Value of Govt-backed investment in Irish start-ups up 9pc to €59m

18 Jul 2014

Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon addresses The Female Founders Forum in Dublin recently. Photo by Conor McCabe Photography

The value of investment in Irish companies in 2013 under the Enterprise Ireland Seed and Venture Capital Programme has risen 9pc to €59m. The number of Irish companies that benefited increased 12pc to 94 firms.

According to the funds’ annual report, in 2013 these funds made 153 investments with an investment value of €59m in 94 Irish-based companies, representing an increase on the €54m invested in 84 Irish companies in 2012 under the schemes.

The capital under management through Enterprise Ireland’s Seed and Venture Capital Programme 2007-2012 has now reached close to €700m.

Over the lifetime of this scheme, 50pc has been invested in the software sector and 35pc in the life-sciences sector.

A separate analysis shows that Irish companies in receipt of investment under this programme are employing more than 2,100 people in Ireland.

“Enterprise Ireland’s priority is to support the creation of high-potential start-ups and the expansion of scaling companies to support job creation and export growth,” said Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland.

“A dynamic and commercially driven venture-capital market plays a key role in this strategy and we look forward to continuing to work with the venture-capital sector for the benefit of Irish industry.”

Jobs growth

Venture-capital funds provide critical funding, mentoring and access to networks to fast-growing companies and expanding established businesses, said Richard Bruton, TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

“For these reasons, we established as part of the Action Plan for Jobs the new €700m Seed and Venture Capital Scheme 2013-2018, a significant achievement at a time of constrained budgets. This will help support the next generation of Irish-based seed and venture funds and increase the availability of funds over the coming years to the fast-growing businesses that will create the jobs we need.”

Bruton said the funds his department supports continued to perform strongly in 2013.

“Enterprise Ireland client companies delivered exports of €17.1bn and added 5,442 jobs in 2013 and venture-backed companies contributed to these impressive results. If we can ensure that our seed and venture-capital schemes continue to perform strongly over the coming years, this will make a major contribution towards creating the jobs we need.”

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