A new venture era begins as global VCs flock to Ireland

21 Oct 2010

It’s a good time to be a tech start-up in Ireland. Not only are start-up costs lower but international players will soon join the local venture community.

The late evening Dublin sunshine is blinding as I field a battery of questions from two earnest young venture capitalists with a $165m war chest to manage.

Mattias Ljungman and Chris Dark of Atomico, a London-based venture capital firm created by Skype and Kazaa founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, are standing in a suite in the now hip Kelly’s Hotel on Georges Street, their brows knotted in concentration. They are intensely serious on this trip in advance of next week’s Dublin Web Summit, which they will be attending with Zennström and other luminaries, such as YouTube founder Chad Hurley and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, plus about 100 other web success stories and venture capitalists.

Ljungman and Dark are in the vanguard of a growing number of international venture capital firms coming to Ireland to evaluate Irish firms in the wake of the announcement of the State’s €500m Innovation Fund Ireland. Just last week it emerged that prominent Silicon Valley firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson is to open an office in Dublin after the Innovation Fund enabled a €30m investment in the firm.

Read more of ‘A new venture era’ at Digital 21.

www.digital21.ie – Digital 21 is a campaign to highlight the imperative of creating an action programme to secure the digital infrastructure and services upon which the success of our economy depends.

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