EI-backed Sure Valley Ventures fund bags €30m for high-growth AI firms

27 Feb 2023

The new Sure Valley Ventures fund plans to invest in roughly 15 AI companies across Ireland over the next 10 years, in sectors such as enterprise and cybersecurity.

A new VC fund that plans to invest in Irish high-growth AI companies has raised €30m, with Enterprise Ireland as a cornerstone investor.

The government agency has committed €15m into the fund of Irish-founded VC company Sure Valley Ventures (SVV).

UK firm Pires Investments has committed €54,000 but expects to invest up to €5m over the 10-year life cycle of the new fund.

The new fund – called the Sure Valley Ventures III fund (SVV3) – plans to invest in about 15 high-growth AI software companies, in sectors such as enterprise, immersive technologies and cybersecurity.

The SVV3 fund will be managed by the same SVV fund team that has managed the firm’s previous two funds.

Pires director Nicholas Lee said Enterprise Ireland’s significant contribution is a “further endorsement of the SVV team” and follows on from the support the team received for its second fund, which was backed by the British Business Bank.

The first investment by this UK software-focused fund happened last March, when the firm invested in Belfast-based VR technology start-up Retinize. Prior to this, SVV had participated in a €10m funding round for Cork-based security start-up Getvisibility.

Lee said Pires’ investment into the SVV3 Fund will provide more opportunities for investors to “benefit from exposure to high growth technology companies within the flexibility of a publicly traded vehicle”.

“The technology sector experienced a challenging 2022 and so, consequently, there are a number of interesting investment opportunities becoming available at attractive valuations,” Lee said.

“The directors therefore believe that this is an ideal time to invest in a new technology focused fund, able to make new investments, given the completion of the SVV1 Fund’s investment cycle for making new investments.”

Last November, SVV managing partner Barry Downes spoke to SiliconRepublic.com about Ireland’s “vibrant early-stage VC ecosystem” and what makes a great founder.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic