PARIS, Feb 9 ― France and Germany are to each contribute €1 billion (RM4.77 billion) to a new fund to support tech startups, French officials said yesterday.

The fund, to be attached to the European Investment Fund, will join private investors in taking stakes in what are hoped will be future champions of European and global tech.

Today, there are only two funds in the EU with more than €1 billion that invest in tech firms.

The underinvestment is blamed for holding back European startups in comparison with their competitors in the United States, where there are many private equity funds investing in the tech sector.

"We want a European risk capital industry as strong as the American risk capital industry," said France's digital affairs minister, Cedric O, after a two-day conference on Europe's technical autonomy.

His office said it hopes there will soon be a dozen billion-euro funds supporting European startups.

O said that along with other investors, such as public investment banks, the fund already has €3.5 billion in pledges. ― AFP