Irish companies raise record €1.65bn from VC firms

Investment at a high despite dip in the fourth quarter with 287 VC deals recorded last year

Irish companies secured a record $1.87 billion (€1.65 billion) in venture capital investment across 287 deals last year, new figures show.

VC activity was at a high in 2021 despite a dip in the final three months of 2021 when $288 million was invested in 27 deals involving Irish companies, a decline from the nearly $500 million reported in the preceding quarter.

This mirrored what was happening globally with investment dropping slightly from $180 billion across 9,553 deals in the July-August period to $171 billion across 8,710 deals in the fourth quarter.

Nonetheless, global VC activity rose to a record $671 billion across 38,644 deals in 2021 versus $347 billion across 31,623 transactions in the prior year.


European VC activity was also strong with $123 billion raised across 8,968 transactions compared with $54 billion across 8,968 deals in 2020.

Locally, the biggest deal recorded in the fourth quarter involved plant-based frozen food company Strong Roots, which secured $55 million in investment from McCain Foods.

Other notable deals in the quarter included sports tech company Kitman Labs, which raised $52 million in a Series C funding round led by Guggenheim Investments, and Nuritas, the Nora Khaldi-led biotech firm which closed a $45 million Series B round.


Rounding out the top five deals locally were clinical trial software specialist Teckro and medical devices company OneProjects, which raised $25 million and $20.8 million respectively.

"We didn't see any standout deals topping the $100 million-plus mark in the last quarter, but overall 2021 was a phenomenal year for investment in Irish companies," said Anna Scally, partner and fintech lead at KPMG in Ireland, which compiled the figures based on data from Pitchbook.

“Irish companies have rallied during the Covid crisis and interest from investors has been very keen, this bodes very well for the year ahead. I expect to see healthtech and fintech companies continuing to secure deals in 2022, along with more investment in sustainability focused companies and businesses at the cutting edge of the shift in lifestyle trends, like e-mobility,” she added.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist