Corona Aid for startups – here we go: Pillar 2 is ready to go!

IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft supporting Berlin-based Start-ups

The federal government launched a comprehensive package of measures for start-ups affected by the corona crisis. Under pillar 1, private VC funds can apply for accreditation with KfW Capital (Corona Matching Facility) and finance start-ups with public and private funds to help them successfully overcome the crisis. Start-ups that do not have access to this should be given the opportunity to obtain necessary financing through the “Corona Aid for Start-ups” (Coronahilfen für Start-ups / Säule 2).

“Corona Aid for Start-ups” (Coronahilfen für Start-ups / Säule 2) is a joint initiative of the Federal Government, KfW and the state development institutions. Investitionsbank Berlin is launching a comprehensive package of measures within this framework:

Involvement of private intermediaries (Business Angels, Family Offices, VC Investors)
Start-ups with existing investors without access to the Corona Marching Facility as well as start-ups without existing investors can apply for Corona Aid for Start-ups (Pillar 2) directly from private investors. For this, private investors are required to become accredited by Investitionsbank Berlin. Further information:  Investitionsbank Berlin Accreditation Page

IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft Start-ups without existing investors or with existing investors without access to Pillar 1 and without Pillar 2 accreditation are invited to contact IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft if their financing round could not be realized in the planned scope due to the corona crisis. Inquiries online only: Link

The key data for an engagement of IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft are as follows:

  • For whom? 
    Start-ups without access to Pillar 1 that are negatively affected by the corona crisis - especially those whose financing rounds have been cancelled due to the corona crisis or cannot be realised to the planned extent. For further details see below.
  • What amount? 
    200,000 to a maximum of € 800,000, small public grants (Kleinbeihilfen) already granted are to be deducted where appropriate.
  • Which type of financing? 
    Convertible loans, silent partnerships with a conversion option or equity participations at normal market conditions. The integration of additional private funds within the framework of the financing is being targeted.
  • Timeframe 
    Financing agreements must be concluded by 30.12.2020 at the latest. Payment is possible until 30.12.2022.
  • By whom? 
    Through VC Fonds Technologie Berlin GmbH (VCFT) and VC Fonds Kreativwirtschaft Berlin GmbH (VCFK) managed by us.
  • Where? 
    Inquiries exclusively online: https://ibb_bet.typeform.com/to/RsK947

    The aim of the programme is to secure the financing of innovative Berlin start-ups with a sustainable business model that have run into difficulties as a result of the Corona crisis. The funds are intended to strengthen the equity base of the start-ups. The public funds participate in the risks and opportunities of the investment in the same way as private funds.
    There is no legal claim to the granting of a participation. An investment committee makes decisions after due discretion within the framework of the available programme funds.

    Who will be supported?
    Only companies that meet the following criteria are eligible for the programme:
  • it is a start-up with an innovative and sustainable business model
  • the start-up is negatively affected by the corona crisis (e.g. decline in sales, failed financing, delayed product development)
  • it is a technology company or a company in the creative industries,
  • the start-up has its headquarters or a permanent establishment in Berlin (at the latest since 11.03.2020); if the headquarters is not in Berlin, the headquarters must be within the EU and the majority of the company's employees must be based in Berlin
  • it is a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • the start-up has the legal form of a limited liability company or another suitable legal form,
  • If the start-up receives financing from the VCFT or VCFK for the first time, the founders should generally hold the majority of the company shares,
  • it is a start-up with the intention of making a profit,
  • the start-up has a high growth and value enhancement potential,
  • the risks associated with the implementation of the company's business plan are proportionate to its value enhancement and growth potential,
  • there is a realistic exit perspective for the start-up, which enables a later sale of the stake in the company.
  • the focus is on the execution of financing rounds that have been cancelled due to the Corona crisis or that cannot/could not be realised to the required/planned extent.

    Who is not supported?
    In principle, financing is excluded for companies that meet one of the following criteria:
  • the company was founded before 01.01.2013 or the company was founded and started business operations on or after 11.03.2020,
  • as of 31.12.2019 it is a company in financial distress according to the binding EU definition (Unternehmen in Schwierigkeiten, exemptions for small enterprises expected soon),
  • it is a company that is listed on a regulated stock market at the time the investment is entered into,
  • a first-time participation in the company by the VCFT or VCFK would violate the investment restrictions of the UBGG applicable to integrated holding companies1
  • it is a company from the sectors on KfW's exclusion list or the company violates the guidelines of this exclusion list

    What is to be considered?
    The programme funds are made available to the start-up as equity capital or financing instruments similar to equity capital and can be used for investments and running costs of the business, such as rent, salaries (incl. arm’s length founder salaries, e.g. up to EUR 100k) and inventory (operating resources).

    The financing of withdrawals and payments to shareholders, restructuring of existing loans and already completed and fully financed projects and the justification, implementation, participation or support of criminal acts is excluded.

    The total amount of grants obtained by a given company or group of companies under Federal Regulation for 2020 may not exceed the maximum amount of EUR 800,000. Before granting the aid, the enterprise concerned must inform the aid granting body in writing, in paper, electronic or text form, of any small grants (Kleinbeihilfen) of aid under this scheme that it has received to date, in order to ensure that the maximum amount specified is not exceeded.

    We hope that this package of measures will provide effective support for the Berlin start-up ecosystem. For a smooth processing of the requests we kindly ask you to register on our online portal: here.