Europe’s Investment Bank (EIB) is to provide a EUR30m (US$34m) loan to Croatian company, Rimac Automobili.

The financing will allow the company to further develop its electric drive technologies. It will also support the company’s transformation into a technology solutions provider for electric vehicles and an industrial-scale producer of components for the global automotive sector.

The financing comes in the form of a growth capital loan, using the European Growth Finance Facility (EGFF), a mechanism launched in 2016.

Enabled by a guarantee from the EU budget, through the Investment plan for Europe, the loan will allow Rimac Automobili to continue growing. The company has doubled in size during the last 12 months and now employs more than 450 people with the majority of them in R&D.

Rimac will also use the loan to accelerate research and development, as well as increase sales and marketing effort to enable planned expansion into Asia and Europe.

“Today EIB partners with a company that writes the history of the global automotive industry,” said EIB VP, Dario Scannapieco.

“EIB is proud to support job creation, support the local economy and Croatian exports, as well as transition to environment [ally] friendly transport and advance European science, research and development.

“Rimac is a story of success built on determination, vision and innovation and one of the reasons why the EIB exists – to support innovative companies capable of developing not just themselves but their industries and their communities too.”

For her part, European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc, added: “Decarbonisation is at the heart of our transport policy. I welcome this new project, which will help develop solutions for electro-mobility in Europe and stimulate demand for zero-emission vehicles, alongside our efforts to deploy alternative fuels infrastructure.”

Founder and CEO of Rimac Automobili, Mate Rimac noted: “It is a long and difficult road to build an automotive and technology company, especially in a country where nothing similar has been done. Access to capital was very difficult for us in the early days, with investment activity in this part of Europe being quite low.

“However, based on our results and accomplishments, more and more international partners such as Porsche, are ready to invest in the company. We welcome EIB’s initiative to enable later-stage start-ups to have an alternative to traditional equity investment. This funding will help us accelerate our efforts and scale faster and bigger.”

As part of its recently published Innovative Transport study, the EIB’s Innovation Finance Advisory (IFA) identified and sourced Rimac in the EV automotive sector.

IFA provided advisory services to Rimac on refining its business plan and funding structure in preparation for EIB financing.