Irish startups and high tech firms are attracting almost €20m per week in venture capital funding as investment sums into the sector continue to surge. According to new industry figures, venture capital funding in Ireland doubled in the first three months of 2016, with €237m raised here.
The haul represents a two-fold rise in Irish startup funding over the same three months last year and comes as international tech funding sees a dip in activity.
The figures, recorded by the Irish Venture Capital Association’s Venture Pulse survey, are based on 42 separate fundraising deals disclosed from Irish and international venture capital firms so far this year.
On an annual run rate, the latest figures indicate that Ireland may see more than €1bn in venture capital invested for the first time in a single year.
Biotech firms lead the investment table so far this year, with €45.4m raised between five different companies. However, business software (€17.3m) continues to attract the highest number of individual investments in Ireland, representing a quarter of all VC fundraising rounds completed.
Health tech firms raised €40.1m in the first three months of 2016. Financial tech firms attracted €36.6m, bolstered by companies such as CurrencyFair, which closed an €8m funding round in March.
Irish firms specialising in medical devices (€17.1m) and electronic components (€10.2m) were the next biggest recipients of venture capital in the first quarter.
These were followed by startups in environmental tech (€4.3m), marketing tech (€3.6m) and consumer tech (€3.3m).
However, Ireland is still dominated by early stage funding rounds, with over two-thirds of investments valued at under €3m. Just one in ten Irish funding rounds exceeded €10m here in the first quarter, according to the IVCA figures.
The IVCA figures indicate that first round seed funding has doubled from the same period last year.
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