Wednesday 21 February 2018

Dublin tipped to benefit from uptick in VC deals

Anna Scally, partner at KPMG in Ireland, said the flat start to 2017 was not surprising given global events, but said there was an opportunity for Ireland.
Anna Scally, partner at KPMG in Ireland, said the flat start to 2017 was not surprising given global events, but said there was an opportunity for Ireland.

Colm Kelpie Brexit Correspondent

Investor caution in Europe and the United States has been blamed for a fall in the number of venture capital deals across the world so far this year.

But the back end of the year is expected to see an uptick in activity.

The number of VC deals worldwide fell in the first three months of the year, with 2,716 completed globally during the period, compared to 3,201 in the last quarter of 2016.

Despite the decline, venture capital investment grew to $26.8bn (€25bn) between January and March, according to the latest quarterly report on global VC trends from KPMG.

Anna Scally, partner at KPMG in Ireland, said the flat start to 2017 was not surprising given global events, but said there was an opportunity for Ireland.

"The slow start to 2017 is not surprising, as macroeconomic matters across the EU and in the US are contributing to investor caution," Ms Scally said.

"However, we do expect investor appetites to pick up later in the year as we all come to terms with the new normal," she added.

She argued that Dublin was increasingly being chosen as the European headquarters for multinational companies and growing firms.

"Other companies, especially in Ireland's strong fintech market, increased operations and added headcount throughout the first quarter.

"Brexit is certainly a factor in this trend and is well-positioned to serve as a springboard to the vast European market. Ireland's straightforward tax regime and strong tech talent base are also motivators."

The Americas led venture capital investment, accounting for $17.8bn (€16.6bn), according to the KPMG report.

The US made up the lion's share, with $17.3bn (€16bn) invested.

In Asia, VC investment grew slightly quarter over quarter to $5.6bn (€5.2bn), while in Europe investment remained relatively flat at €3.1bn.

Businesses participated in 22pc of all venture deals in Europe - the highest percentage seen over the last seven years.

Irish Independent

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