Friday, 6 November 2015

Venture capital funding up almost a third to €415m

Irish technology SMEs raised €415m to end September 2015, an increase of 32% on the same period last year, according to the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) VenturePulse survey which is published in association with William Fry.

“This activity already exceeds total funds of €401m raised in theull year of 2014 which is a terrific result, considering the industry in Ireland is currently in fundraising mode,” commented Brian Caulfield, chairman, Irish Venture Capital Association.

Regina Breheny, director general, IVCA commented that with continued strong support from international players, growth/expansion funding was 94% of total funds raised.

“The Irish venture capital community continues to be the main source of funding for Irish innovative SMEs both through direct investment and as the local lead investor for international syndicate investors who invested €83m in quarter three or €225m in nine months to end September 2015.

“There continues to be an encouraging international investor appetite for Irish tech firms, although these investors usually require the reassurance of local venture capital involvement.”

However, she cautioned that first round seed funding at 6% of funds raised remains low.

“The seed funds supported by the banking sector and EI’s Seed & Venture Capital programme of 2006-2012 are close to being fully invested. These funds need to be renewed if entrepreneurs are to be supported as actively as in the last five years and we believe that new funds will come on stream in the first quarter of 2016.”

She pointed out that since the onset of the credit crunch in 2008, in excess of 1,000 Irish SMEs raised venture capital of €2.4bn.

“These funds were raised almost exclusively by Irish venture capital fund managers who during this period supported the creation of up to 20,000 jobs; attracted over €900m of capital into Ireland and geared up the State’s investment through the Seed & Venture Capital programme by almost seven times.”