NDRC report shows 2018 a record year for start-up follow-on investment

Ben Hurley, NDRC
Ben Hurley, NDRC

Sixteen NDRC-backed businesses raised more than €500,000 during the year

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5 July 2019 | 0

NDRC’s portfolio of companies have passed the landmark €250 million in follow-on investment to date, with 2018 seeing more than €50 million secured by start-ups both in Ireland and abroad. This represents a 30% increase according to the centres annual report for 2018, released today.

Sixteen NDRC-backed businesses raised more than €500,000 in investment in 2018, while nine secured more than €1 million. Nuritas, a 2015 NDRC investee, was a particularly notable example following a €30 million EIB investment. This represents the first time that the European Investment Bank has invested in an Irish biotech company.

The total value of companies invested in by NDRC since its inception has risen by 25% to more than €600 million, crossing the half billion threshold for the first time.

The portfolio of companies invested in now stands at 286 following the running of four accelerator programmes in 2018. 

The year saw the inaugural NDRC at ArcLabs investment accelerator programme launched in Waterford, with the completion of the second NDRC at PorterShed investment programme in Galway in December. NDRC runs regional accelerator programmes in partnership with Galway City Innovation District, Waterford Institute of Technology and Enterprise Ireland.

In 2018 NDRC also continued its delivery of expertise on an international stage, working with the Oman Technology Fund in the provision of accelerator services in the region.

Other results from 2018 show that more than 1,000 high-value, high-quality jobs have been created by NDRC-backed companies to date, with one-quarter of those based outside of Ireland, reflecting the globally scalable nature of the start-ups.

NDRC took the opportunity to exit iCabbi during 2018, after a subsidiary of French car maker Renault invested heavily in the company. This contributed to total realisations for the year of more than €1 million.

Interest in NDRC accelerator programmes remains strong, with more than 500 applications received for the four investment programmes NDRC ran during 2018, with Xpanse AI, PlanDomino, Cerebreon and LiveCosts each securing the opportunity for follow-on investment from NDRC after their respective Investor Showcases.

NDRC sources and builds digital startups to invest in and work with, supplying them with an integrated offering of knowledge, experience, expertise and a modest amount of capital, enabling them to become market-ready faster, more successfully and more efficiently than otherwise.

“NDRC’s pursuit of building a sustainable pipeline of high quality, high potential startups showed ever greater signs of success during 2018, with strong growth in follow-on investment through the likes of Nuritas, Artomatix, EnteraSense, Pharmapod and Cortechs, alongside the exit of iCabbi, adding to impressive results across the board,” said Ben Hurley, CEO, NDRC.

“During 2018 we recognised our first decade of investing with a series of events with our stakeholders and alumni of companies, allowing us to reflect on what has been a fruitful intervention into the start-up ecosystem. However, our work is not done.

“Our economy has several significant dependencies beyond the State’s control. NDRC is about building resilience into our economy by developing a national, indigenous start-up ecosystem by investing in, and building up, start-ups.

“While Ireland is approaching full employment, the international trading environment is less than certain. Now is not the time to be complacent about the future prospects of our economy.  As a state we need to support entrepreneurial activity and ensure our startup environment meets the standards set by our competitors. Building high value globally focussed scalable companies remains as important as ever.”

With pre-acceleration and other activities taken into account, NDRC has worked with more than 500 businesses through various programmes since its foundation.

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