Minister welcomes increased venture capital seeding

According to the Enterprise Ireland Seed and Venture Capital Report, 2005 saw an increased level of investment by the Irish venture capital sector following a period of consolidation in recent years.

The latest report was launched by Feargal O Morain, Executive Director, Enterprise Ireland and Chairman of the Enterprise Ireland Seed and Venture Capital Committee.

Mr O Morain said: "Enterprise Ireland saw a further increase on the number of investments by venture capitalists compared with the previous year. This brings to €50 million the total sum invested by the Enterprise Ireland Partnership Funds in 2005".

The report outlined in detail the venture capital activity that has occurred as a result of Enterprise Ireland's investment under the Seed and Venture Capital Programme 2000-2006 and the EU Seed and Venture Capital Measure 1994 -1999.

The total monies invested since 2001 by the Enterprise Ireland Partnership Funds totalled €183m in 99 companies. The report noted that since the establishment of this Scheme, 83% of total capital invested was directed at start-up companies.

Welcoming the publication of the report the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mr Micheal Martin, welcomed the investments that have been made and the progress that has been achieved towards developing a vibrant and competitive venture capital sector.

Minister Martin said: "The Small Business Forum in its report, Small Business is Big Business, clearly made the case for continuing action to broaden access to finance for SMEs. Continuing venture capital funding is part fulfillment of that recommendation�.

"The achievement to date provides the foundations for the successful role out of the Seed and Venture Capital Scheme (2007-2012). Enterprise Ireland will invest €175 million and together with private sector investments this will generate total funding of €1 billion in start-up, early stage and development stage businesses going forward.

"Enterprise Ireland's strategy is to contribute to the development of competitive and liquid financial markets that will provide greater funding opportunities for SMEs. The information presented in this report is further evidence of the continuing success of this strategy and of the Government�s support for high growth and export focused Irish businesses,� Minister Martin said.

According to Mr O Morain, over 78% of the cumulative investments by value to December 2005 were in the software and life sciences sectors.

He said that the development of companies in these sectors was a "key objective in Enterprise Ireland's Strategy - Transforming Irish Industry."


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