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500m in venture capital raised for investing in high tech SMEs | Print |  Email
Wednesday, 19 November 2008


Irish venture capital funds have over €500m to invest in the Irish SME sector following a recent round of fund raising.

Announcing the results of a study conducted by UCD into the economic impact of VC in Ireland, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan said that, including an initial Government investment of €175m through Enterprise Ireland, seven new VC funds have raised over €500m, with four other funds expected to report in the next few months.

he Tánaiste also commented favourably on the fact that SMEs were able to raise €174m already in 2008. Sixteen of these SMEs were start-ups, and firms in this category are now emerging at the rate of approximately two per month.

“It is particularly noteworthy that funding by private investors grew from 4% of funds raised in 2007 to 22% in 2008, which means that the economy is now starting to benefit from Angel investors and successful entrepreneurs who can contribute experience as well as capital in helping to create Ireland’s next wave of successful high-tech firms.”

Professor Frank Roche, head of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies in UCD, added that the study found that VC-backed companies continue to invest more in R&D, hire more graduates, export more and grow faster than other firms. “In this regard, they mirror the requirements of a knowledge-based economy,” he said.

The UCD study found R&D expenditure by VC-backed companies represented 25% of total Irish indigenous spend on BERD (business expenditure on research & development). R&D expenditure in these companies rose by 25% in 2007, compared to an increase of 7% by other indigenous companies.

The UCD study also found that graduates represent just over three quarters (76%) of the workforce of VC-backed companies, and PhD employment increased by 20% in 2007.




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