Irish software companies raised almost €63.3 million in venture capital funding in the first quarter of 2016, new figures have shown.
A total of €237 million was raised by Irish small and medium-sized enterprises in the first three months of the year, almost double what was raised over the same period last year.
The figures were published in the Irish Venture Capital Association VenturePulse survey.
A couple of major deals ensured life sciences was at the head of the table when it came to winning funding, accounting for €100 million of the deals in the period, more than 42 per cent of the allocated funds.
However, driving those figures were some major deals, with two companies accounting for more than half of the life sciences funding raised, and 25 per cent of the total funds raised during the period.
It's something that may not be repeated in the next years though. "Life sciences deals don't happen every quarter," said Regina Breheny, director general of the IVCA.
The data also revealed funds raised by firms such as CurrencyFair helped lift the fintech sector to €37 million. “Fintech crops up every now and again. It’s becoming more significant than it was,” said Ms Breheny. “It’s growing in size, there’s no doubt about it.”
Irish SMEs were also getting more interest from international investors during the quarter.
"About half the funds came through international syndicates, which shows an encouraging and continuing strong global appetite for the Irish tech sector," said Brian Caulfield, chairman of the IVCA.
Among the more notable raisings was medtech software firm Oneview Healthcare, which raised €40 million in a stock market offering in Australia.
The majority of the funding was growth and expansion, with seed funds only 10 per cent of the total for the quarter, at €24.7 million. Most of this came from private investors, such as angels, VC funds and individual investors, as the seed funds supported by State agencies are being renewed. Enterprise Ireland-supported funds could still take several months to come on stream.