Investment in Irish technology firms has more than doubled over the last two years, according to new figures which show that companies raised a record €734 million from investors in the first nine months of this year.
The VenturePulse survey from the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) shows funding rose 77 per cent versus the €415 million recorded for the same nine months last year.
The level of investment in Irish tech firms has risen sharply in recent years, climbing from €314 million for the first nine months of 2014. In the third quarter of 2016, companies raised €248 million as against €108 million a year earlier, according to the IVCA.
The life sciences sector put in a particularly strong performance, accounting for 54 per cent of all funds raised in the nine months to the end of September.
The latest figures also show seed funding for early-stage companies is recovering after declining in recent years. Early-stage companies raised seed capital of €57 million in the first nine months of this year, equivalent to 8 per cent of all funds raised. This compares with €25.5million or 6 per cent of all funds raised in the same period last year.
“The Irish venture capital community continues to be the main source of funding for Irish innovative SMEs both through direct investment and as the local lead investor for international syndicates who invested €123 million in the third quarter, bringing the total for the nine months to end September 2016 to €328 million. This compares to investment by international syndicates of €225 million in the same nine month period in 2015,” said IVCA director general
Overall, she said that since the onset of the credit crunch in 2008 in excess of 1,350 Irish SMEs have raised venture capital of €3 billion.
Among the Irish firms who have successfully raised finance recently are Carrick Therapeutics and Genomics Medicine Ireland, which gained €84.5 million and €40 million respectively in funding rounds concluded last month.
Other companies to attract investment this year include Circle, DiaNia Technologies, Intercom, Mainstay Medical, Oneview Healthcare, Plotbox and Vivasure.