Venture capital funding into Irish SMEs increase by 19%

  • Venture capital funding into Irish SMEs increased by 19% to almost a quarter of a billion Euro or €231m in the third quarter of 2021, compared to €193m last year, according to the Irish Venture Capital Association VenturePulse survey.

    Funding into SMEs, mostly tech firms, for the nine months to end September 2021 reached €872m, up 11% from €786m last year. 

    Nicola McClafferty, chairperson, Irish Venture Capital Association, said that a feature of the third quarter was a recovery in funding for start-ups. Seed funding, which typically represents first investments by equity investors, rose by 63% to €31m from €19m. 

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    Ms McClafferty explained: “In the early stages of the pandemic, many venture capital companies looked to back their existing investments and well established companies. Having managed that, there is a renewed appetite to focus on opportunities in early stage companies.” 

    She said this is reflected in the fact that in the third quarter, deals in the €1-5m mark increased by 89% to €76m from €40m. Of these, the majority were under €3m. 

    Sarah-Jane Larkin, director general, IVCA said that the positive outlook for start-ups is enhanced by the Government’s Budget 2021 changes to the Employment Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS).

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    Ms.Larkin said: “In addition, the planned €90m innovation fund, due to be launched early next year and focused entirely on early stage enterprises, should have a really positive impact on new and emerging companies. One consequence of the pandemic is increased interest in entrepreneurs and tech firms which have ideas relating to health as well as the digital economy.”  

    Deals in the €5-10m range in the third quarter at €70m showed little change from last year. 

    Investments over €10m more than tripled to €71m from €22m. 

    For the year to date, life sciences accounted for 38% or €329m of total funds raised, followed by software at almost a quarter, 24% (€207m) and fintech at 11% (€96m). 

    In the third quarter, environmental industries made an entry, representing 12% of the total. 

    Source: Written from press release.

    About the author

    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

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