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AIB Seed Fund invests E5.2m in 13

Thursday, January 02 16:38:29

The AIB Seed Capital Fund, an AIB / Enterprise Ireland partnership invested E5.2m in new and existing early-stage firms last year, its end of year statement said today.

It invested in a further 12 new start-up and early-stage companies during the year.

The jobs created within these new investees, together with employment growth in the existing portfolio companies, has brought to over 600 the number of jobs created and sustained by the Fund.

During 2013 the Fund made 32 investments totalling E5.2 million in new and existing investees. This brings to over 130 the total investments made in 70 Irish companies over the 6 years of its existence, further consolidating the Fund's position as one of the most active seed and early-stage funds in Ireland. The Fund's investments are split approximately 60/40 between Dublin city and county and the rest of Ireland, and across a range of sectors.

Cumulative investments to end 2013 by the AIB Seed Capital Fund of over E26 million have leveraged in excess of E85 million of additional capital from other external investors, including Enterprise Ireland.

New companies supported by the Fund during 2013 included NewsWhip Media in Dublin (news and content signalling and aggregation), Syncrophi Systems in Galway (wireless patient monitoring), Silver Cloud Medical in Dublin (online health and wellness e-therapy platform) and Algae Health in County Galway (manufacture of food and health ingredients from micro algae). Among existing investees, follow-on rounds were completed by Polecat, Davra, StoryToys, REDT and many others.

Commenting on the Fund's performance for 2013, the Fund's Chairman, Denis Marnane, said '2013 was another very strong year for new investment opportunities but the need for follow-on funding to support the development and growth of the existing portfolio was very much in evidence with the fund completing 20 follow-ons. One of the positives from this is that other external investors have invested at least matching amounts but in many cases have taken the lead and invested significantly more. This reflects the growing optimism among external investors as to the opportunities and potential of these indigenous early stage companies that the Fund has invested in to date'

Looking ahead, the Chairman said 'The AIB Seed Capital Fund is still seeing new investment opportunities and the Fund Managers will continue to assess these through 2014 in addition to continuing to support the existing portfolio.'