the cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, has published a call under the program Venture Capital – IPO Fund. It will allow ČMZRB to support SMEs in the form of capital inputs for the first time in its history. ČMZRB Group will buy shares of companies issued on the START market of the Prague Stock Exchange, but only as a minority shareholder with 30% of shares at maximum. The programme is funded by the Operational Program Enterprise and Innovations for Competitiveness (OP EIC), aiming to mobilize private resources and support investment into the capital of SMEs.
Currently, the START market, operated by the Prague Stock Exchange and designed mainly for SMEs, is the only multilateral trading facility on the market cooperating with the ČMZRB. SME that wishes a part of its shares issued on the START market to be bought by ČMZRB Group may apply for the IPO fund support through an application available on the website of ČMZRB subsidiary – ČMZRB Investments, or on the website of the Prague Stock Exchange. Receipt of applications to the Risk Capital – IPO Fund program will be open from 1 February 2021 to 30 June 2023. Received applications will be assessed by the three-member Board of Directors of ČMZRB Investments, deciding on the acquisition of individual shares/stakes.
ČMZRB started equity support to SMEs through intermediated instruments in 2018. It became one of co-investors to the Central Europe Fund of Funds, which is managed by the European Investment Fund and which has already supported number of Czech SMEs through two selected venture capital funds. Portfolio of equity support is now being expanded with direct equity instrument as the IPO fund will buy minority shares in SMEs directly on the capital market.