Bruton reveals €60m fund for venture capitalists in Silicon Valley

16 Mar 2012

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, TD

Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, TD, has issued a global call to top venture capitalists, as the Irish Government, through Enterprise Ireland, is set to invest more than €60m in venture capital funds that establish a presence in Ireland.

Bruton is currently on a trade and investment mission to Silicon Valley.

The announcement is the second call from Innovation Fund Ireland, as part of the Irish Government’s jobs action plan for 2012.

Yesterday, Bruton also announced a joint investment by Enterprise Ireland and the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) in the US healthcare venture capital fund Sofinnova Ventures, as part of the Innovation Fund Ireland first call previously announced by Enterprise Ireland. These investments are aimed at ensuring that Irish-based high-tech companies in key sectors can have access to venture-capital funds.

The aim of the latest €60m funding is to further ramp up Ireland’s dynamic venture capital industry in Ireland, so high-tech early-stage companies based in the country can have access to capital, as well as mentoring and support, from top-tier venture capitalists.

Up to now, the Innovation Fund Ireland NPRF has made investments in Polaris Ventures, DFJ and DFJ Esprit. The objective of this second call is to increase the ability of risk capital for Irish companies.

It is expected that similar investments will follow as part of the second call announcement made today, and Bruton will be promoting this initiative as part of his visit to the western US states.

Under the call, investors have until 14 June 2012 to signal their interest in establishing a presence in Ireland.

Making the announcement, Bruton spoke about how Silicon Valley is an example of the “incredible economic and ultimately employment growth that can be created with the correct environment for innovation”.

“As in some other highly successful economies, a dynamic venture capital industry has been part of the ingredients for success here in the western USA, and today’s announcement will help to replicate that in Ireland,” said Bruton.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic