Up to €82m is available for venture fund managers seeking to secure investment under the €175m Seed and Venture Capital Scheme (2019 to 2024).

The Irish Government has opened the Third Call for Expressions of Interest for venture fund managers seeking to secure investment under the €175m Seed and Venture Capital Scheme.

The opening of the Third Call comes at a pivotal time for Irish entrepreneurs as the market for seed funding for early stage companies is drying up.

“More than 740 indigenous Irish companies have received in excess of €1bn of investment, the majority of which are at the early Seed Stage”

According to recent figures from the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA), deals under €5m, which represent start-ups and early stage indigenous companies, fell by almost a third (32pc) to €194m in 2020 from €285m the previous year.

Investing in the job creators of the future

“This will provide a significant boost to the funding available for early-stage Irish companies with global ambitions,” Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD, said.

“The Seed and Venture Capital Scheme provides much needed investment for Irish companies at a crucial stage of development, when they are at the cusp of getting to the next level. These are companies which have a lot of potential and are the job creators of the future.

“Our indigenous enterprise sector is a major employer and a crucial part of our economy. It’s been a really difficult for year for many. This is part of an overall package that is in place to help Irish business recover and indeed flourish, post-pandemic. Up to €82m is available in this round.”

Applications are now open through Enterprise Ireland. Up to €82m is available under the Third Call of the Scheme, to commercially managed funds focused at the earliest stages of company development, where raising capital is often a challenge for Irish early-stage companies. This investment will be made available to funds focused on Pre-Seed, Seed & Series A/A+, supporting Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Ups (HPSUs) and company scaling strategies. 

For those funds focused on the Pre-Seed to Seed Stages of development, Enterprise Ireland can now raise their maximum share up to 70pc of the Fund, a significant initiative under the current Scheme.

Full details and guidelines: www.enterprise-ireland.com/svcapital

Since 1994, the Government, through Enterprise Ireland, has invested in four Seed and Venture Capital Schemes, providing funding of €561m that has leveraged substantial additional external funding of over €1bn, directly benefitting over 740 Irish companies.

Leveraging for success

“In the 27 years since the first Seed and Venture Capital Scheme was launched, Enterprise Ireland has provided funding of €561m that has leveraged substantial additional external funding of over €1bn,” said Leo McAdams, divisional manager responsible for Finance & Investment Services at Enterprise Ireland.

“As a result, more than 740 indigenous Irish companies have received in excess of €1bn of investment, the majority of which are at the early Seed Stage, which is again being targeted in this Call alongside our commitment to also help those companies moving into their scaling, Series A phase. This sustained investment has been a catalyst for the growth and evolution of Ireland’s funds ecosystem as a whole.

“We’re inviting applications for both domestic and international fund managers, who can bring added value in terms of commercialisation and connectivity to their investee companies. The availability of that essential early stage and growth capital will help the next generation of ambitious Irish companies that are just starting out and will further bolster Ireland’s world-leading reputation for quality and innovation in this important industry.”

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 22 March 2021

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