HotOrigin closes €2.1m ICT fund with EI

11 Mar 2003

Early stage investment company HotOrigin has closed a €2.1m fund with Enterprise Ireland and private investors, which it hopes to grow to €10m for the purpose of investing in and seeding early stage information and communications technology (ICT) companies.

According to Caroline Wardle of HotOrigin, the fund will target seed and early stage technology companies with a focus on enterprise software and other areas of ICT.

As well as investing in start-up companies, HotOrigin provides hands-on management expertise to guide young companies through product development to initial product sales and further investment opportunities. The company was established in 2000 by a group of ex-Accenture executives and invests on average up to €320,000 in seed and early stage funding rounds. Examples of recent investments include promising young start-ups such as Similarity Systems and Prime Carrier.

In terms of plans to grow the fund to €10m, Wardle told “We’re talking to a number of interested parties, both private investors and others, and we’ll be hoping to reveal further developments in the coming months. The target of this year is to grow the fund and there are no hard and fast rules on when we will ultimately close the fund.”

The investment services director at Enterprise Ireland, Julie Sinnamon adds: “Enterprise Ireland sees the provision of coaching and mentoring skills as a key component to the development of early stage companies in addition to the provision of seed and early stage funding and is pleased to partner the private sector in this niche sector.”

According to Wardle, Enterprise Ireland’s contribution to the fund came under the auspices of the National Development Plan 2000-2006.

She added that in coming weeks HotOrigin will be funding its third annual software report, an in-depth study into the indigenous software industry in Ireland.

By John Kennedy