The National Digital Research Centre (NDRC) in Dublin has exceeded targets by raising €40m in commercial follow-on investment for Irish digital start-ups, the centre announced today.
With a combined market capitalisation of about €120m, the investment group has recently been ranked as the top University Business Incubator for IT in the World by UBI Index, which is the world’s first global index to benchmark performance and best practices of university business incubators across the world.
In the bumper year for Irish start-ups, some of the NDRC’s portfolio has included Soundwave, a music-discovery app which secured an investment totalling US$700,000 in 2013; NewsWhip, whose technology highlights breaking and trending news stories, closed an investment of around US$1.1m, and LogEntries, a company specialising in log data, closed an investment round of US$10m.
Building on 2013 for next year
The NDRC’s CEO, Ben Hurley, believes the news has laid the foundation for even further growth in 2014: “With strong results under our belt and a new fund secured in 2013, NDRC has a three-point plan for 2014: Continue our early stage investing through our established investment programmes; introduce a number of targeted initiatives for start-up founders to complement these programmes; and – recognising the evolving innovation ecosystem – explore new ways of addressing gaps within the early stage venturing ‘valley of death’.”
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte, TD, added that: “Building indigenous technology companies is vital to Ireland. Today’s results to date show that NDRC is now an important component in Ireland’s innovation ecosystem and clearly demonstrates the value of the investment in NDRC by my department.”
A new introduction to this year’s programme listing will be FinTech for very early stage financial-technology ideas. There will also be new initiatives for other start-ups and female entrepreneurs.
The group will look to continue its LaunchPad digital acceleration programme and VentureLab to find financially viable applications for science.