Venture capital funding to Irish technology firms increased by 8.9% to €249.4m in the first quarter of 2021, up from €228.9m in the same period last year, according to the Irish Venture Capital Association VenturePulse survey published today in association with William Fry.
The first quarter 2021 bounce back in start-up and early stage funding is reflected in the fact that deals in the €1-5m category jumped by 84% to €70.3m from €38m, while the number of transactions nearly doubled from 18 to 33. Deals of less than €1m grew by 53% to €12.9m compared to €8.4m in the same period last year. The number of deals in this category rose by 55% to 34 from 22.
Life sciences accounted for €130m or over half (52%) of funding in this quarter driven by an €89m round for Mainstay Medical. Next highest category was software at €46.7m (19%) followed by cybersecurity €21.9m (9%).
“Government support for start-ups and early stage companies through EI (Enterprise Ireland) and ISIF (Ireland Strategic Investment Fund) is beginning to show a real impact,” commented Sarah-Jane Larkin, director general, IVCA. “Without this it is unlikely we be seeing the growing importance of sectors such as life sciences to the Irish economy.”