Bureaucracy and lack of public support are among the main obstacles facing investors who want to invest in startups and other companies just starting their activities, warns the president of the Investors Association of Portugal.
Lourdes Gramaxo, who leads the Portuguese Association of Early Stage Investors – Investors Portugal, explained the sector's concerns, which were reflected in the measure implemented by the body.
“There are few public initiatives to support the ecosystem in a sustainable way, and on the other hand, existing initiatives take a very long time,” he told Lusa, also criticizing the bureaucracy to reach them.
In a measure conducted by the association, of the respondents, “eight out of ten (79%) of Portuguese early-stage investors are dissatisfied with the overall policies of the sector,” and of these, “21% rate the development of these measures highly.” “Negatively.”
Moreover, “more than half (53%) of investors reveal a negative market development in Portugal in the last six months of last year and make a negative assessment regarding the amount of capital invested in the second half of the year.”
The document revealed that “given the implementation of the second half of 2023, 53% of participants are more optimistic about the size and quantity of new investments scheduled to be made in the first half of 2024.”
However, “with regard to participating startups, more than two-thirds (68%) of investors expect difficulties in raising new rounds of capital, with 16% of them very pessimistic about the development of this criterion in the first half of this year. year”.
According to the barometer, “More than half (58%) of participants expect a negative development in exit opportunities in the first half of 2024, and more than a quarter (26%) of these expect a very negative development.”
Lourdes Gramaxo lamented the “few public initiatives to support the ecosystem in a sustainable way,” highlighting that “the existing ones take a very long time.”
“One of our interests at Investors Portugal is to make this early-stage investment an interesting asset class for private investors” and “attract more investors into the ecosystem.”
To achieve this, the government must “also look at this as an ecosystem for the future,” he stressed, making sure that it “already represents about 22,000 million euros in the Portuguese economy.”
The association’s president said, “There is a category of investors that is not protected at all at the present time, and they are “business angels.” They are essential as they are the first rung of the ladder, and they are often close to “start-up companies.” “They have not been included in any action for the initiative.” “Finance.”
According to Lourdes Gramaxo, “These are usually high-risk investments with long terms and do not contain any type of tax incentives,” while also lamenting “the unpredictability of the procedures.”
The president of the association called for action to be taken in the electoral programs for this sector, highlighting the role it plays in modernizing entrepreneurship.
The barometer conducted by the association was conducted between October and December of last year on a sample representing about 25% of these investors. Investors Portugal represents venture capital funds and investment vehicles, as well as business angels.
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