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These were the 5 biggest deals for Irish startups early this year

Investors have put nearly €120 million into the sector in the first three months of 2015.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Archive

INVESTORS PUT ALMOST €120 million into startups and SMEs with major operations in Ireland over the first three months of the year.

The latest Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) VenturePulse survey, which measures funding deals disclosed by both Irish and international backers, included investments made in 38 companies during the quarter.

The survey also found that some €2 billion had been raised by more than 1,000 Irish small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) since the credit crunch hit in 2008.

Easily the largest share of the money came from Irish venture capital funds.

IVCA chairman John Flynn said the latest funding activity continued the positive trends from last year, when €401 million was raised – up 41% on the previous 12 months.

It’s a strong performance at a time when the venture capital industry in Ireland is in the middle of fund raising,” he said.

John Flynn, chairman, IVCA.  2 IVCA chairman John Flynn Source: Colm Mahady/Fennells

An encouraging appetite

Flynn added that the amount of money coming from overseas investors also showed an “encouraging international appetite” for Irish tech firms, which continued to punch above their weight.

However many of the largest deals included in the latest survey are for companies with significant operations in Ireland but with their bases outside the country.

Those include a €19.2 million funding injection for UK-based med-tech company Veryan, which does its research in Galway, and €18.6 million for Perseus Telecom, which set up a network operations centre in the same city last year.

Figures out earlier this year from CB Insights showed funding for European tech startups hit a four-year high in the first three months of the year.

The five top Irish startup and SME funding deals for the quarter include:

1. Movidius

Amount: €22.9 million

The ‘fabless’ chip designer raised the money from a string of investors including the China Ireland Technology Growth Fund, a joint venture between the two nations’ sovereign wealth pools, as part of a $40 million funding round. The company was started in Dublin but now has its headquarters in Silicon Valley.

movidius-founders-390x285 Movidius founders David Moloney and Sean Mitchell Source: Maxwell Photography

2. CurrencyFair

Amount: €8.4 million

Dublin foreign-exchange company CurrencyFair, which offers peer-to-peer currency trades, raised a total of €10 million in its most-recent funding round from existing backers Frontline Ventures and UK-based Octopus Investments.

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3. NeoSurgical

Amount: €5.1 million

The Galway-based med-tech firm, which designs surgical equipment, got the investment from US firm SAIG in a deal that valued it at $21 million (€18.6 million in today’s money).

4. RAPT Touch

Amount: €3.7 million

The touch-screen designer, which has its headquarters in Dublin as well as offices in California, Switzerland and Taiwan, raised the money from new and existing investors.

5. Novate Medical

Amount: €3.68 million

Another medical-devices company based in Galway, Novate Medical designs filters that stop blood clots getting into patients’ lungs. It raised the money from firms including Dublin life sciences venture capital fund Seroba Kernel.

First published 1.26pm

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About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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