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EIB provides EUR 25 million for start-up Qwant: Innovative financing for a European search engine with strong growth potential

With fostering innovation and the digital economy to encourage the emergence of new leaders on the highly competitive Internet market as one of its top priorities, the European Investment Bank (EIB) decided to support the Franco-German start-up Qwant to the tune of EUR 25 million.

This financing operation was announced today at a major Franco-German digital conference taking place at the Elysée Palace, in the presence of Emmanuel Macron, France’s Minister of the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister of the Economy and Energy, Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the EIB, Jean-Manuel Rozan, Chairman of Qwant, and Eric Leandri, Managing Director of Qwant.

“This is an innovative financing operation”, said EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle at the signing ceremony.  “It will enable this Franco-German start-up to expand its offer in Europe and thus develop a highly efficient search engine that respects users’ private lives and ensures the neutrality of search results. The EIB is proud to support Qwant in its European-scale development project”.

“We are delighted to see our values and technologies endorsed by France, Germany and Europe. This is the true starting point of our European outreach” added Eric Leandri and Jean-Manuel Rozan.

Against the background of a highly competitive sector dominated by Internet giants and the globalisation of the digital economy, the EU’s bank is committed to playing an active role in developing the European digital market.

An innovative and dynamic young company, Qwant staked its claim as a future European digital leader with the launch in 2013 of a search engine equipped with a highly effective web search methodology tailored to the needs of European users that is also innovative in terms of diversified local content, protection of its users’ personal data and neutral search results.

The EIB financing is being provided under the Horizon 2020 initiative and in particular the “InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators” programme, which provides tailor-made financing products for research and innovation projects carried out by SMEs, large corporates and promoters of research facilities.

Courtesy of the European Investment Bank