Irish tech firms raised €317m in VC funding in Q3 2017

22 Nov 2017

Image: Per Bengtsson/Shutterstock

88pc of Irish VC funding raised in Q3 was expansion capital.

Tech firms in Ireland raised €317m in venture capital (VC) funding in the third quarter of 2017, bringing the total raised in the first nine months of the year to €817m.

According to the latest Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) Venture Pulse survey, funding in the first nine months is up by 11pc compared with 2016, when €734m was raised.

‘Since the onset of the credit crunch in 2008, more than 1,450 Irish SMEs raised venture capital of €3.6bn’

“The third quarter was boosted by activity in Northern Ireland [NI],” said Peter Sandys, chair of the IVCA.

“Belfast fintech company Options accounted for 30pc of total funds raised in this quarter. This is the largest fundraising deal in NI in over 10 years.

“Seed/early-stage support is growing significantly again, with €59m raised in the third quarter, reaching a high of €115.2m for the nine months to end [of] September.”

Increasing international dimension to Irish VC funding

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

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

According to the IVCA, expansion funding represented 88pc of total funds raised.

International syndicates invested €220m in the third quarter, bringing the total for the nine months to €475m, or 58pc of total funds raised. This compares to investment by international syndicates of €328m over nine months in 2016, and €225m in 2015.

The director general of the IVCA, Regina Breheny, said that the Irish VC community continues to be the main source of funding for innovative Irish SMEs through direct investment and as local lead investors with international syndicates.

“Since the onset of the credit crunch in 2008, more than 1,450 Irish SMEs raised venture capital of €3.6bn,” Breheny said.

“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 €1.6bn 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