Technology investors Conor Stanley and Tadhg O'Toole have teamed up to start a new early stage venture capital fund called Tribal.vc.
The two men have already quietly made four investments in start-ups as they work towards completing their first multimillion euro fundraising round.
"We're looking at primarily early stage investments, between €100,000 up to €350,000, and usually matched by funding either from Enterprise Ireland or other venture capitalists," Stanley said. Stanley teamed up with O'Toole after both men got to know each other through the Kauffman Fellowship, a prestigious American leadership programme for venture capitalists.
Tribal.vc has invested in PageFair, a developer of tools to stop ad-blocking, which is led by Sean Blanchfield, the serial technology entrepreneur and founder of CityHook.
Also in its investment portfolio are Youshipped.com, an innovative international container shipping company, and Likecharity.com, which allows consumers to donate to charities using text messages. The Kauffman Fellowship, Stanley said, had helped Tribal.vc develop a high-end network of international venture capitalists.
"Venture capitalists are so busy in Silicon Valley that they don't have time to look at Ireland," Stanley said. He said Tribal.vc hopes to develop a portfolio of six to eight companies and help them "transition", into America in order to access its much bigger market as well as later-stage funding.
Stanley said the Israeli model of fostering start-ups is what Ireland needed to aim for. "This is hugely possible," Stanley said. "It's all about building connections."
Stanley was previously lead investor in Jolt Online Gaming, which was sold to GameStop in 2009 and he is an investor in red-hot start-up Intercom.io as well as an adviser to the Irish start-up community. O'Toole is an experienced entrepreneur and angel investor.