Venture capital funding falls by a fifth in third quarter

Venture capital funding falls by a fifth in third quarter

Venture capital funding into Irish firms fell by a fifth in the third quarter of 2019 compared to last year, according to a survey published by the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) and William Fry.

The VenturePulse survey found that overall venture capital funding fell to €136 million in the third quarter of 2019, but total funding in the first nine months of the year was up slightly to €566 million from €546 million.

IVCA chairman Neil McGowan said: “There has been a notable decline in larger deals, above €10m so far this year, but these deals are lumpy by nature.

“Thanks to Government support, there has been a strong recovery in seed funding and deals below €10m which is very pleasing to see.”

The number of companies achieving investment up to €10 million has risen by over a third from 139 in the first nine months of 2018 to 189 in 2019.

Seed funding in the third quarter is up 30 per cent on the same period last year and the number of companies which have raised seed funding this year to date is up 90 per cent.

The proportion of funding coming from overseas investors has fallen by 60 per cent in the quarter and 40 per cent in the year to date, which IVCA director general Sarah-Jane Larkin attributed to “the decline in the number and amount of investment in larger funding rounds”.

She said: “Major overseas venture capital investors are less attracted by deals below €10m which have characterised the Irish market this year.”

Software accounted for 34 per cent of funding in the third quarter. A surprising entry in the top three was food and drink at 26 per cent, partly due to a number of whiskey firms raising funds including West Cork Distillery (€15m), Nephin (€2.5m) and Chapel Gate (€1m). Life sciences accounted for 14 per cent.

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