€100m fund is Ireland’s largest early-stage fund.
Investment house Elkstone has confirmed that the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) has committed to anchor the final close of its €100m Early Stage Irish Venture Fund.
With Enterprise Ireland also on board, the fund has already deployed over €10m to date and aims to complete its initial investments by 2026.
“It is a good time to be investing and we are very positive on the outlook for disruption and innovation”
Having backed Irish unicorns like Flipdish and LetsGetChecked at seed stage, Elkstone and its private clients are focused on enabling the next generation of exceptional Irish entrepreneurs, supported by institutional partnerships with ISIF and Enterprise Ireland.
An edge in investing
“We are delighted to have delivered on our promise to the Department of Finance and our Clients to bring about a unique EIIS venture fund providing access to support the venture funding ecosystem here,” said Alan Merriman, Elkstone’s CEO.
“Our fund investor base comprising both entrepreneurs and private capital alongside EI and ISIF, is a key edge in helping us bring meaningful value add to Irish founders as they look to fulfil their businesses potential and scale internationally. Whilst the macro backdrop is undoubtedly challenging, it is a good time to be investing and we are very positive on the outlook for disruption and innovation.
“We are very much looking forward to continuing to play our part in enabling deserving early stage businesses to grow and bring about stellar returns for our investors and meaningful social and economic impact for the Irish economy,” Merriman said.
Elkstone’s €100m fund is Ireland’s largest early-stage venture fund. To date, Elkstone’s Venture arm has invested in more than 50 start-ups, supporting the creation of over 1,000 jobs, with these companies collectively going on to raise over €600m in follow-on funding.
Elkstone’s investment strategy focuses on being additive to the vibrant Irish ecosystem by helping – through its unique value add services and global network – indigenous startups to scale internationally while remaining headquartered in Ireland, thereby creating high-quality local employment, and recycling capital to seed the next generation of entrepreneurs.
“ISIF is a strong supporter of indigenous Irish businesses that have ambitions to scale and target international markets,” said Nick Ashmore, director of ISIF.
“This fund expands our reach in early-stage venture capital and gives Irish businesses a valuable new option for attracting the capital they need to grow. Our new partnership with Elkstone will fuel the success of a range of fast-growing Irish businesses and we aim to build on these success stories in the coming years.”
The Elkstone Ireland Venture Fund will support exceptional Irish founders developing innovative, internationally scalable, and potentially category defining companies. Investments to date include Bluedrop Medical, MEG, Inclusio, Allsorter, Danalto and Output Sports, with others closing imminently in AI and cyber security.
With broad support from other stakeholders across the ecosystem, Elkstone advocated for the legislative change required to launch this fund and has delivered on its promise to the Government to raise meaningful capital to invest in Irish early-stage companies.
“In addition to our existing portfolio companies, in recent years Elkstone has made notable international investments such as Thirty Madison, Standard Gas and AudioMob, which have further amplified our ability to leverage our founder and co-investor network to help our portfolio companies succeed,” explained Niall McEvoy, venture partner at Elkstone.
“Our commitment to supporting companies that exhibit excellence in ESG and make a genuine societal impact has been a driving force behind these successful investments. We are proud to work with companies like Inclusio and Bluedrop Medical, who share our values and vision for a better future. As Venture Partner at Elkstone, I am excited about the potential for our portfolio companies to make a positive difference in the world, and I look forward to continuing to support their growth and success, whilst also delivering stellar returns for our clients,” McEvoy said.
Main image at top: Alan Merriman, Founder at Elkstone; Nick Ashmore, Director, Ireland Strategic Investment Fund; and Orla O’Gorman, Advisory Board Member at Elkstone