The BDO Development Capital Fund today (Monday) announced its first investment since the launch of the €75million fund by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, in March this year. The Fund managed by Development Capital, a 100% subsidiary of BDO, has invested €8 million in Version 1, one of Ireland’s fastest growing IT services companies.

This project is supported by the Department of Jobs through Enterprise Ireland.

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The investment will enable Version 1’s further expansion into the UK and creation of up to 100 additional IT consultancy jobs in Ireland. The BDO Development Capital Fund provides development and growth capital for established, mid-sized and profitable companies to assist them to achieve and accelerate their export-led growth plans.

Version 1 was founded in 1996 by Justin Keatinge and is today one of the fastest growing IT services companies in Western Europe. The company has grown organically to become a trusted technology partner to major domestic and international customers across all industry sectors in the UK and Ireland. The company has doubled both profitability and revenue over the last few years, while at the same time delivering consistent improvement in customer satisfaction and world-class employee engagement.

The BDO Development Capital Fund forms part of the Government’s Development Capital Scheme, an initiative under the Action Plan for Jobs through which a total of €225million is being made available to mid-sized Irish companies with significant growth potential. As part of this Scheme, €75million in funds from the Department of Jobs through Enterprise Ireland will be matched with €150million of private sector funding for investments in Irish companies through a series of different funds.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “At the heart of the Action Plan for Jobs is supporting the development of a powerful engine of Irish exporting enterprise. We have put in place a range of measures to deliver this, including the establishment with support from my Department of €225million Development Capital Scheme to support growing mid-sized Irish companies and help them become the large employers of the future. Today’s announcement shows the concrete benefits of this scheme.

Here is an successful Irish IT company, already growing rapidly in export markets, which as a result of today’s investment will have access to more growth capital and expertise, enabling it grow faster and create more jobs in Ireland. I am delighted to welcome the up to 100 additional jobs Version 1 will create as a result of the investment announced today, real tangible benefits for the Irish economy from the ingenuity of our businesses with support from Government”.

Announcing the Fund’s first investment, Sinead Heaney, founding Director of The BDO Development Capital Fund said: “Version 1 is an excellent example of a growth focused, market-leading, Irish company – the type of company that this fund was set up to support.

Throughout our process, we have been hugely impressed by Version 1’s management team and their track record of achievement. We are delighted to be joining the founder and management team to further accelerate the growth of the business.”

Discussing potential future investments by the BDO Development Capital Fund, Ms. Heaney added:

”We have been impressed with the level of enquires for funding from businesses across all sectors but in particular food and agri, ICT and medical devices since we launched. These enquires are from businesses with significant export opportunities and ambitious management teams who have the drive and confidence to take on the funding to accelerate their growth plans. We look forward to making further announcements in relation to the Funds’ investments in the coming months.

Version 1 founder Justin Keatinge said:

“Version 1 is enjoying a very exciting stage. Today’s announcement provides us with the investment needed to take our growth and planned development through acquisition. We are a results driven organization, which prides itself on helping our partners strive for excellence in their areas of expertise. We can also now tap into the expertise that comes with The BDO Development Capital Fund ; the support of both the Fund’s advisory panel members and the Fund’s Corporate Partners, Bank of Ireland, Glen Dimplex, CRH and Glanbia. The Development Capital team have a wealth of experience in supporting growing businesses such as ours which was a key factor for Version 1. I would also like to thank and acknowledge Goodbody’s and Maples and Calder for their support.