Tech firms in Ireland raised €237m in venture capital funding in the first quarter of 2016, almost double that of last year, according to the latest VenturePulse figures from the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA).
The amount of funding raised in the first quarter was nearly double the €119.8m raised in the first quarter of 2015, according to the VenturePulse survey published in association with William Fry.
“About half the funds came through international syndicates, which shows an encouraging and continuing strong global appetite for the Irish tech sector,” said Brian Caulfield, chairman of the IVCA.
Caulfield said that the growth continues the strong trajectory of funding growth in Irish tech SMEs, which grew overall last year by 30pc to €522m.
He pointed to the increased globalisation of Irish tech businesses, including how Oneview Healthcare raised €40m through an IPO in Australia.
‘The increase in this quarter to €237m from €119.8m last year is a positive result considering that the industry in Ireland is in fundraising mode’
– REGINA BREHENY, IVCA
In the first quarter of 2016, early-stage companies raised seed capital of €24.7m, or 10pc of funds raised, up from €11.9m last year.
€2.8bn worth of venture capital raised by Irish firms since the 2008 credit crunch
IVCA director general Regina Breheny pointed out that while seed funds supported by Enterprise Ireland are being renewed, it will take some months yet to get these up and running.
Breheny said that, since the onset of the credit crunch in 2008, more than 1,250 Irish SMEs have raised venture capital of €2.8bn.
She said these funds were raised almost exclusively by Irish VC fund managers who, during the period, supported the creation of up to 20,000 jobs, attracted more than €1.25bn of capital into Ireland and geared up the State’s investment through the Seed and Venture Capital programme 16-fold.
“The increase in this quarter to €237m from €119.8m last year is a positive result considering that the industry in Ireland is in fundraising mode,” Breheny said.
She said that life sciences dominated the first quarter, with 42pc of funds raised by 15 companies in this sector. Two companies raised over 25pc of total funds.
Growth/expansion funding represented 90pc of total funds raised.
“The importance of close international relationships is once again emphasised by continued strong support from global players, who invested €116m or 49pc of total funds raised in the first quarter,” said Breheny.