German government supports angel investments with 20 per cent funding boost

Piggy bank
Piggy bank

Last week the “Investionszuschuss Wagniskapital”, which supports business angels in the EU, was officially launched by the German government. The initiative is all about promoting angel investments in European startups by giving investors 20 per cent of their investments of up to €250,000 back.


The German Minister of Finance and Economics, Philipp Rösler, presented the initiative last year, promising a total  of €150m of government money for the programme in a clear sign of support for the startup scene in Germany. There are some terms and conditions to make sure the right people are receiving the returns – they must be private investors who mostly reside in the EU and the investments must be in “young, innovative businesses”, where investments are seen as carrying a certain amount of risk.

It has to be the first investment in the company and the angels must hold onto their shares for at least three years, providing a minimum of €10,000 in funding. Shares up to the value of one million euros per year, per company can be subsidised.

The companies also have to have their head office in the EU, with at least one major branch in Germany. Small, young companies are the target – with less than 50 employees and an annual turnover of a maximum of €10m. German government body BAFA (The Federal Office of Economics and Export Control) has to approve the investment before the 20 per cent refund is given. For the full details, check out BAFA’s website.

Image credit: flickr user 401(K) 2013

For related posts, check out

German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Berlin startups, calls them “yeast”
Rösler’s new proposals to make startups the “economic wonder” of Germany
“Germany’s startup ecosystem is 20 years behind Silicon Valley”: 10 Things I Know – Startup Camp’s Sascha Schubert