AIB invests €15m in Fountain Healthcare venture fund

10 Apr 2015

AIB has committed €15m to a healthcare venture capital fund called Fountain Healthcare, increasing the size of the fund to €103m.

The Fountain Healthcare Partners Fund II will primarily focus on specialty pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices and diagnostics. 

“The life sciences sector is a key sector for both AIB and the Irish economy,” explained Ray Fitzpatrick, head of the Equity Investment Unity at AIB.

“Nine of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies are based in Ireland, while 15 of the top 20 medical devices firms are also based here. These multinationals have created a pool of expertise and intellectual capital in Ireland.

“This in turn has created a new wave of Irish innovation and demand for venture capital to help indigenous Irish companies establish in international markets.’’

Investment strategy

AIB is the largest bank seed fund investor in Ireland and a significant provider of seed, venture and growth capital funding, with commitments currently totalling €90 million to six funds, which have a combined fund size of €343 million, a large part of which is providing equity finance to Irish SMEs with high-growth potential across the technology, fintech and life sciences sectors.

The equity invested by these funds in more than 100 investee companies is currently supporting more than 1,500 direct jobs and an estimated 4,500 indirect jobs. 

The six funds are: AIB Seed Capital Funds I and II, AIB Start-Up Accelerator Fund, MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland Fund, Frontline Ventures Fund I LP and Fountain Healthcare Partners Fund II.

“We are delighted to add AIB as a new investor to Fund II and, with €103 million raised, to have significantly exceeded our fundraising target,” Dr Manus Rogan, co-founder and managing director at Fountain, said.

“Fountain’s investment strategy has resulted in both strong absolute and relative returns from our first fund. This performance is reflected in both the level and quality of existing and new investor participation in Fund II.”

Med tech image at top via Shutterstock

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