Irish accelerator NDRC revealed that its companies are now worth more than €600m, the first time the portfolio has passed half a billion euro.
Figures released by the NDRC for 2018 show the accelerator achieved a number of landmark moments with the companies it includes in its roster. It said that the total value of companies invested in by the accelerator since its inception has risen by 25pc to more than €600m.
NDRC now has a portfolio of 286 start-ups – following the running of four accelerator programmes in 2018 – and its companies have surpassed €250m in follow-on investment to date. 2018 alone saw more than €50m secured by start-ups both in Ireland and abroad, representing a 30pc increase on the previous year.
16 of these companies raised more than €500,000 in investment in 2018, while nine secured more than €1m. One of the most notable examples was Nuritas, the biotech company that combines artificial intelligence and DNA analysis to predict, unlock and validate bioactive peptide ingredients.
A 2015 NDRC investee, the company secured €30m from the European Investment Bank (EIB) in November of last year. This was the first time the EIB invested in an Irish biotech company.
‘Now is not the time to be complacent’
The results also showed more than 1,000 skilled jobs have been created by NDRC-backed companies to date, with one-quarter of those based outside of Ireland. The NDRC exit for iCabbi in June of 2018, following the acquisition of a majority stake in iCabbi by a Renault subsidiary, contributed to total realisations for the accelerator of more than €1m.
Interest in the accelerator remained high, with more than 500 applications received for its four investment programmes in 2018.
The year also saw the inaugural NDRC at ArcLabs investment accelerator programme launched in Waterford, as well as the completion of the second NDRC at PorterShed investment programme in Galway in December. NDRC runs regional accelerator programmes in partnership with Galway City Innovation District, Waterford Institute of Technology and Enterprise Ireland.
“While Ireland is approaching full employment, the international trading environment is less than certain,” said NDRC CEO Ben Hurley.
“Now is not the time to be complacent about the future prospects of our economy. As a State, we need to support entrepreneurial activity and ensure our start-up environment meets the standards set by our competitors. Building high-value, globally focused, scalable companies remains as important as ever. NDRC is looking forward to that challenge.”