Irish venture capital industry takes issue with US portrayal of funding levels

9 Jan 2014

The Irish venture capital industry has taken issue with a US newspaper report claiming venture investment in Ireland fell during the first nine months of 2013 to US$48m. Local VCs said this is incrorrect and funding was up 26pc year-on-year to a different level of US$316m for the first nine months of last year.

A New York Times report earlier this week cited data by DJX VentureSource that suggested a total of €47.6m (US$65m) in venture capital had been raised by Irish companies, down 28pc on the previous year.

However, the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) has refuted this claim, pointing out that in the period Irish companies raised €232.6m to the end of September 2013, an increase of 26pc on the same period in 2012.

During this period, the IVCA said, seed and early stage funding increased by 41pc to €48.5m.

“It is disappointing that the Irish venture capital industry is reflected in this manner,” said the IVCA’s director general Regina Breheny.

“The period to end September was a tremendous performance, particularly against a backdrop of significant volatility in international markets.”

The IVCA survey Breheny referred to was compiled in association with William Fry Solicitors and found that first-round funding was 21pc of funds raised in the period compared to 19pc in 2012.

However, IVCA chairman Mark Horgan of Atlantic Bridge Ventures warned that seed funds supported by the banking sector and state agency Enterprise Ireland are close to being fully invested.

“These funds will need to be renewed if entrepreneurs are to be supported as actively as in the last five years,” Horgan pointed out.

Venture capital image via Shutterstock

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