The Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) says "Irish tech SMEs" raised €415m to end September 2015, an increase of 32% on the same period last year. The VenturePulse survey which is published in association with William Fry, the Dublin law firm, includes several firms that are controlled from the US but are legally Irish for tax purposes.


The listing also includes investments by Malin plc, the Irish listed investor in pharmaceutical firms, which is not a traditional venture capital firm. In June it acquired a 65% stake in Altan Pharma for €34.5m. The latter in turn acquired GES Group, a privately held group of Spanish injectable drug firms, for €87.5m.

VC companies do not normally run companies.

Last April, Goldman Sachs, the investment bank participated in a $50m fundraising round in bitcoin startup Circle Internet Financial Ltd., another sign of the growing interest in digital currency technology by established financial institutions. Circle is run from Boston and it has an office in Dublin.

Activision Blizzard, Inc. on 2 Nov announced and agreement to acquire King Digital Entertainment plc for a total equity value of $5.9bn — this transaction will be logged as an Irish merger and acquisition.

King Digital Entertainment, the maker of the CandyCrush Saga mobile game, founded in Stockholm and operationally controlled from London, is an Irish brass-plate company with an address at William Fry's law offices in Dublin.

AMCS, the Irish firm headquartered in Limerick, Ireland, which is a leading supplier of smart resource software and vehicle technology solutions for the waste, recycling and resource industry, raised funding of €45m in the third quarter from Insight and ISIF, the Irish State investment fund.

Intercom founded in California by four Irishmen — Eoghan McCabe, Des Traynor, Ciaran Lee, & David Barrett — in 2011 raised €31,200 in the US and the company is headquartered in San Francisco.

"This activity already exceeds total funds of €401m raised in the full year of 2014 which is a terrific result, considering the industry in Ireland is currently in fundraising mode,” commented Brian Caulfield, chairman, Irish Venture Capital Association.

Regina Breheny, director general, IVCA commented that with continued strong support from international players, growth/expansion funding was 94% of total funds raised.

“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 who invested €83m in quarter three or €225m in nine months to end September 2015."

Seed funds raised in the nine months to end September 2015 reached €25.5m (6% of total funds raised). This compares with seed funds raised of €17m (5% of total funds raised) in the same period of 2014, to €48.5m (21% of total funds raised) in 2013 and to €34.2m (18.6% of total funds raised) in 2012.

The gulf between the €25.5m raised in seed capital and the total of €415m raised in the nine months is explained by the misleading suggestion that Irish startups raised €415m — they are all called "Irish tech SMEs."

Venture Capital 3Q 2015: US at $19bn; China $14bn; Europe €3bn

Most global tech startup exits have no venture capital funding

Irish venture capital 2015

Eoghan McCabe, Co-founder and CEO, Intercom (Photo: Intercom)