Finch Capital reveals €20m fund for Irish fintech and deep tech

12 Feb 2019

From left: Minister Michael D’Arcy, TD; Radboud Vlaar, Finch Capital; Minister Heather Humphreys, TD; and Kevin Sherry, Enterprise Ireland. Image: Shane O’Neill/SON Photographic

Ireland’s prowess at fintech is greater than most people realise.

A new €20m venture capital fund aimed at Irish fintech and deep-tech start-ups is being established in Dublin by Finch Capital.

Finch Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm with offices in Amsterdam, London, Singapore and now Dublin.

In 2018, Finch Capital closed its second fund, with commitments of €110m.

The new fund is supported by a €10m investment from Enterprise Ireland.

“Finch Capital brings proven additional capacity and resources to Ireland combined with deep industry knowledge and connectivity in the sector,” said Kevin Sherry, executive director of global business development at Enterprise Ireland.

Announced at the Talent Garden fintech event ‘Appetite for Disruption’ in Dublin today (12 February), the new fund is focusing on early-stage companies in the fintech and deep-tech sectors, including AI, infosec and internet of things.

“Finch Capital recognises that Ireland has established itself as a leading European fintech and technology hub, and we are delighted to be establishing a presence here in the Irish market to support bold entrepreneurs transforming the financial services industry,” explained Radboud Vlaar, partner of Finch Capital.

The timing of the new fintech-oriented fund is auspicious when you consider the legacy of payments and other technologies from homegrown start-ups in Ireland. These include such players as Fexco in Kerry as well as Realex, Fire, TransferMate and CurrencyFair. One Irish fintech called Orbiscom was acquired by Mastercard in 2009 and today Mastercard Labs in Dublin is the global centre for R&D for the card giant. Another one to watch is regtech player Fenergo, which has gone from three founders to employing several hundred people in less than a decade.

The future of jobs

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD, said new funds like that of Finch Capital will help to drive the commercialisation of new and innovative products and services from ambitious Irish companies.

“As we reach full employment, our focus must shift from getting people back to work, to creating sustainable jobs that can deal with new challenges and embrace new technologies,” Humphreys said.

“In that regard, the Government is developing a new strategic plan called Future Jobs, which is due to be launched in the coming weeks.

“The plan will underpin the next phase of Ireland’s economic development by enhancing productivity, ensuring quality and sustainable jobs, embedding resilience, and securing long-term economic prosperity,” Humphreys added.

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