Venture capital funding into Irish SMEs reaches record €502m in first quarter
– Results driven by Cork headquartered Amarenco deal
– IVCA notes that deals over €3m perform well but “choppy waters” for smaller companies
Dublin; Sunday 28th May (14:00 hrs), 2023: Venture capital funding into Irish SMEs rose by almost a third (32%) to a record €502m in the first quarter of 2023, compared to €380m in the same period last year, according to the Irish Venture Capital Association VenturePulse survey published today in association with William Fry. The record quarter was driven by a €300m deal by Cork headquartered energy company Amarenco in March.
“This was a robust quarter for Ireland when compared to global VC funding which fell by 53% in the first three months of the year1,” commented Leo Hamill, chairperson, Irish Venture Capital Association.
“While Amarenco boosted the figures, if you exclude deals above €30m in first quarter 2023 and 2022, this year still saw a rise of 70% to over €200m for the first three months, which reflects well in view of global headwinds across the sector.”
Mr Hamill said that funding above €3m performed well with significant increases across all deal sizes. However, he cautioned that start-ups looking for seed and early stage funding experienced some choppy waters.
The value of deals in the €1m-€3m range fell by two thirds to €10m. Deals below €1m fell by 28% to €6.5m. Seed capital dropped 67% to €7.5m.
Sarah-Jane Larkin, director general, IVCA said that investment by international venture capital companies into Ireland represented 40% of the total in the first quarter. Excluding larger rounds above €30m, international funding is up 210% on the same period last year.
“In the context of a global slowdown in VC investment, the high level of international funding secured by Irish companies clearly demonstrates a strong appetite for innovative indigenous enterprises which reflects their high quality and realistic valuations.”
She added that overall a healthy 21 indigenous companies raised between €5m and €30m in this quarter.
Apart from Amarenco, top deals in this period were Fire1 (€27.3m) and Supernode (€16m). Assure Hedge, Astatine and Neuromod each raised €15m.
The environmental industries (66%) sector led the way in funding this quarter followed by life sciences (11%).
Press queries to:
Sarah-Jane Larkin, director general, IVCA, Email: email@example.com
Mob: 087 320 9209 or
Ronnie Simpson, Simpson Consulting, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mob: 086 855 9410
Note to editors – how the VenturePulse survey is compiled
The Irish Venture Capital Association VenturePulse survey is recognised as the definitive source of fundraising activity in Ireland by the VC industry and by government and international bodies including the OECD.
The data covers equity funds raised by Irish SMEs and other SMEs headquartered on the island of Ireland from a wide variety of investors.
This research is the result of detailed information supplied internally by members of the Irish Venture Capital Association and from published information where IVCA members were not involved.
About the Irish Venture Capital Association
The Irish Venture Capital Association is the representative organisation for venture capital and private equity firms in Ireland.
An independent DCU report released in January 2020 found that Irish venture capital and private equity firms have invested €5bn in Irish SMEs since 2003 and, through syndication, have attracted in a further €3bn in funding from international firms.
This supported the state’s investment through its agencies’ Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Strategic Investment Fund and geared up investment through the Seed & Venture Capital Programme by almost 16 times.
The study found that employment numbers in venture and private equity backed firms increased by an average of 27% per annum since 2016, compared to an overall increase in employment in the economy of 3.3% per annum over the same time period.
Ronnie Simpson BBS, FPRII; Member, National Union of Journalists
Ronnie Simpson Consulting
(Formerly of Simpson Financial & Technology PR).
Business Registration No: 517518