Sure Valley plans to invest in artificial intelligence start-ups regionally and nationally across the Republic of Ireland.
Venture Capital player Sure Valley Ventures has launched its third fund with a €30m first close to invest in the Republic of Ireland in deep tech areas like enterprise, immersive technologies, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.
State agency Enterprise Ireland has contributed €15m to this stage of the fund which ultimately is targeting a final close of €50m.
“As entrepreneurs and founders ourselves, we understand the challenges that start-ups face for funding, particularly in the current economic climate, however we believe it is still a great time for software founders to build a business in Ireland with lots of opportunities available”
Sure Valley is a seed capital investor in AI software companies that are focused on bringing a disruptive innovation to market. It plans to invest into 15 software companies from across the Republic of Ireland through this new fund.
The team has offices in Waterford and Dublin in Ireland, and London, Cambridge and Manchester in the UK, having announced a £85m UK software fund backed by the British Business Bank in 2022.
This new Irish fund will follow the same investment strategy in Ireland as in the UK and Sure Valley also plans to expand its regional focus to work with start-ups in the exciting innovation clusters that have developed around artificial intelligence, immersive tech and cybersecurity throughout Ireland.
“We are seeing exciting innovation clusters developing around Artificial Intelligence across the regions and are therefore thrilled to partner with Enterprise Ireland and additional investors on this new €30m Irish software fund,” said Sure Valley Ventures managing partner and co-founder Barry Downes.
“As entrepreneurs and founders ourselves, we understand the challenges that start-ups face for funding, particularly in the current economic climate, however we believe it is still a great time for software founders to build a business in Ireland with lots of opportunities available. With our regional presence in Waterford and strong track record in Ireland, we are well positioned to find innovative new companies across the country and through our Platform offering and strong adviser network, help them scale and grow in international markets.”
Sure Valley has previously invested in a number of innovative regional companies through its 2017 Irish fund, including Cork-based data security company Getvisibility, cybersecurity company Smartech 247, which Sure Valley helped IPO on the London Stock Exchange in December 2022, Waterford-based companies – Cameramatics, a leader in next generation fleet telematics and AI, Metaverse enterprise tech company Engage XR, which Sure Valley helped IPO on the London Stock Exchange in 2018 as well as Dundalk-based Nova Leah an AI leader in cybersecurity for medical devices.
“Sure Valley is an excellent partner for Enterprise Ireland and we are delighted to support this fund. Based in Waterford, Sure Valley has a deep understanding of the developing tech ecosystem in Ireland, and in particular how regional clusters are supporting new enterprise and innovative,” said Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy.
“We look forward to the fund tapping into that wealth of creativity to support the next generation of innovative tech entrepreneurs throughout Ireland.”
To date, Sure Valley has had success helping its investee companies grow and scale from Seed to Series A and beyond with 80% of its investee companies raising follow-on Series A rounds and 70% reaching this milestone within 24 months of the initial seed investment. This is a notable result, considering that on average 48% of companies fail to raise a follow-on investment round at all, according to CBInsights.
The close of the first €30m out of what will be a €50m fund for investment in Irish tech firms was welcomed by Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney, TD.
“I congratulate Sure Valley on launching this funding, with significant financial input from the Irish Government through Enterprise Ireland,” Minister Coveney said.
“Sure Valley has a strong track record in backing innovative, cutting-edge Irish start-ups and I know that its experience and vision will enable this significant fund to support the next generation of tech disruptors. Sure Valley will focus on critical areas for the future of the Irish economy, such as AI, immersive technology and cybersecurity, and having start-up funding available for these sectors is a very positive development.”