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Funding in Irish tech reaches record levels

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by Startacus Admin


The latest TechIreland Funding Review reveals that 2021 was the best year to date for funding into Irish tech companies with a record €1.6 billion raised.

2021 was a positive year for Irish tech funding with the latest TechIreland report showing that it reached a new high of €1.6 billion with a record number of 292 companies raising investments. The TechIreland Funding Review 2022 Edition, sponsored by Bank of Ireland and supported by the Irish Venture Capital Association has just been published and reveals that despite the pandemic, 12 companies each raised over €30M last year - compared to 2019 when just 3 companies raised over €30M. 118 companies raised early stage rounds, back to pre--covid levels. 46 companies raised between €5 and €30M, a new record. These results underline the strength and innovation capability of Irish tech companies, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. 

TechIreland_Mark_RGB-659384c2b243c8ec562f48c03efdf60d47d7534a451485df012e4b528f9e6c0The top 10 largest investments accounted for half of the overall funding raised. Mainstay Medical raised €131M, followed by Lets Get Checked (€123M) and GH Research (€105M). Dublin companies occupy the top ten largest investments. Cork’s Teamwork (€59M) is the only non-Dublin company in the top 10.

Even seed funding, which has consistently been problematic in recent years, grew.  The number of  companies raising rounds up to €1M was up over 10% in 2020. 

As usual, Enterprise Ireland led the charge at the early-stage and the launch of the new €90M Irish Innovation Seed Fund is expected to provide greater support in 2022. It will result in an additional €200M being available over the coming years. 

Angel funding continues to grow. HBAN, the Irish angel network, had its best year to date, closing 71 deals across the island, with angels investing €18.2M as part of rounds worth €118M.

/d732c47c23c191e7345e81b11711e22c14985fc2Companies are also tapping diverse sources such as crowdfunding, European Innovation Council, and bank loans, however Venture Capital remains the dominant source, accounting for more than 95% of the total funds raised. 

Like previous years, the HeathTech sector attracted the most funding - 74 companies raised a total €623M, more than 50%. Up on the previous year.

Enterprise Solutions was the largest sector in terms of the number of companies, with 84 companies raising €363M. FinTech stood third with 29 companies raising €265M, up from €186M in 2020. Perhaps as a result of covid, eCommerce saw a sharp increase in funding as 36 companies raised €100M in 2021, up from 14 companies that raised €33M in 2020. CleanTech saw a dismal performance despite the global headlines on climate action and sustainability; 7 CleanTech companies raised a combined €12M, down from €173M into 10 companies in 2020. Travel, Education, Telecom and MediaTech were also out of favour last year.. 

On a region's view, Dublin dominated as always, taking over 75% of the total funding. The East region saw €1.2B invested into about 180 companies. Companies based outside Dublin raised a total €400M. 33 companies from the West region (Galway, Mayo, Roscommon and Donegal) raised a total €130M+. 30 companies from the Southeast (Cork, Waterford, Wexford and Tipperary) raised close to €100M. 4 companies from counties Limerick and Kerry raised a total €25M+. 

27 Northern Ireland-based companies raised a total €83M, significantly higher than the €26M raised in 2020.

/pexels-thisisengineering-3861969Software as a Service businesses set a new record as 44 SaaS companies raised a record €315M in 2021, up from the previous year's record of €202M into 39 companies. The focus was also on Future-tech. A record 38 Artificial Intelligence companies raised a total €171 M, up from €121M into 32 companies in 2020.  

2021 also saw a milestone in Female Founder Funding as 55 companies led by women raised €230M, up 120% on 2020. Nevertheless, that’s only 13% of the total. We still need to support women led businesses.

Responding to the publication, John O'Dea, TechIreland's Chief Executive said: “2021 was a landmark year for Irish tech with records broken across all sectors and stages of growth. At a time of rising international tension, it is great to be the bearer of good news”.

Brian Caulfield, Chair at Scale Ireland added: “Perhaps surprisingly, as a global pandemic raged, 2021 represented one of the most positive years for funding Irish tech.. Not only did the overall total amount raised increase by over 50% to a record €1.6B but the number of companies funded also grew by 11%. Investor confidence has clearly rebounded from the initial shock of the pandemic”.

Interested in viewing the full report?  You can do so, via the TechIreland site.




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Published on: 14th April 2022

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