Funding For Private Irish Companies Hits €888.1 million in 2016
Liam Kiely
Liam Kiely

The Irish Venture Capital Association recently released its Pulse Survey for 2016 and it seems Irish SMEs had a record year in terms of fund raising for expansion.

An incredible €888.1 million was raised into private Irish SME’s (including IPOs), a rather excellent improvement of 70% on 2015 and 230% on the 2012 total raise of €268.9 million. That’s a very strong improvement in recent years, and is indicative of healthy growth and expansion in a critical part of Ireland’s economy.

On closer inspection, some very interesting data emerges:

For the first time, Life Sciences accounted for 52% of total funds raised, or €462 million. It seems only a few short years ago when the focus was nearly all software, with no representation from Life Sciences. The number and quality of Life Sciences ventures in Ireland has grown materially with deal sizes of up to €84 million being reached. Carrick Therapeutics raised this amount in 2016 from a consortium of investors. Other notable deals were Genomics Medicine Ireland at €45 million, Innocoll which raised €36 million in a Nasdaq IPO, Oneview which raised €40 million in an Australian Stock Exchange listing, and Iterum Therapeutics which raised €36 million through a consortium of international private equity houses. We very much see this trend continuing. Ireland is now seen as one of Europe’s leading MedTech hubs.

Total funds raised from international investors has risen 8-fold since 2011 and stood at €548 million in 2016. Most deals over €15 million included some form of international investor and in our experience, international investors are very interested in backing Irish and Irish-based entrepreneurs.

The number of companies raising €25 million has trebled in the same time frame. Many companies that were set up at the worst of the recession are now really starting to achieve and to expand internationally. This bodes very well for employment and economic growth rates as scale-up capital has made a come-back, courtesy of international and domestic investors working side by side. It is also a major credit to Enterprise Ireland which has been more supportive than ever to Irish SMEs.

Tech continues to attract large volumes of capital, from both domestic and overseas investors. Tech is delineated into software, telecommunications, EnviroTech and Electronics. Notable deals include Intercom which raised €44.5 million, Urban Volt at €30 million, and Qstream at €14 million.

FinTech continues to emerge as a sector in its own right. A number of companies in the FinTech space have attracted large sums, including Circle at €53.4 million, Future Finance at €23.75 million and CurrencyFair at €16 million.

Expansion stage capital accounted for roughly 55% of all funds raised. Earlier and seed stage capital remains harder to attract, though the volume of capital and supports available to help companies at this stage has arguably never been higher.

Cantor Fitzgerald benefits from a broad international distribution network in Europe and most particularly in the US. We are always interested to hear from companies looking to raise scale-up/expansion capital from international investors. If you are seeking funding for your business, contact our corporate finance team today on 01 633 3800 or email Liam at lkiely@cantor.com.

We will have upcoming opportunities for private investors through our EIIS platform (Employment & Investment Incentive Scheme). Should you wish to access growth investments in Ireland’s burgeoning Life Sciences or Technology sectors please contact your Portfolio Manager or Account Executive, or phone the dealing desk on 01 633 3633.

Cantor Fitzgerald clients invested over €15 million to support Irish SMEs in 2016.

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