Irish based technology firms raised a record €888 million in 2016, according to figures from the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA).
The IVCA’s latest Venture Pulse survey shows that 2016 was a record-breaking year with the amount raised up 70 per cent from €522m in 2015.
“This performance is particularly significant as venture capital activity in the US declined by 13 per cent in 2016 and in the UK by 4 per cent,” says Michael Murphy, IVCA Chairman. “The figures demonstrate the continuing attraction of Irish tech firms by international investors.”
“The life sciences sector was the star performer in 2016 with 52 per cent of funds raised,” added Regina Breheny, Director General, IVCA. “Eleven companies in particular raised over 38 per cent of total funds. The life sciences sector in Ireland is showing signs of maturity and is benefiting from the State’s investment in R&D through Science Foundation Ireland.”
Murphy added that new seed funds are already having an impact with first round funding growing again. “The good news for start-ups is that at €70m for the year to end December, seed funds are now exceeding the peak levels of 2014,” he says.
According to the IVCA, since the onset of the credit crunch in 2008, in excess of 1,400 Irish SMEs raised venture capital of €3.5bn. These funds were raised almost exclusively by Irish VC fund managers who during this period supported the creation of up to 20,000 jobs; attracted over €1.7bn of capital into Ireland and geared up the State’s investment through the Seed & Venture Capital Programme by almost 16 times.
Pictured at top: Michael Murphy, IVCA Chairman