Lisbon, 1 February 2024 – Portugal Ventures, the venture capital company that is part of the Banco Português de Fomento group, in partnership with Turismo de Portugal and NEST – Centro de Inovação do Turismo, is launching the second edition of the new Call FIT – Fostering Innovation in Tourism, which was reformulated in 2022 and aims to invest in projects in the tourism sector in the pre-seed phase. Applications are open until 14 April.
With Call FIT, Portugal Ventures will invest 150,000 euros per project and the following are eligible:
- Non-technological projects, which present differentiating concepts for the country’s tourism offer, which contribute to enriching the tourist experience and strengthening Portugal’s competitiveness as a tourist destination;
- Technological projects that present solutions to improve the efficiency of companies in the tourism sector and their range of products and services.
Applications are made exclusively through Portugal Ventures’ Ignition Partner Network, which has more than 120 organisations covering the whole of Portugal and is made up of incubators, accelerators, universities, technology hubs/clusters, associations and municipalities. Projects that are not incubated/accompanied by the Ignition Partner Network should contact one of the organisations for an assessment of the project and the possibility of submitting an application through the partner.
From its initial format to its reformulation in 2022, Call FIT has invested a total of 730,000 euros in 5 startups. Today we are announcing the latest investment made through this initiative, YonWine.
Yon Wine, led by João Pedro Duarte and Vítor Esteves, aims to be a complement to the wine tourism experience for tourists and producers. How? The YonWine app offers visitors (mostly foreigners) a solution for buying the wines experienced during their visit, bypassing the typical bureaucracy of shipping them to their country of origin and presenting a transparent final price for users with no surprises at the end of the purchase. At the same time, it simplifies all the front- and back-office work for the producer, allowing them more time to focus on the customer, helping them to reduce the number of lost sales and increase revenue by extending the customer’s lifetime value.
For Pedro Mello Breyner, Executive Director of Portugal Ventures, “The FIT Call is essential for continuing to foster business growth in the tourism sector, so that these projects, which are at this early stage, can have the financial capacity to develop the product and outline a sustained growth strategy with the support of the Portugal Ventures team.” He added: “Applications through our Ignition Partner Network will be an asset in selecting projects that are ready for venture capital investment.”
Carlos Abade, President of Turismo de Portugal, emphasises that “It is essential to promote innovation in the tourism sector and make this innovation one of the essential pillars of growth, so that the sector can continue to be a catalyst in creating value for the national economy. Innovation can make a decisive contribution to adding greater value to tourism, and it is also essential if we are to be at the forefront of the sector’s development and shape the future of tourism.”
On 21 February, Portugal Ventures will hold a webinar, open to the entire community, to present the eligibility conditions and application process, with the possibility for participants to ask questions. Registration here.