Sova VC hunts for Irish unicorns with plans to invest up to €4m per company

VC looking to deploy nearly a third of its €60m fund in Irish tech firms

Alexander Chikunov, a partner at Sova VC: ‘We very much look forward to partnering with promising growth-stage entrepreneurs and tech companies in Ireland.’ Photograph: Alexander Sakulin

Alexander Chikunov, a partner at Sova VC: ‘We very much look forward to partnering with promising growth-stage entrepreneurs and tech companies in Ireland.’ Photograph: Alexander Sakulin

 

London-based Sova VC is looking to deploy up to 30 per cent of its €60 million initial fund in the Republic to support high-potential, disruptive technology companies.

The venture capital firm has completed four deals since raising its first fund last September and it intends to build a portfolio of more than 15 early-stage tech scale-up companies.

Sova VC is focused on identifying and supporting tech companies at Series A stages, with a particular interest in marketplaces and platforms with the potential to expand vertically across sectors and markets.

In an analysis note published over the weekend, the firm said it was now “hunting unicorns” in the Republic as part of a wider expansion beyond Britain, that also includes the Nordics. A unicorn is a status attributed to privately-held tech companies that are valued at $1 billion (€820 million) or more.

‘Hidden opportunities’

“We believe Ireland hosts a huge number of hidden opportunities and know it punches significantly above its weight, as is evident by the fact the VC market in Ireland accounted for roughly 15 per cent of deals and 6 per cent of invested capital in Britain and Ireland in 2020. It has also been very successful in creating exit opportunities for investors and has a rich flora of companies in areas we are particularly interested in such as B2B software-as-a-service,” said Alexander Chikunov, a partner at Sova VC.

Sova has made four investment to date with deals for B2B translation platform Smartcat; on-demand laundry start-up LaundryHeap; Geomiq, a company connecting engineers with manufacturers; and Feel, a firm manufacturing and selling nutritional supplements via subscription.

“We very much look forward to partnering with promising growth-stage entrepreneurs and tech companies in Ireland to help them accelerate growth, drive performance and realise their ambitions,” said Mr Chikunov.

“Typically, our partner companies will have developed a product, have a proven track record and are looking to accelerate their growth and development. In such cases an initial investment from us will usually be in the range of €500,000 to €1.5 million, growing to as much as €4 million in a single portfolio company,” he added.