Irish venture capital funds supported by Enterprise Ireland made 131 investments in 93 companies with a value of €60m in 2011, a 43pc increase on 2010 investments, according to a new seed and venture capital report out today.
The Government’s enterprise agency is claiming that the figures mirror the strong performance by Irish exporters in 2011 and the increase in the number of innovative start-ups that Enterprise Ireland supported in 2011.
Speaking this morning at the launch of the Enterprise Ireland Seed and Venture Capital Programme 2011 report, Enterprise Ireland’s head of investment services Niall O’Donnellan said access to capital played an important part in the strong performance by Irish exporting companies in 2011.
He said the seed and venture-capital sector was "vital" in supporting and increasing employment in businesses by providing risk equity to enable many of Enterprise Ireland’s client companies realise growth opportunities.
According to the agency, a highlight for 2011 was the continuing increase in seed funding being made available to meet the need for capital for entrepreneurs and early stage start-ups.
Enterprise Ireland said that during the year there was an increase of €27m in seed-capital funding available to Irish companies with the launch of the new €22m AIB Accelerator Fund and the €5m increase in funding of the Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund.
Over the past 18 years, the Government, via Enterprise Ireland, has apparently committed circa €320m, as a limited partner, to 40 seed and venture-capital funds, with a total size of €1.2bn, that have been set up in Ireland.
Enterprise Ireland said the total value of VC funds invested under the seed and venture capital programmes up to the end 2011 had reached €614m.
Venture capital image via Shutterstock