AIB Seed Fund invested €5.2m in 32 ventures in 2013

2 Jan 2014

AIB’s Seed Capital fund made 32 investments totalling €5.2m during 2013, including 12 new start-up and early stage companies.

This brings to more than 130 the total investments made in 70 Irish companies over the six years of the fund’s existence.

New companies supported by the fund during 2013 included NewsWhip Media in Dublin (news and content signalling and aggregation), Syncrophi Systems in Galway (wireless patient monitoring), Silver Cloud Medical in Dublin (online health and wellness e-therapy platform) and Algae Health in Co Galway (manufacture of food and health ingredients from micro algae).

Among existing investees, follow-on rounds were completed by Polecat, Davra, StoryToys, REDT and many others.

The fund’s investments are split 60/40 between Dublin and the rest of Ireland.

Cumulative investments to the end of 2013 by the fund amounted to €26m, which has been leveraged to in excess of €85m in additional capital from other external investors, including Enterprise Ireland.

2013 was a strong year for new investments

“(The year) 2013 was another very strong year for new investment opportunities but the need for follow-on funding to support the development and growth of the existing portfolio was very much in evidence with the fund completing 20 follow-ons,” explained Denis Marnane, the fund’s chairman.

“One of the positives from this is that other external investors have invested at least matching amounts but in many cases have taken the lead and invested significantly more.

“This reflects the growing optimism among external investors as to the opportunities and potential of these indigenous early stage companies that the fund has invested in to date,” Marnane said.

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