This paper examines the effect that venture capital ownership exerts on the probability of SMEs to become newly exporting companies. We employ firm-level data and statements provided by the ECB SAFE for the years 2014-2016. By exploiting the panel dimension of our dataset, we show that being owned by venture capitalists or business angels increases by 9% the likelihood to become an exporter. This effect holds after controlling for firms' innovation and performance, as well as for the regulatory environment. Results turn to be robust to different specifications and endogeneity concerns.