Irish companies raised €285 million from venture capital investors last year, according to new data from the
Irish Venture Capital Association
The funding, 6 per cent higher than the €269 million raised in the previous year, was divided between 161 companies, the IVCA VenturePulse survey found.
However, law firm William Fry has warned that local venture capital companies may start to run out of funds from next year.
More than 95 per cent of the funds last year were raised by companies covering software, medical devices, pharma and biotech.
The largest deals announced during the period involved telecoms firm Digiweb, which secured an investment of almost €12 million, biopharma company Opsona Therapeutics, which raised €34.6 million, and mobile payments company SumUp, which received an investment of just over €12 million.
“In 2013 funds raised from international players was €119 million, an increase of 22 per cent on 2012. Since the onset of the credit crunch in 2008 over €650 million of international funds has been leveraged by Irish VCs into indigenous SMEs,” said IVCA director general Regina Breheny.
Stephen Keogh, a corporate partner in William Fry, which acted as legal adviser in more than 40 of the funding rounds during the year, expressed concern that activity levels were beginning to slow.
"Irish VC firms are entering the end of the investment term within their existing funds. New capital will need to be raised from the private sector to fund SMEs into the future."
Mr Keogh said Irish pension funds, valued at over €80 billion, should consider venture capital investment as a small part of a diversified investment strategy.
“Right now, as an asset class, venture capital is offering a good investment opportunity. IPOs are on the increase and exits are back on the agenda, with tier-one global tech firms willing to spend their cash on acquiring VC-backed tech companies.”