Tech boom yields €120m in venture funds for Irish firms
Irish-based technology companies have seen a surge in venture capital funding in the first three months of 2015, new figures show.
According to the Irish Venture Capital Association, €120m was raised in the first three months of 2015, with three deals struck for €20m or more.
The investment means that Ireland's venture funding run rate remains ahead of last year's record €400m haul, itself a 40pc rise on the previous year.
Several major deals helped to lift the quarterly venture figures, including a €23m tranche of Dublin chip designer Movidius's €38m funding round.
"It's a strong performance at a time when the venture capital industry in Ireland is in the middle of fundraising," said John Flynn, chairman of the Irish Venture Capital Association and head of ACT Venture Capital.
"The figures reflect an encouraging international appetite for investment in Irish tech firms who continue to punch above their weight.
"Funding for companies' expansion represented 90pc of total funds raised which demonstrates that the positive seed funding activity over the past few years is starting to pay dividends."
The figures are based on 38 separate fundraising deals disclosed from Irish and international venture capital firms for the first three months of the year.
The majority of companies funded are based in Dublin, with Galway firms making up several medical device firms that attracted significant venture capital.
However, with so much money already put to work so-called seed funds aimed at early stage companies may have little left to invest, according to industry figures.
"First round seed funding, at 10pc of funds raised, is below the 17pc achieved last year," said Regina Breheny, director general of the IVCA.
"The seed funds supported by the banking sector and Enterprise Ireland's Seed & Venture Capital Programme of 2006-2012 are close to being fully invested.
"These need to be renewed if entrepreneurs are to be supported as actively as in the last five years but we are hopeful that new funds will come on stream in the second half of 2015."
The IVCA figures claim that €2bn of Irish venture capital funds have been invested in over 1,000 Irish companies since 2008.
It also claims that this has supported the creation of up to 20,000 jobs and attracted over €825m of capital into the country.
Ireland has a higher per-capita venture capital investment rate than most EU countries or US states.