Calls to invest more in tech firms

Irish venture capitalists could leverage as much as €1.5bn in order to help indigenous technology firms become serious global players in the coming years.

Speaking at the Irish Venture Capital Association annual dinner in Dublin last night, chairman John Flynn said venture capitalists face a critical need to raise €750m to help tech firms upscale and that those funds could be leveraged to a total twice that value.

This level of funding is envisaged over a five-year investment cycle, according to a spokesperson.

Despite warnings from corporate law firm William Fry earlier this year that venture capital funding was slowing, Mr Flynn told the conference that recent market statistics placed Ireland at the upper end of eurozone countries for venture capital investments as a percentage of GDP and exhibited the highest level of growth over the previous five years.

“This is a strong endorsement of Ireland’s activity rate and positive momentum and underpins the country as one of the top tech hubs in Europe,” said Mr Flynn.

“In addition the pipeline is encouraging. Over €200m has been invested in the first half of 2014 and our start-up entrepreneurs are better supported and funded than in any other European country.”

Opportunities for indigenous companies have grown significantly with the advent of the internet of things, big data, and mobile and cloud computing making the environment particularly conducive to starting a business, Mr Flynn said.

He also called on entrepreneurs and their backers to become more ambitious in growing larger Irish technology companies rather than settling for an early exit.


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