AIB Seed Fund invested €10m in 2010 – 250 jobs generated

26 Jan 2011

The AIB Seed Capital Fund, a joint venture between the bank and Enterprise Ireland, invested €10m in seven companies during 2010. The fund has helped generate 250 new jobs to date.

The 2010 investments bring to more than 40 the total investments made in 30 Irish companies by year end. The fund’s investments are split about 55/45 between Dublin City and county and the rest of Ireland.

The investment to 2010 by the AIB Seed Capital Fund of more than €10m has leveraged in excess of €30m of additional capital from other investors, including Enterprise Ireland, and helped to create and support more than 250 jobs. In return for its investments, the fund has acquired an equity stake in each of the investee companies.

Looking ahead to 2011, the fund’s chairman, Denis Marnane, said AIB Seed Capital Fund expects to invest in eight to 10 new companies in the year.

“Our fund managers are actively seeking new investment opportunities, in addition to continuing to support existing investees. We are encouraged, despite the challenging economic environment, with the number of entrepreneurs approaching the fund with innovative and creative ideas and we look forward to working with many of these in 2011 to help them bring their ideas to fruition and on to sustainable businesses.”

2010 investments

During 2010, the fund invested in seven new companies operating in a wide variety of industries:

·        AER Sustainable Energy Ltd, which is developing enzyme technology

·        Arann Healthcare Ltd, which is developing a system for disinfecting hard-to-clean objects

·        Ferfics Ltd., a developer of radio frequency switches for mobile devices

·        Marvao Ltd.,which has developed a new category of central venous catheters (CVCs)

·        Nortev Ltd., which has developed a specialised nebuliser and associated mask for use in the treatment of respiratory diseases, initially in the equine industry

·        SensL Ltd, which designs and markets silicon photomultipliers (SPMs)

·        Endeco Technologies, which has developed an energy demand management system

Entrepreneurial activity

The fund continued to receive a high level of specific enquiries in 2010, reflecting a continued interest in entrepreneurial activity in Ireland, despite the harsh economic climate.

Enquiries in 2010 came predominantly from entrepreneurs in the internet, software and services sectors, but the fund has also received increasing levels of enquiries from the healthcare and renewable-energy sectors, and from all geographical areas in Ireland.

The AIB Seed Capital Fund was originally established in 2007 under the Seed and Venture Capital Programme 2007 – 2012 as a joint venture between Enterprise Ireland and AIB bank. The fund expanded in 2009 to €53m, with AIB committing €30m and EI €23m. The fund’s investments are jointly managed by Enterprise Equity and Dublin Business Innovation Centre.

Further information on the fund’s investees, and on the application process, can be found on the fund’s website and on the websites of the investment managers.

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