Ireland is paving the way on a global scale by promoting and supporting Irish high growth start-ups
An Endorsement of the High Quality of Irish Companies
TechIreland’s latest figures show that at the half year point Irish companies are on track to achieve the strongest year of fundraising yet. Reflecting a trend across Europe there were significant increases in larger investments in the second quarter. Recent IVCA data for Q2 2021 shows these larger rounds have been boosted by a flood of international capital into Ireland with overseas investors accounting for 70% of all funding raised by Irish companies in Q2 2021.
The first half of 2021 was a good time for tech startups and scaleups. Companies raised €932 million in the period. That’s more than all of 2018 and almost equal to the whole of 2019. The total number of companies being funded also increased by 22%. So, on average, more companies are raising more money.
In terms of sectors, HealthTech was the star performer, taking 47% of the capital – a 56% increase on H1 2020 As Redmond O’Leary underlines, it has also been a record-breaking year for FinTechs globally. From a sectoral perspective, the COVID-19 pandemic exerted a more obvious influence. The two largest rounds went to healthcare companies – LetsGetChecked’s €123 M and GH Research’s €105 M. Overall, HealthTech funding increased by 77% year-on-year while FinTech also benefited with a 170% increase, driven largely by Carne
Group’s mammoth €100 M raise.
The Funding Outlook for Early-Stage Tech is Positive
There are few things in life that are certain (death and taxes and aside), but come rain or shine, or indeed a global pandemic, the next generation of entrepreneurs are certain to be looking for new market opportunities. The first half of 2021 has seen plenty of entrepreneurial resilience, in what remains a difficult market. Market opportunities have emerged in the tech sector with new HPSU companies, at both pre-seed and seed stage, in sectors such as Cybersecurity, Privacy, FinTech, Big Data, Digital Health and EdTech. The overriding theme has been digitisation of business via SaaS business models.
Irish Fintech – Success in the Global Competition for Funding
It’s been a record-breaking year for fintechs globally, with H1 fintech investment hitting €86 billion (KPMG) and optimism across the industry for further funding growth. This trajectory is reflected in the Irish funding numbers, which has seen a shift in emphasis to businesses facilitating cryptocurrency transactions and revenue generation.
Fenergo is one of the standout FinTechs this year, with a unicorn valuation and now with Astor and Bridgepoint as majority owners. But Fenergo isn’t alone; from Strikepay and Aikido through to Wayflyer and Carne Group, there is a raft of investment going into the sector.
H1 2021 was a phenomenal period for investment into Irish start-ups, with over €930 M raised; this is almost double the amount raised in H1 2020 and almost equal to the total funds raised by Irish companies for the whole of 2019. Some of this was the fast snap-back from the depths of the pandemic, but these numbers are still incredibly encouraging for Irish start-ups, investors, and the wider technology ecosystem. Looking beyond the headlines and digging into the detail:
- Included in the €930 M were three companies that each raised rounds of >€100m, LetsGetChecked (€123 M), GH Research (€105 M) and Carne Group (€100 M). This level of investment is fantastic for the ecosystem and will enable these Irish companies to continue scaling globally
- Certain sectors like HealthTech are incredibly in demand due to the pandemic and made up almost 47% of capital raised, equalling €438 M in total funding – a 77% increase on H1 2020. Ireland is the second-largest exporter of medical devices in Europe and home to some of the largest software companies in the world, making it one of the most attractive places for investors who wish to invest at the intersection of healthcare and technology. A great example of an innovative company from the Irish HealthTech sector is Neurent Medical. An NUI Galway spinout, Neurent Medical has developed a novel, minimally invasive device for the treatment of chronic rhinitis. This exciting HealthTech scale-up secured more than €20 M in Series B funding in Q1 2021, co-led by Atlantic Bridge and Life Science Partners
Ireland continues to create and promote high growth starts, joining multi-national companies to set roots in Ireland to grow their businesses globally. Here at Gibson & Associates LLP, we can connect you with the right investment opportunity and to be your partner in obtaining an Investor Visa.