Lince Capital to sue Banco de Fomento for over €1 million in compensation

 In Banks, Development banks, News, Venture Capital

The Portuguese venture capital company Lince Capital has slapped a lawsuit on Portugal’s State-owned development bank Banco de Fomento demanding over €1 million in damages.

Online news source ECO reports that Lince Capital has filed the case over a gripe that it had been excluded from a venture capital programme run by the bank led by Celeste Hagatong and Ana Carvalho, and is now asking for compensation of over €1 million in what is the second VC to file a lawsuit against the bank because of this specific programme.

The Bank has two programmes aimed at helping startups and promising companies in partnership with venture capital companies: the Consolidate Programme and Venture Capital Programme.

The Venture Capital Programme has seen contracts signed with 15 VCs for a total of €368.9 million of Capitalisation and Resilience Fund investment (from the Recovery and Resilience Plan – RRP), representing 92% of the €400 million in grants available. From the funds contracted, an overall impact on the Portuguese economy of around €567 million is anticipated.     

Lince Capital, led by Vasco Pereira Coutinho, pressed ahead with the suit over “a lack of clarification as to why it had been excluded from this programme” according to the online news source ECO. “We don’t agree with the reasons given for the exclusion” said the company.

The VC began by sending e-mails, letters, and later appealed to the courts in order to be provided with all of the information.

The litigation began in mid-October when the Banco de Fomento informed Lince of its decision to exclude it from the VC programme candidacy.

Presented with information received by a third party in the case, the VC discovered that it had been excluded because it had received a rap on the knuckles from Portugal’s securities market commission CMVM for non-compliance with a capital laundering process.

However, Lince was not fined, and was one of the first (VC) companies to be supervised by the CMVM.

Nineteen VCs went on to be selected and received €392.9 million from the Capitalisation and Resilience Fund. The programme was launched on January 17, 2023 with €400 million. The first 16 VCs were chosen in September out of 44 candidates.