More than 1,000 Irish technology companies have raised more than €2bn since the credit crunch began in 2008, according to the latest VenturePulse survey by the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA).
The survey, published in association with William Fry, revealed that Irish technology companies raised €120m in venture capital in the first quarter of 2015.
The IVCA estimates that the €2bn in funds raised since 2008 was raised almost exclusively by Irish VC fund managers and supported the creation of 20,000 jobs.
The funds have also attracted up to €825m of capital into Ireland and have leveraged the States investment in the Seed & Venture Capital Programme by a factor of seven.
The figures reflect an encouraging international appetite for investment in Irish tech firms who continue to punch above their weight
Looking to the first quarter of 2015, where €120m was raised by Irish tech companies, the chairman of the IVCA, John Flynn, said that the level of activity continues the positive momentum experienced in 2014 where 41pc growth to €401m was achieved for the full year.
“It’s a strong performance at a time when the venture capital industry in Ireland is in the middle of fundraising.”
He added that the Irish venture capital community continues to be the main source of funding for Irish innovative SMEs both through direct investment and as the local lead investor for international syndicate investors who invested €63m in this period.
“The figures reflect an encouraging international appetite for investment in Irish tech firms, which continue to punch above their weight,” added Flynn, who also heads up ACT Venture Capital.
“Growth/expansion funding represented 90pc of total funds raised, which demonstrates that the positive seed-funding activity over the past few years is starting to pay dividends and produce high-quality expansion opportunities,” he said.
Concerns over drop in seed funding
However, Regina Breheny, director general of the IVCA, said that first-round seed funding at 10pc of funds raised is below the 17pc achieved last year.
“The seed funds supported by the banking sector and Enterprise Ireland’s Seed & Venture Capital Programme of 2006-2012 are close to being fully invested,” she said.
“These need to be renewed if entrepreneurs are to be supported as actively as in the last five years, but we are hopeful that new funds will come on stream in the second half of 2015,” Breheny said.