Monday 17 December 2018

Motive Partners weighs first investment in Irish startup

It's understood Motive plans to take a €6m-€7m stake in a local startup, valuing the entity at about €30m (stock picture)
It's understood Motive plans to take a €6m-€7m stake in a local startup, valuing the entity at about €30m (stock picture)

Gretchen Friemann

Motive Partners, the US fintech venture capital firm that recently secured a €25m cash injection from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), is poised to make its first investment into an Irish-based tech startup, according to sources.

The move marks a milestone in Motive's wider push into the domestic VC sector.

It is understood the firm, which has offices in New York and London and intends to open in Dublin, plans to take a €6m-€7m stake in a local startup, valuing the entity at about €30m.

The news comes on the heels of ISIF's decision to back the relative newcomer as it seeks to raise cash from institutional investors for a $500m (capped at $750m) global fund focused on the crowded fintech sector.

While the firm's launch last year fuelled debate about the volume of private equity and VC money chasing tech disruptors, or companies designed to shake-up traditional industries, its heavyweight team of executives, populated by veterans of the financial services and investment industry, is expected to deliver an edge over rivals.

Motive also has a star-studded advisory council with former HSBC chairman Douglas Flint, ex-US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, and Microsoft chairman John Thompson, all throwing their weight behind the venture.

The VC fledgling also intends to open a Dublin fintech innovation hub called Motive Labs and has reportedly secured backing for this enterprise from several financial institutions, including AIB and MasterCard.

ISIF's commitment to Motive follows a string of similar deals over the past year, including a €45m investment in a debt fund operated by the US firm Muzinich, and first reported by this newspaper.

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