Irish tech firms raise €269m in venture capital in 2012

6 Mar 2013

Between them, some 189 Irish technology companies raised €269m from investors in 2012. While the amount raised is 2pc lower than the previous year, the number is up 18pc from 159 companies in 2011, according to the Irish Venture Capital Association.

First-round funding represented 20pc of the funds raised, with the 80pc balance consisting of follow-on funding.

IVCA director-general Regina Breheny said that since the onset of the credit crunch in 2008, 735 Irish SMEs have raised venture capital of €1.45bn.

“The Irish venture capital community continues to be the main source of funding for Irish SMEs, both through direct investment and as the local lead investor for international syndicate investors.”

She added that VC investment since 2008 has supported the creation of up to 20,000 jobs; attracted more than €450m of capital into Ireland and geared up the State’s investment through the Seed & Venture Capital programme by almost seven times.

IVCA chairman Dr Manus Rogan added that while the IVCA has consistently warned that Irish VC fund managers would start to run out of funds from 2012 with a potential shortfall of €1bn over the next five years, the recent Government announcement to commit up to €175m over the next 10 years as a cornerstone investor would stimulate activity in the funding market.

The IVCA survey finds that while software companies continue to head the list of firms with 26pc or €68.9m of the money raised in 2012, there has been a big increase in support for medical-device and drug delivery firms, which raised €47.9m or 18pc of funds raised.

Other technologies such as nano, fibre optics and phototonics raised €54.6m or 20pc. Medical software and service raised €26.6m or 10pc of total funds in 2012.

“It suggests that Ireland’s indigenous tech sector is becoming more broadly based and developing new technologies. This may partly reflect funding through the Government and Science Foundation Ireland into the third-level sector,” Rogan added.

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