Irish government sets aside €175 million to invest in fast-growth start-ups through venture capitalists

A new €175 million fund aimed at funding high-growth companies has been set up by the Irish government.

A new €175 million fund aimed at funding high-growth companies has been set up by the Irish government.

The minister for jobs, enterprise and innovation in Ireland is calling for expressions of interest from venture capital funds seeking investments following the establishment of the Seed and Venture Capital Scheme 2013-2018.

The €175 million (£150 million) fund has been founded to provide additional funding for high-growth Irish companies with the potential to generate ‘large amounts’ of additional export sales and grow jobs.

It is hoped that by allocating portions of the funds to different venture capital managers, a further €525 million of additional capital can be leveraged from the private sector.

Richard Bruton, minister for jobs, enterprise and innovation, says, ‘While the multinational sector is and will remain crucial to our industrial strategy, I am determined to ensure that we also support the creation of a powerful engine of Irish enterprise that can sustain and create the levels of employment we need.

‘I am very happy to launch the new Seed and Venture Capital Scheme which will run over the next six years and make investments in hundreds of high-growth, innovative companies in sectors which we have targeted through the Action Plan for Jobs including high-tech manufacturing and ICT.’

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The Action Plan for Jobs will see the Irish government, alongside Enterprise Ireland, make funding available for investment in private seed and venture capital funds. 

The first call for expressions of interest will see Enterprise Ireland commit up to €100 million of venture capital funds targeting investment in the wider ICT and life sciences sector. Investments by Enterprise Ireland in funds through the scheme will be on an equity basis.

Moving forward, it is then planned that the scheme will benefit ‘hundreds’ of Irish companies and create tens of millions of euros in additional export sales.

Enterprise Ireland chief executive Frank Ryan says that the venture capital sector plays a ‘vital role’ in supporting and increasing employment in innovative businesses.

‘The world of venture capital investing is changing and we are particularly interested in receiving expressions of interest that reflect current thinking in the market. Proposals are sought that will deliver “smart capital” to investees as the provision of advice, support, and access to networks in addition to any capital invested is vital to the development of our companies to ensure that they can continue to grow and create jobs in Ireland.’

The new funding scheme is part of a series of new funding mechanisms put in place by the Irish government, which will make available a total of €2 billion in additional non-bank lending for Irish businesses.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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