Friday 9 December 2016

Venture capital funding grows over twice the rate of same period last year

Published 09/11/2016 | 14:00

Regina Breheny
Regina Breheny

Irish startups, high tech firms and life science companies are attracting €19m per week in venture capital funding as investment sums into the sectors continue to surge.

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According to new industry figures, venture capital funding in Ireland in the first nine months of the year rose by three quarters compared the same period last year with €734m raised here.

Funding growth appears to be accelerating, with third quarter fundraising (€248m) running at over twice the rate of the same period last year (€108m).

The figures come from the Irish Venture Capital Association Venture Pulse survey published today in association with William Fry.

“A particular feature in 2016 has been the strong performance by the life sciences sector which accounts for 54pc of total funds raised, boosted by an 80pc concentration in the third quarter,” said Michael Murphy, chairman of the Irish Venture Capital Association.

Early stage companies raised seed capital of €57m, equivalent to 8pc of funds raised for the nine months to the end of September 2016. This compares to €25.5m (6pc of funds raised) in the same period in 2015, with €17m (5pc of funds raised) in 2014 and €48.5m (21pc of total funds raised) in 2013.

The data covers equity funds raised by Irish SMEs and other SMEs headquartered in Ireland from a wide variety of investors. It is researched through information supplied by members of the Irish Venture Capital Association and from published information where IVCA members were not involved.

"The Irish venture capital community continues to be the main source of funding for Irish SMEs both through direct investment and as the local lead investor for international syndicates," said Regina Breheny, director general of the IVCA. "These syndicates invested €123m in the third quarter, bringing the total for the nine months to €328m. This compares to investment by international syndicates of €225m in the same nine month period in 2015.”

Ms Breheny said that growth and expansion funding was 94pc of total funds raised in the third quarter and that new seed funds are starting to have an impact.

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