Funds invested €60m in 2011

Fri, Jul 20, 2012, 01:00

Irish venture capital funds supported by Enterprise Ireland invested a total of €60 million last year, despite the ongoing difficulties in the economy.

That was a 43 per cent increase on the value of investments made in 2010, with the funding spread across 131 investments in 93 companies.

Seed funding available to Irish companies rose by €27 million, lifted by a new €22 million AIB Accelerator Fund, while Bank of Ireland’s Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund grew by €5 million.

Enterprise Ireland’s head of investment services Niall O’Donnellan said access to capital was an important part in the strong performance of exporting firms last year.

“The Seed and Venture Capital sector played a vital role in supporting and increasing employment in innovative businesses by providing essential risk equity to enable many of our clients to realise growth opportunities,” he said.

Under the current programme, which runs from 2007 to 2012, a total of €614 million has been made available to companies. Over an 18 year period,the Government has given in the region of €320 million to seed and venture capital funds through Enterprise Ireland.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said such funds were essential for innovation, providing funding, advice and networks to both early stage companies and established businesses seeking to expand.

“They are an essential element of the innovation system and mean that more high growth companies can receive the funding and backing they require to go out and achieve strong exporting results, creating jobs in Ireland,” he said.

The minister said he was determined to repeat and improve on the current programme’s funding performance in the coming years.