Banco Santander has acquired a 30% stake venture debt manager Atempo Growth and is participating as an anchor investor in its first fund dedicated to financing high-growth technology companies in Europe and the United Kingdom.
Atempo's debut fund has investment commitments of €175 million, which will be put towards financing technology companies with high growth potential in the UK and Europe, with an investment range per company of between €2 million and €25 million.
The stake in Atempto forms part of the bank's strategy to strenghten its Investment Platforms Unit, which includes Tresmares, Fremen Capital and Mouro - the unit dedciated to taking minority stakes in fintech startups.
Growth debt is increasingly becoming a go-to funding source for European innovators with the venture debt market increasing by six to eight times between 2015 and 2020.
Luca Colciago, co-founder of Atempo Growth, says: "Over the last decade, the European tech ecosystem has gone from strength to strength, and growth debt has played an important role. Tech companies are increasingly adopting this source of funding to complement equity. We are thrilled to have, among others, the support of Santander and the European Investment Bank.”