Irish high tech SMEs raised a record €499m in the first half of 2017, with second quarter funding reaching €252m, according to the Irish Venture Capital Association Venture Pulse survey published in association with William Fry. This represents a 3% increase on the first half of 2016 when €486m was raised.

Commenting on the survey, Mark Quealy, Corporate Partner said: “The trend of international investors partnering with domestic venture capital providers in funding promising Irish companies is something we continue to see in fundraising transactions on which we advise.  As well as being a great vote of confidence by the international investment community in the prospects for these Irish businesses and their teams, having a blend of domestic and foreign investors can help these high-potential Irish companies to tap into international networks and position themselves for access to global market opportunities.”

“This is an impressive result considering that activity was down 11% year-on-year in the US (NVCA PitchBook Venture Monitor) and that 2016 was a record year in Ireland,” commented Peter Sandys, Chairman, IVCA. He added that while the Irish venture capital community continues to be the main source of funding for Irish innovative SMEs both through direct investment and as the local lead investor for international syndicate investors, the importance of good global relationships is once again emphasised.

“International players invested €135m in the second quarter of 2017, bringing the total for the first half to €255m or 51% of total funds raised. This compares to investment by international syndicates of €205m in the first half of 2016.”

Regina Breheny, Director General, IVCA added that following on from a strong first quarter, life sciences once again influenced activity in quarter two, accounting for 50% of funds raised. Three companies raised over 43% of total funds. Growth/expansion funding was 91% of total funds raised in quarter two.

Breheny added: “Since the onset of the credit crunch in 2008, in excess of 1,375 Irish SMEs have raised venture capital of €3.3bn. These funds were raised almost exclusively by Irish VC fund managers who during this period supported the creation of up to 20,000 jobs; attracted over €1.37bn of capital into Ireland and geared up the State’s investment through the Seed & Venture Capital programme by almost 16 times.”