Elkstone to launch €75m venture fund for early-stage Irish tech start-ups

19 Jan 2022

Alan Merriman. Image: Elkstone

Elkstone aims to boost the success of its venture club and help Ireland’s tech scene with its new fund.

Irish multi-family office Elkstone is introducing a new venture fund totalling €75m aimed at early-stage tech companies in Ireland.

Elkstone provides services including wealth management, venture and real estate opportunities to its Irish and international clients. Founded in 2011, it has offices in Dublin and Galway.

The fim has already backed more than 45 companies to the tune of around €50m.

Its investments include healthcare unicorns LetsGetChecked and Thirty Madison, as well as Irish innovators HealthBeacon, SoapBox Labs and Altada. It has also backed Ireland’s newest unicorn, online food-ordering platform Flipdish.

The newly announced venture fund is the first from Elkstone. It plans to offer deals of between €500,000 and €2m to up to 35 different companies, according to the Irish Times.

Elkstone chair and co-founder Alan Merriman told the Irish Times that the firm is targeting €75m because it wants to have “a meaningful fund”.

“We also want it to be focused on early-stage because that is where the gap is primarily in the Irish market in terms of real risk investing,” he added.

“If we get more big liquidity events then there is also more likelihood that employees in those companies will go out and create new ventures themselves, which we haven’t really had here and which successful tech scenes need to succeed.”

Merriman also said that he hoped bigger international players would come on board to fund companies at later stages if Elkstone supported them through the early stages.

Previously, Merriman spoke to SiliconRepublic.com about opportunities in entrepreneurship, technology and venture funding.

Last June, he also told The Currency that he thought real estate, in particular, was “behind the curve in terms of technology” and that there has not “been enough disruption”. He also said that Ireland needed “the right set-up to help more start-ups come through”.

“The Irish ecosystem needs more angel funding. We need the right government policy to encourage people to allocate their capital towards venture.”

Merriman and the company’s management will contribute €3m to the new fund, which has already secured €20m from a cornerstone investor ahead of its launch next month. Elkstone’s client base will contribute €35m.

Advisers to the new fund will include Stripe’s head of payments engineering, Sean Mullaney; Huckletree co-founder Andrew Lynch; and former head of listing at Euronext, Orla O’Gorman.

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Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic