Irish-owned technology companies raised €75.4m from investors in the four months to October 2007, according to the latest Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) Techpulse survey.
This was up substantially from the €53.9m raised in the same period last year.
“The fact that this growth occurred during a period when many venture capital (VC) firms were in the middle of raising new capital and exceeds the amount invested in the first six months suggests that there is a momentum building that augurs well for the future,” commented Professor Michael Donnelly, chairman, IVCA.
The number of companies that raised funds in this period was 42, compared to 12 in the same period in 2006. The amounts raised ranged from €200,000 to €15.5m.
The IVCA survey found that the total funds raised in 2007 to end October has fallen to €141.5m, compared to €162.6m in the same period of 2006. However, the number of companies raising funds has more than doubled from 31 to 73.
“While the amount raised for the year to date is down, the doubling of firms supported and momentum over the last four months suggests a very active year for the VC industry,” added Donnelly.
In the four months to end October there were 17 Irish-based VC funds involved and 11 international funds. In the similar period of 2006, there were eight Irish-based VC funds and six international funds involved.
“This suggests good support from both local and international VC firms,” commented Regina Breheny, director general, IVCA.
She added that there was a good sectoral spread of support. While the bulk of Irish VC investment continues to be invested in tech firms, this has now spread beyond traditional IT and software firms to the life sciences, including drug delivery and medical devices.
In the drug-delivery and medical-device sector, eight companies raised €7.25m (nothing in 2006). In the telecoms sector, four companies raised €9.9m. In 2006, four companies raised €27.8m.
Thirty other technology firms (including nanotechnology, fibre optics, photonics and semiconductor chips) servicing a wide range of industries, raised €58.2m in the four months to end October 2007. In 2006, eight companies raised €26.1m.
By John Kennedy