Venture capital funding to Irish tech firms up 52 per cent last quarter
Venture capital funding into Irish technology firms increased by 52 per cent to €379.7 million in the first quarter of this year, compared to €249.4 million in same period last year, according to the latest Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) VenturePulse survey published in association with law firm William Fry.
However, the value of deals across all categories under €10 million, including seed funding, was down by 30 to 50 per cent, which IVCA chairperson Nicola McClafferty described as “potentially worrying”. The number of deals overall fell by almost a third to 50 from 74 in the same period last year.
Ms McClafferty said: “All the growth came from eight deals worth over €10 millon each, including three over €30 million. While the momentum carried over from last year has continued for more established companies raising large rounds, some of that impetus seems to have stalled for earlier stage companies.
“The venture industry worldwide saw a slowdown in the first quarter as a result of an uncertain global economic outlook and the war in Ukraine. While challenging market conditions may continue, we also know that many great companies are started and built in times of downturn, so we await with interest the data in the coming quarters.”
The value of deals between €5-€10m fell by 51 per cent to €11m. Deals in the €1-€5m also halved to €34.5m from €70.3m in the same period last year. Deals under €1m dropped by 31 per cent to €8.9m.
Sarah-Jane Larkin, director general of the IVCA, noted that 79 per cent of funding came from international sources in the first quarter. “While this is to be welcomed and emphasises the quality of Irish tech firms and their appeal to international investors, we have expressed concern before about where any shortfall would be made up if the global economy contracts,” she said.
Ms Larkin pointed out that seed funding in the first quarter had fallen by nearly 40 per cent to €22.3m from €36.5m in the previous year, making the government’s announcement in February of a new €90 million Irish Innovation Seed Fund Programme for Irish start-ups “particularly timely”.
The top deals in the first quarter were two Irish unicorns: fintech company Wayflyer, which raised €134 million, and digital food ordering platform Flipdish, which raised €94 million. Envirotech company Exergyn raised €32.7 million.