EI venture funding hits €1.34bn milestone

In the 25-year history of the Enterprise Ireland Seed and Venture Capital Scheme up to €1.34bn was invested in more than 500 companies across Ireland.

The pivotal role played by Ireland’s state agency for backing and growing businesses Enterprise Ireland was underlined in the latest Seed and Venture Capital 2018 Report.

2019 marks the 25-year anniversary of the launch of the Seed and Venture Capital Scheme and over that period the cumulative total invested in seed and venture capital companies to 2018 amounted to €1.34bn.

“Our fund partners, who invest in and support these early stage companies are critical to the development of the underlying ecosystem”

In 2018, the Enterprise Ireland Seed and Venture Capital Schemes supported over 80 Irish based companies, with a total investment value of over €72m.

This takes the cumulative number of Irish companies supported through these schemes over 25 years to over 500.

In recognition of the role that the Seed & Venture Capital Schemes have made in supporting the economic development of their clients, the Government through the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation announced the Seed & Venture Capital Scheme (2019-2024) in Budget 2019.

The additional €175m of funding will continue to underpin the Venture Capital sector and leverage additional investment to support the growth of Irish enterprise.

“It is now 25 years since the first Seed & Venture Capital Scheme was launched, and in that time we have seen how the successive Schemes have transformed and strengthened the funding ecosystem in Ireland,” said Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD.

“The benefits to businesses of the scheme are twofold. It provides them with much needed finance during the stages in their business cycle when finance can be extremely difficult to come by. Crucially, it also introduces young businesses to networks and connections that will provide an invaluable source of mentoring and guidance. The Seed & Venture Capital Scheme (2019-2024) scheme will build on the previous Seed & Venture programmes and aims to develop the flow of high-growth and innovative companies in the economy needed to sustain growth and employment.”

Powering growth

In 2018, through the Seed & Venture Capital Scheme 173 venture capital investments were made in Irish companies amounting to €72m.

Enterprise Ireland backed 82 High Potential Start-ups (HPSUs) while over €9.3m was recorded in angel investment in 42 companies through the Halo Business Angels Network (HBAN).

“Investments by Venture Capital Funds in which Enterprise Ireland has invested play a key role in the achievement of our overarching strategic objectives to build scale, increase innovation and help Irish companies diversify on global markets,” said Kevin Sherry, executive director of Global Business Development at Enterprise Ireland.

“Venture Capital Funds target high growth companies that are global in nature and have innovation and international scalability at their core. These companies are spread across Enterprise Ireland’s core sectors including life sciences, digital technologies and fintech.

“Our fund partners, who invest in and support these early stage companies are critical to the development of the underlying ecosystem, resulting in a substantial increase in the number of new high growth start-up companies in Ireland,” Sherry concluded.

“On behalf of our client companies, I would like to acknowledge the continued significant support of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and thank all the funds and stakeholders who contributed to the Irish venture capital sector in Ireland in 2018 and indeed over the last 25 years.”

Written by John Kennedy

Published: 1 July 2019