Irish tech firms raise €109 million in the third quarter

3 Dec 2009

Irish technology companies raised €109 million in the third quarter, bringing to €220 million the amount raised this year, according to the latest VenturePulse survey issued by the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA).

“Investment raised in the third quarter increased by 55pc on last year with the number of companies involved increasing by 25pc,” commented IVCA chairman John Tracey.

“This is against a background of a global credit crunch and significant falls in venture-capital activity levels around the world.”

Welcome numbers

The figures were welcomed by Conor Lenihan TD, Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation. ”It is particularly significant that over 20pc or €48.3 million of funds raised this year were in the area of early stage or seed capital.”

He also welcomed the broad base of Irish technology firms raising funds, from pharma/biotechnology to environmental technology. “This is helping to establish the building blocks of a smart economy and is positive for the future development of an indigenous knowledge economy.”

Regina Breheny, director general of the IVCA, said that funding for the year to September increased by 26pc to €219.6 million from €174.3 million in the same period of 2008 and €141.5 million in the nine months of 2007.

Now to previous years

The number of companies that raised funds in this period was 86, compared to 64 in the same period in 2008 and to 73 in 2007. Amounts raised ranged from €50k to €47 million.

She said that Irish tech firms continued to attract interest from international investors as well as local venture-capital firms. Twenty-one Irish-based venture-capital funds and private investors were involved (157 investments and 56pc of funds raised) and 34 international funds and private investors (36 investments and 44pc of funds raised).

In terms of seed capital, 39 companies raised €48.3 million (22pc of funds raised).

Fundraising by sector:

  • – In the pharma/biotechnology sector, 9 (10pc) companies raised €76.7 million (35pc).
  • – In the drug delivery and medical device sector, 15 (17pc) companies raised €32.4 million (15pc).
  • – In the telecoms sector, 7 (8pc) companies raised €7.7 million (3pc).
  • – In the environment technology sector, 10 (12pc) companies raised €22.2 million (10pc).
  • – Other technology (including nanotechnology, fibre optics, photonics and semiconductor chips) servicing a wide range of industries, 15 (17pc) companies raised €43.2 million (20pc).
  • – In the business services sector, 19 (22pc) companies raised €15.6 million (7pc).
  • – Other 11 (14pc) companies raised €21.8 million (10pc).

By John Kennedy

Photo: IVCA chairman John Tracey.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years