Friday 19 January 2018

Irish tech firms raise €247m in the first three months of the year

Michael Murphy, chairman and Regina Breheny, director general, IVCA. Photo: John T. Ohle
Michael Murphy, chairman and Regina Breheny, director general, IVCA. Photo: John T. Ohle
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Irish high tech SMEs raised €247m in the first three months of 2017, up 4pc up on the same period last year, according to the Irish Venture Capital Association VenturePulse survey published today in association with William Fry.

Since the financial crash in 2008, Irish SMEs have raised over €3bn, the data also showed.

“In the light of Brexit and other uncertainties, it is positive to see investment being maintained especially as last year was a bumper one with the first quarter of 2016 nearly double that of 2015,” IVCA chairman, Michael Murphy said.

“Compared to the first three months of 2016, funding in the US was down 12pc and in the UK was down 11pc, nonetheless, the Irish VC industry is in fundraising mode at the moment. Allied to the fact that 2016 was a record year overall with funding up by 70pc, it will be a challenge to maintain last year’s levels,” Murphy said.

The IVCA emphasised that the Irish venture capital community continues to be the main source of funding for Irish innovative SMEs through direct investment, and as the local lead investor for international syndicate investors, who the IVCA said “invested €120m or 43pc of total funds raised in the first quarter 2017.”

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Regina Breheny, director general at the IVCA said that the first quarter saw a continuing recovery in first round seed funding, which she said “grew by over a third to €33m or 14pc of funds raised.”

She added that software/IT services have dominated the first quarter with 51pc of funds raised, while the electronic components sector was also a winning sector, raising 25pc of total funds.

“In excess of 1,300 Irish SMEs have raised venture capital of €3.1bn since the onset of the credit crunch in 2008,” Ms Breheny said.

“These funds were raised almost exclusively by Irish VC fund managers who during this period supported the creation of up to 20,000 jobs, attracted over €1.37bn of capital into Ireland and geared up the State’s investment through the Seed & Venture Capital Programme by almost 16 times,”she said.

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