NDRC start-ups raised more than €50m in 2018

31 Jan 2019

From left: NDRC chair Sean Baker and NDRC CEO Ben Hurley. Image: Shane O’Neill/SON Photographic

With a decade of investing under its belt, NDRC is looking to the next 10 years.

The NDRC in Dublin has cemented its status as one of Europe’s top start-up accelerators after revealing that its companies raised more than €50m in funding last year.

Not only that but, with the market capitalisation of its entire portfolio nearing €500m prior to January 2018, the end of the year saw the accelerator realise more than €1m from its various investments.

‘It has not gone unnoticed that the gap between the stage where NDRC invests in start-ups, and where further private monies come in, has widened’

The NDRC provided support to more than 80 start-ups through acceleration and pre-acceleration activities during 2018, making investments in 32 new digital businesses.

The bulk of the €50m was achieved by biotech AI player Nuritas, which secured €30m in investment from the European Investment Bank.

Other companies to achieve critical funding rounds include Artomatix, Cortechs and EnteraSense while car giant Renault acquired a majority stake in iCabbi.

A world of opportunity

2018 also saw the inaugural NDRC at ArcLabs investment accelerator programme launched in Waterford, with the completion of the second NDRC at PorterShed investment programme in Galway in December.

Elsewhere, the partnership with the Oman Technology Fund (OTF), which sees the accelerator assist in an early-stage accelerator programme in Muscat, saw its second cohort visit Dublin to continue its progression towards scaling internationally. NDRC provides expertise as well as personnel over the course of the three-month programmes, with the required capital investment coming from OTF.

“Nuritas, iCabbi, Artomatix, EnteraSense, Cortechs – while there is no doubt that this is a diverse group of companies, they share two things in common: their NDRC heritage and a passionate resilience that enabled them to successfully secure substantial new funds in 2018,” said NDRC CEO Ben Hurley.

“What we have seen throughout 2018 is a continued level of investment interest in NDRC start-ups.”

Despite the good news in funding, discrepancies are emerging that indicate a steep decline in venture capital investment in Ireland.

“It has not gone unnoticed that the gap between the stage where NDRC invests in start-ups, and where further private monies come in, has widened. This is why we have already taken a fresh look at how we do things for 2019, with an increased level of capital to be invested in each start-up being a feature of our current strategy.

“What we are striving for through 2019 is continued levels of success among our near 300 start-ups, with our next decade of investing developing ever greater outcomes,” said Hurley.

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