Middlegame Ventures targets Irish fintechs with new €150m fund

Partners have invested over $300m in early stage fintechs that including Ripple

Middlegame Ventures, a fintech-focused investment firm that is actively targeting Irish startups, has announced a €150 million fund targeting post-seed, series A and series B lead investments in Europe and North America.

The Luxembourg Future Fund (LFF) and the European Investment Fund (EIF) are anchor investors in Venture Fund I. Other investors include institutional, strategic and family offices. The fund remains open to additional institutional and private investors ahead of a final close in 2020.

FinTech investment veteran Pascal Bouvier is co-founder of Middlegame along with Michael Meyer and Patrick Pinschmidt, formerly a deputy assistant secretary at the US department of treasury where he served as the first executive director of the financial stability oversight council.

Mr Pinschmidt said the fund had already made its first few representative investments in Britain. He said it was keen to back Irish fintechs too.


“Our job is to help connect the best and most promising startups with a broader network of critical business partners and new clients – as well as bring new sources of international capital into the Irish market,” he said.

Middlegame partners have invested over $300 million in early stage financial services companies over the past decade including Ripple, Tandem Bank, SimpleSurance, Coverhound and CompareAsia.

The first companies to receive investment under the new fund include Nivaura, which recently raised $20 million in a fundraise led by the London Stock Exchange Group. Others include Railsbank and Gardenia Technologies.

The Washington-headquartered VC teamed up with marketing and communication agency Farvest earlier this year to hold a fintech-focused accelerator in Luxembourg and Dublin.

More than 100 applications were made for that accelerator, whose local partners included Enterprise Ireland, Fintech and Payments Association Ireland, Banking and Payments Federation Ireland, and Stripe, the company founded by Limerick-born brothers Patrick and John Collison.

“The Ireland fintech ecosystem is very attractive to Middlegame. The business-to-business focus of many startups offering technology solutions to financial institutions here is a strong fit with our key investment themes: B2B, back-office, regtech, capital markets and deeptech,” said Mr Pinschmidt.

“Further, many Irish startups are eager to partner with investors that can help them access the US market, and other potential partners across Europe. Ireland has a great infrastructure via legacy financial services and technology operations, but that can only take a start-up with broader growth ambitions so far,” he added.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist