Startup Funding in Cyprus

Are you an entrepreneur or business owner looking to secure funding for your company that is registered in Cyprus? This article is for you.

5 minute read
Startup funding in Cyprus blog post cover photo by Crowdbase

Cypriot Startup Ecosystem

The startup ecosystem in Cyprus is on the rise. This is a result of collective efforts undertaken by local and European organisations to promote and support the startup community. However, the startup ecosystem in Cyprus is still at an infant stage when compared to major startup hubs around the world such as San Francisco and Tel Aviv. There is a big funding gap in the Cypriot economy due to the lack of angel investors or venture capital funds and the unwillingness of banks to lend money.

Nonetheless, don’t get discouraged just yet, as there are still a handful of options to secure funding for your startup. Depending on the development stage of your startup, you need to consider different players in the ecosystem. We always recommend that you do your own research and focusing your efforts on securing the type of funding that is most suitable for you and your business. 

Accelerators & Incubators

Accelerators & Incubators support startups during the very early stages of their development. They provide valuable resources, such as office space, infrastructure and facilities, access to an executive mentors’ network, and legal, financial, and other types of consultation. Startups that are still on the idea stage, or at the process of turning their idea into a viable business, would benefit greatly from applying to these organisations and leveraging on everything they have to offer.

The Base by CyprusInno co-working space

Two of the most popular choices are Cyprus Seeds and IDEA Innovation Center. Cyprus Seeds runs an annual program of approximately 12 teams which they help commercialize innovative academic research in Cypriot universities and research institutions. IDEA hosts an annual program for startups and innovative SMEs which includes a range of services and funding in exchange for 5% equity in the business. As one of the longest running and most comprehensive program in the island, some of its alumni like MallocAtokes and Activity GoGo have found significant success in their respective fields.

Public Sector Grants

Various grants are available through the Public Sector, as many governmental structures are refocusing on the startup ecosystem in Cyprus. These grants are an ideal way to gain funding for your startup without forfeiting a portion of your business. However, due to the low amount of funding for these programmes relative to the demand, they can be quite challenging to secure. Some of the most popular and recurring funding programs include:

Banks Financing

Banks in Cyprus are another option for startups to secure financing, either through equity or debt. Banks will usually favour startups with potential to penetrate international markets, and founders who can demonstrate experience in the field. If you are seeking a business loan, most banks will require some sort of collateral and partial financing by the founders of the business. An example of a bank providing this kind of financing is CDB bank.

Angel Investors

Access to angel investors is extremely limited in Cyprus. However, thanks to the Cyprus Business Angels Network (CYBAN), established in 2013, innovative, fast-growing startups can find help in raising equity finance. CYBAN currently has 45 members and has invested €4.75M to date.

Cyprus Entrepreneurship Fund

The Cyprus Entrepreneurship Fund (CYPEF) is a fund established in Cyprus to support and strengthen entrepreneurship in the country by enhancing access to finance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Amounts dedicated from the Cypriot government to CYPEF are made available through financing from the European Investment Bank (EIB). In June 2021, phase II of the project was signed, with an additional contribution of €200M of capital.

Crowdfunding

Lastly, another way to secure funding for your startup is through crowdfunding. Crowdbase is the first investment-based crowdfunding platform based in Cyprus, with a mission to provide an alternative form of financing to Cypriot startups and innovative SMEs. Through crowdfunding, businesses gain access to a new generation of investors that are loyal customers and advocates of your business. Crowdbase’s global network of investors include other entrepreneurs, angel investors and influencers, helping you beyond the end of your crowdfunding campaign. Crowdfunding companies have the option to raise funds through equity crowdfunding or debt crowdfunding, depending on their needs and goals.

Apply for financing through crowdfunding

If you are interested to know more about how to fundraise through Crowdbase, you can visit our How to Fundraise page to learn more. Do you think that your company is ready for a crowdfunding campaign? Then send us the details on our Raise Capital page to get started!

Key Takeaway

Traditional sources of funding are failing to provide the necessary resources to fund new business which is harming the growth potential of the economy. However, not all hope is lost. With the rise of alternative financing sources, like crowdfunding, and the promotion of innovation by the EU and the government, there are now more ways to raise funding for your business than ever before!

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