Smaller and bigger companies fared best in the first six months of the year, though Irish firms were heavily reliant on international investment
The latest VenturePulse survey from the Irish Venture Capital Association found an increase in larger investments – with deals over €30m up 34% to €185m.
That total comprised of two deals, with health screening firm Let’s Get Checked raising €123m and financing firm Wayflyer raising €62m in the period.
Deals worth less than €1m, which tends to involve earlier stage firms, rose by 22% to €26.2m in the same period.
The number of deals in this category was also up 16% to 64.
The IVCA said that there was a rise in investments across all deal sizes, bar those in the €5m-€10m range; which fell 10% to €77.7m.
There was also a 47% fall in the value of deals in the €1m-€5m range during the second quarter, with the number of deals down 42%.
“We hope this was just a temporary blip as the half year performed well with an increase of 15% in the €1m-€5m range to €91.9m and a rise of 19% in the number of deals from 37 to 44,” said Sarah-Jane Larkin, director general of the IVCA.
The IVCA report also noted that 70% of the fund-raising in the first six months of 2021 came from overseas – and within that the majority came from the US.
“This is a strong endorsement of the high quality of Irish tech companies and reflects a global interest in them,” said Nicola McClafferty, chairperson of the IVCA.
However she also noted that this could leave Irish firms more exposed if and when international funding begins to dry up, and said it was important to look locally for alternative sources of money.
“We should be looking now to increase the supply of funding from domestic, non-traditional VC investors such as pension funds, private investors and corporates as is happening across the UK and other European countries,” she said.
The IVCA report found that life science companies were the top fundraisers in the first half of the year, making up 43% of the value of all deals.
Software firms were second best with 20% of the total, followed by fintech firms at 12%.