InnovFin, a joint initiative of EIF and EIB, has signed a deal to provide $100m to LeumiTech to support Israel-based businesses.

InnovFin, an initiative created by European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund (EIF) to support research and innovation, has signed a financing agreement with LeumiTech, the technology banking division of Israel-based Bank Leumi.

The deal will enable Bank Leumi to provide up to a total of $100m in financing to Israel-based companies on preferential terms with a guarantee provided by EIF through the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020.

In order to be eligible, companies will need to employ fewer than 500 staff and require capital between €25,000 and €7.5m ($27,000 and $8.1m).

This marks the first such deal inked in Israel by InnovFin.

EIF develops growth and venture capital programs for small and medium-sized enterprises across the continent to support entrepreneurship, innovation, research and development.

Rakefet Russak-Aminoach, chief executive of Bank Leumi, said: “Taking part in the European bank’s flagship program for research and innovation is another step forward in our efforts to expand the Israeli funding of the industry.

“It will allow better financing terms for the Israeli high-tech community. It is only natural that the leading bank that is the most supportive of the Israeli high-tech industry, is also the first bank to take part in this unique program.”