Irish firms raised €499m in venture capital in the first half of 2017

20 Sep 2017

IVCA chair Peter Sandys with IVCA director general Regina Breheny. Image: Karl Hussey/Fennell Photography

Irish tech firms trump prevailing trends that have seen fundraising fall 11pc in the US alone.

Venture capitalists (VCs) ploughed almost half a billion euro (€499m) into Irish tech firms in the first half of this year, with second-quarter funding reaching €252m.

That’s according to the latest Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) report, published in association with William Fry.

This is an increase of 3pc on the €486m raised in the first half of 2016.

IVCA chair Peter Sandys said that the Irish VC community remains the main source of funding for innovative companies.

“International players invested €135m in the second quarter of 2017, bringing the total for the first half to €255m, or 51pc of total funds raised. This compares to investment by international syndicates of €205m in the first half of 2016.”

Sandys said that this was an impressive result considering that VC funding activity was down 11pc year on year in the US.

Irish venture capital has supported the generation of 20,000 jobs

Irish tech firms raised €499m in the first half of 2017

Venture funding in Ireland in Q2, 2017. Infographic: IVCA. Click to enlarge.

In Q2 2017, early-stage companies raised seed capital of €23.3m (9pc of funds raised) bringing the total in H1 2017 to €56.8m (11pc of funds raised).

Regina Breheny, director general of the IVCA, added that following on from a strong first quarter, life sciences once again influenced activity in Q2, accounting for 50pc of funds raised. Three companies raised more than 43pc of total funds.

“Since the onset of the credit crunch in 2008, in excess of 1,375 Irish SMEs have raised venture capital of €3.3bn,” said Breheny.

“These funds were raised almost exclusively by Irish VC fund managers who, during this period, supported the creation of up to 20,000 jobs, attracted over €1.37bn of capital into Ireland, and geared up the State’s investment through the Seed and Venture Capital programme by almost 16 times.”

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