The Enterprise Ireland Seed & Venture Capital Programme 2014 Report published by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, shows a continued upward trend in the level and value of activity by venture capital funds supported under Enterprise Ireland Seed and Venture Capital Programmes. In 2014, these Funds made 156 investments with an investment value of €62 million into 97 Irish-based companies. This level of investment represents an increase of €3m on the €59million invested into 94 Irish companies in 2013 under the schemes.
These investments are supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland.
The overall capital under management through Enterprise Ireland’s Seed and Venture Capital Programme (2007-2012) has now reached over €700 million. Cumulatively over the lifetime of this scheme, 50% has been invested in the software sector and 35% in the life sciences sector, which closely reflects the sectors covered in Enterprise Irelands HPSU cohort. A separate economic analysis shows that Irish companies in receipt of investment under this Programme employed over 2100 people in Ireland at the end of 2014. These companies recorded turnover of €257m of which €160m were exports.
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD said: “Venture capital funds provide critical funding, mentoring and access to networks to fast-growing companies and expanding established businesses. That is why we established the new €700 million Seed and Venture Capital Scheme 2013-2018, a significant achievement at a time of constrained budgets. This programme, part of our Action Plan for Jobs, will help support the next generation of Irish-based seed and venture funds.
“Enterprise Ireland client companies delivered exports of €18.6billion and added over 19,000 jobs in 2014 and venture-backed companies contributed to these impressive results. The report we are publishing today shows that the seed and venture scheme supported by my Department through Enterprise Ireland continued to perform strongly in 2014. The value of investments in Irish companies increased by 5% to €62million, and the number of Irish companies increased to 97. If we can ensure that our seed and venture capital schemes continue to perform strongly over the coming years this will make a major contribution towards creating the jobs we need ”.
Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland, said: “Supporting high growth companies as they start and scale is a critical role for Enterprise Ireland. Enterprise Ireland is a long-term supporter of the Venture Capital sector because we believe in the economic impact that this type of funding can have on our clients. We know that our clients that receive venture investment have the potential to increase exports and add jobs rapidly.
We recently launched a second call for expressions of interest for Seed Funds to ensure that our clients can access the seed capital the need to start and grow - we look forward to the seeing and reviewing the response from the Sector.”
Enterprise Ireland collaborates with the venture capital sector in a wide number of programmes and initiatives aimed at improving access to finance for small and medium sized enterprises. This industry plays a vital role in supporting innovative companies to grow, expand internationally and create jobs. The level of investment activity in 2014 has continued into 2015 confirming the critical need for capital to be made available for entrepreneurs.