Business

Tuesday 20 August 2019

Irish venture capital funding falls 41pc but more companies share the cash

Irish Venture Capital Association director-general Sarah-Jane Larkin. Photo Chris Bellew/ Fennell Photography
Irish Venture Capital Association director-general Sarah-Jane Larkin. Photo Chris Bellew/ Fennell Photography
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

A lack of “megadeals” saw venture capital funding in Ireland fall by 41pc to €197m in first three months of 2019.

This compares to €332m for the same three month period in 2018, according to figures released by the Irish Venture Capital Association.

The fall means that the annual amount of venture funding in Ireland has fallen substantially below the €1bn is achieved between 2017 and 2018.

However, the overall number of companies that got startup or follow-on funding in the first three months from the VC sector grew from 43 to 75 year-on-year.

“Last year included two megadeals of €100m each for Intercom and AMCS,” said Alex Hobbs, chairman of the IVCA. “If you strip these out, then core growth across all deals in the first quarter was almost 50pc.”

The IVCA ‘Venturepulse’ figures are published in association with William Fry.

Sarah-Jane Larkin, director general of the IVCA, said that there was a rebound in seed funding to early stage firms in the first quarter, up 23pc to €17.8m.

She said that there was also an increase in the number of smaller deal sizes worth between €1m and €5m, to 66 from 36 in the same quarter last year.

Life sciences and software dominate the overall figures with 47pc and 33pc of funds raised respectively. Of the venture funding rounds that exceeded €10m, all five investments were in the life sciences sector.

“Despite the overall fall in funding, the Irish venture capital community continues to be the main source of investment for Irish innovative SMEs both through direct investment and as the local lead investor for international syndicate investors,” said Sarah-Jane Larkin.

“International syndicate investors invested €112m, or 57pc of total funds raised, in the first quarter of 2019.”

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