ACT unveils new €15m AIB start-up accelerator fund

9 Feb 2017

The AIB Start-up Accelerator Fund 2 aims to assist early-stage companies that are preparing to scale. Image: Martin Good/Shutterstock

ACT Venture Capital has announced the new AIB Start-up Accelerator Fund 2, which aims to back 25 Irish companies over the next four years.

According to ACT Venture Capital, the new start-up accelerator fund is a €15m seed-stage fund with an additional €7m available from the firm’s main fund for follow-on investment.

The fund is a successor to the ACT-managed AIB Start-up Accelerator Fund 1, which backed 39 companies over the past five years and has already enjoyed a number of successful exits, including the sale of Storyful to News Corp, FeedHenry to Red Hat, Embo Medical to Bard, Trustev to TransUnion and Soundwave to Spotify.

‘ACT is particularly keen to partner with entrepreneurs where we can exploit our international network to help them expand’

The fund aims to assist promising early-stage companies that are preparing to scale.

Other examples from Fund 1 include Cubic, Swrve, Endeco and SilverCloud, which, together with other portfolio companies, have collectively raised more than €140m in expansion capital.

Time to ACT

Fund 2 aims to back 25 new companies over the next four years and will invest up to €1m into each start-up.

As mentioned, ACT can further invest up to €7m from its main fund into successful companies that require further expansion capital. The venture capital firm specialises in syndication with international investors for larger amounts, having completed more than 50 such deals.

“This fund will help to sustain Ireland as one of Europe’s most active locations for seed funding, and will create a strong pipeline of expansion companies and funding opportunities over the coming years,” said John Flynn, ACT managing director.

“ACT is particularly keen to partner with entrepreneurs where we can exploit our international network to help them expand,” Flynn added.

Ray Fitzpatrick, head of Equity Investments at AIB said that the first AIB Start-up Accelerator Fund was credited with the creation of 1,000 jobs.

“It is good to see a second fund now that will support the early-stage development of the next generation of Irish SMEs.”

Walter Hobbs, executive director in charge of investment and finance at Enterprise Ireland, said that backing early-stage companies with seed capital is crucial.

“Creating a funding ecosystem for start-ups to thrive is of critical importance to the success of our client companies and, as part of this mandate, we recognise the value of venture capital funding to support high-potential growth companies in the ICT sector,” Hobbs said.

AIB branch. Image: Martin Good/Shutterstock

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