Irish venture capital firm Kernel Capital is to invest €400,000 in Certification Europe, continuing the strong growth in venture funds secured by Irish companies to date this year.
The funding is being provided through the €32m Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund managed on behalf of Bank of Ireland and a range of industry and education partners by Kernel Capital.
With offices in the UK, Italy, Turkey and Japan in addition to its Dublin headquarters, the international management standards and inspection services company expects to create 15 jobs next year.
Commenting on the announcement, the company’s chief executive, Michael Brophy said: “The investment from Kernel Capital’s Bank of Ireland fund is not only an endorsement of the growth and success the company has experienced over the last number of years, but is testimony to the huge opportunities Certification Europe is poised to exploit in the future.”
“Kernel’s investment means that we not only have the means of growing our existing service offering, but can now expand our services into additional countries beyond the 16 in which we currently operate.”
Kernel Capital partner, Orla Rimmington said Certification Europe was representative of the type of company that the organisation looked to invest in.
“We are pleased to invest in dynamic Irish companies like Certification Europe. Our Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Fund supports SMEs with a strong export focus which is fundamental to building the next generation of world-class Irish companies,” said Ms Rimmington.
Meanwhile, new statistics published by the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) point to a dramatic increase in venture capital funding secured by SMEs in the first nine months of this year; up 35% on the same period in 2013.
In total, SMEs raised €314m in funding to the end of September with 95% of the funds used for growth or further expansion.
IVCA chairman John Flynn expressed concern, however, that just 5% of funding went to start-ups and called for seed funds like those supported by the banking sector and Enterprise Ireland to be renewed to support entrepreneurs.
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