€54 million invested in 84 Irish based companies

The Enterprise Ireland Seed & Venture Capital Programme 2012 Report launched today [Thursday] by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, shows a rise in the level and value of activity in 2012 in venture capital funds supported under Enterprise Ireland Seed and Venture Capital Programmes:

·        In 2012 these Funds made 135 investments with an investment value of €54 million in Irish-based companies, representing an increase of €11 million (26%) on the amount invested in 2011.
·        Overall, Irish venture capital firms supported by Enterprise Ireland made 159 investments in 105 companies with a value of €81 million in 2012.
·        The total funds under management by seed andventure funds under Enterprise Ireland’s Seed & Venture Capital Programmes reached €636 million by end 2012.
The venture capital sector plays a vital role in supporting innovative companies to grow, expand internationally and create jobs.  A strong feature of the past 18 months has been the continuing increase in venture capital funding being made available to meet the urgent need for capital.

·        2012 saw the launch of the €150 million Development Capital Fund to assist in closing the ‘equity gap’ experienced by established SMEs seeking development capital in excess of €2 million.
·        The drive to bring additional capacity to the market continued with a €20 million call for expressions of interest under the 3rd Programme of the Seed and Venture Capital Programme and we expect to make announcements on this in Q3 2013. This is targeted to drive the total funds under management to €690m by the end of 2013.
·        In May of this year the new €175 million Seed and Venture Capital Programme 2013-2018 was launched, aimed at leveraging a total of €700million to provide additional funding for high-growth Irish companies with the potential to generate significant additional exports and grow jobs.  The first call for expressions of interest has been announced and will see Enterprise Ireland committing up to €100 million to venture capital funds targeting investment in the wider information and communications technologies and life sciences sectors.

Other Government finance schemes for business put in place over the past two years include:
·        €850million through three SME funds from the NPRF
·        €450million credit guarantee scheme
·        €90million micro-finance scheme
·        €10million international start-up fund
·        €120million second call under Innovation Fund Ireland

Launching the report, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “A key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs and a commitment in the Programme for Government is building a stronger and more dynamic venture capital industry in Ireland. International experience from Silicon Valley and elsewhere shows venture capital can play a key part in ensuring access to mentoring and networks as well as the funding that supports the growth of these companies.

“Today’s report shows that, with the right supports from Government, the seed and venture capital industry in Ireland continues to grow, supporting more dynamic Irish companies with the potential to grow quickly, build exports, and create the jobs we need. I am determined to ensure that we not only support the continued development of a strong multinational sector but also create a powerful engine of indigenous business, and today’s results show that we are making major progress in this area”.

Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland Executive Director Global Business Development, said: ‘Advances in access to seed and venture funding coupled with a strong support environment go a long way to making Ireland a very attractive base to start and grow a business.  Our priority in Enterprise Ireland is to get more high potential start ups and expanding companies to innovate, grow their business, increase exports and create jobs.  2012 saw a strong performance by Irish companies.  A dynamic and commercially driven venture capital sector is critical to ensuring this continues and that we have a steady flow of these entrepreneurial businesses that can be nurtured and supported to grow into the major employers of tomorrow’.

Over the past 19years the Government, through Enterprise Ireland, has committed approximately €320 million, as a limited partner, to 40 seed and venture capital funds (with a total size of €1.2 billion) that have been set-up in Ireland. This includes investing in ten VC funds under the 2007-2012 Seed & Venture Capital Programme.

The Seed & Venture Capital Programme Report 2012 is available on the Enterprise Ireland website at:www.enterprise-ireland.com/svc2012 <http://www.enterprise-ireland.com/svc2012>

Highlights of 2012
·        Funds supported under the seed & venture capital programmes made 135 investments in 84 Irish-based companies with a value of €54 million.
·        In May 2013, a new €175 million Seed and Venture Capital Programme 2013-2018 was launched, aimed at providing additional funding for high-growth Irish companies with the potential to generate significant additional exports and grow jobs.
·        The total amount of money under management under Enterprise Ireland’s 2007-2012 Seed & Venture Capital Programme was €636 million at the end of 2012.