NDRC-backed companies raised over €50m last year
Early stage tech investor has backed more than 250 start-ups over the last decade
NDRC chief executive Ben Hurley: “NDRC’s offering of capital investment and specialist expertise in the nascent stages of Irish start-ups is what makes the organisation so effective.”
NDRC, the Dublin-based but nationwide early stage tech investor, said it backed 28 new start-ups last year with companies across its portfolio receiving more than €50 million in follow-on deals in 2017.
The centre, formerly the National Digital Research Centre, was established in 2007 by a consortium of Irish third-level institutions. It has invested in more than 250 start-ups to date with alumni including Boxever, Silver Cloud and Soundwave.
The number of new companies it backed was down slightly on 2016 when it supported 32 start-ups, however the NDRC said it expects to invest in more fledgling firms this year as the number of programmes it runs rises from three to four.
Overall, almost 80 ventures were supported through the organisation’s various programmes in 2017.
Among the start-ups to receive follow-on investment last year included fintech firm Plynk, which took part in NDRC’s Launchpad programme in 2015. Last year it secured €25 million in a Series A fund led by private investment trust Swiss Privee. Others include Nuritas, which recently announced a €16 million fundraise.
NDRC invests primarily using an accelerator model through its Launchpad, Catalyser and VentureLab investment programmes which provide modest amounts of capital and high amounts of hands-on support to early stage companies.
The centre, which is based in the Digital Hub in Dublin’s Liberties area, secured a tender to run two regional accelerators on behalf of Enterprise Ireland in 2016, both of which got underway last year with PorterShed in Galway and ArcLabs in Waterford.
“NDRC’s offering of capital investment and specialist expertise in the nascent stages of Irish start-ups is what makes the organisation so effective. To see Seed funding increasing to such a degree amongst our portfolio is one thing, but the Series A successes by Irish start-ups is proof that our companies are maturing and attracting some of the biggest investors in the world,” said chief executive Ben Hurley.
The centre in November announced it had been selected to run a three-month international pre-seed accelerator in Oman as part of a new venture.