New fintech fund to boost growing sector
Enterprise Ireland is now world's second-biggest fintech investor by deal count, writes Fearghal O'Connor
Enterprise Ireland (EI) will tomorrow launch a new Competitive Start Fund for fintech start up companies that show global potential.
The new fund is designed to build on an investment strategy that has seen the state agency become the second-most active financial technology investor in the world by deal count. It invested in 23 companies in the sector during 2017, just behind the world's most active fintech investor, California's Y Combinator, on 29 deals.
EI has invested in over 80 fintech startups since 2014 and its portfolio of over 200 fintechs generated €1bn in revenue in 2016, new figures from the state agency reveal.
The new fund, to be launched tomorrow at the agency's Future of Fintech event in Dublin, will be of a similar scale to previous funds, which saw up to 10 early-stage startups a year receive around €50,000 in investment apiece.
Eoin Fitzgerald, a senior development advisor for the fintech sector at EI, described it as a significant fund that would also benefit so-called 'deep tech' companies seeking to gain a foothold in the booming fintech sector.
"The fund is designed to enable recipient companies working in areas including fintech, artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented and virtual reality, the internet of things, blockchain and cloud, to reach key technical and commercial milestones," said Fitzgerald.
"The launch of this new fund reflects the strategic importance of these sectors for Ireland and their potential to deliver export and jobs growth."
The event will bring 100 international fintech influencers and buyers together with EI-backed companies such as Know Your Customer, Aid:Tech, Cambrist, Governor Software, Extreme Push, and Touch Tech. Future of Fintech will tie in with MoneyConf, which will bring leading bitcoin, cryptocurrency and fintech experts to Dublin next week.
"The staging of MoneyConf in Ireland is a huge bonus for Ireland's fintech sector, and one which EI is utilising to shine a spotlight on the strengths of the sector. Ireland's unique ecosystem has led to the development of a world-class fintech sector. Ireland has become a fintech powerhouse. Irish global leaders are emerging in the space and are dominating on the world stage, bringing unique solutions to international financial institutions, particularly in the delivery of the technology that drives payments and regulation globally," said Fitzgerald.
EI is also to launch a white paper on Regtech, a fast-growing niche area aimed at meeting regulatory challenges in financial services through innovative technology. "It will reflect the position that Irish Regtech companies have established a world-class reputation for helping financial services customers deal with increasingly complex and rapidly-evolving regulation," he said. The Regtech white paper will be promoted internationally as part of EI's international Irish Advantage campaign promoting the strengths of Irish companies to international customers.
Sunday Indo Business