Venture capital funding to Irish tech firms grew 9% in first quarter
Venture capital funding to Irish technology firms increased by 8.9% to €249.4 million in the first quarter of 2021, up from €228.9 million in the same period last year. This is according to the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) VenturePulse survey published in association with William Fry.
Funding to start-ups and early-stage indigenous companies for the 12 months last year fell by almost a third, said Gillian Buckley, chairperson, IVCA (pictured).
“Funding appears to have shaken off any restrictions caused by Covid-19. This is reflected in the fact that the number of deals increased by 65% to 74, compared to 48 in the same quarter last year, largely driven by a welcome recovery in early-stage funding. We hope the more positive outcome in the first quarter is a harbinger of recovery for early stage funding in 2021.”
The first quarter 2021 bounce back in start-up and early-stage funding is reflected in the fact that deals in the €1-5 million category jumped by 84% to €70.3 million from €38 million, while the number of transactions nearly doubled from 18 to 33.
Deals of less than €1 million grew by 53% to €12.9 million compared to €8.4 million in the same period last year. The number of deals in this category rose by 55% to 34 from 22.
“Government support for start-ups and early-stage companies through EI (Enterprise Ireland) and ISIF (Ireland Strategic Investment Fund) is beginning to show a real impact,” commented Sarah-Jane Larkin, director general, IVCA. “Without this it is unlikely we be seeing the growing importance of sectors such as life sciences to the Irish economy.”
Life sciences accounted for €130 million (52%) of funding in this quarter driven by an €89 million round for Mainstay Medical. Next highest category was software at €46.7 million (19%) followed by cybersecurity €21.9 million (9%).
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