WakeUp Capital is committing to investing in early-stage Irish start-ups as part of the first allocation to the Irish Innovation Seed Fund.
Dublin-headquartered early-stage impact fund WakeUp Capital has today (16 June) announced a commitment of up to €35m as part of the Irish Innovation Seed Fund (IISF).
For the most part, WakeUp Capital invests in European companies and founders operating in the cleantech and sustainability sectors. Its funding commitment is the first to be announced as part of the IISF, which was launched by the Irish Government last year.
The IISF is part of a wider Irish Innovation Seed Fund Programme, also set up in 2022. The programme is a €90m fund-of-funds, made up of three €30m investments from Enterprise Ireland, the European Investment Fund and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.
“This fund-of-funds programme will both increase early-stage funding for SMEs and strengthen the market for the provision of seed investment,” said Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney. “It is an important step in supporting our indigenous, high potential and high innovation enterprises to reach their full potential.”
“Having access to appropriate sources of funding allows our SMEs to develop and grow, which further benefits our economy,” Coveney said, adding that SMEs are vital to Ireland’s employment market.
He said that the experienced partners behind the IISF will be complemented by “significant additional private investment.”
Today’s announcement is designed to get the ball rolling, as WakeUp Capital is targeting a fund of up to €50m. Under the terms of the IISF, the funding partners can allocate up to 70pc of a chosen fund.
Faye Walsh Drouillard and Mark Peters, the co-founders of WakeUp Capital said that their investment will enable the firm to broaden its investing “in sustainable and inclusive Irish and European technology start-ups”.
“We applaud the foresight and commitment of the European Investment Fund, Irish Strategic Investment Fund and Enterprise Ireland in leading the Irish Innovation Seed Fund Programme. Backing new and impactful VC fund managers is a catalyst for other funds and governments as we all transition to this next phase of a purpose-driven economy.”
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