Enterprise Ireland last week announced the first call for expressions of interest, from seed and venture fund managers, under its new Seed & Venture Capital Scheme (2019-24).
The Scheme was announced in October 2018 by the Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation and is aimed at providing substantial additional funding for high-growth Irish companies with the potential to start and scale their businesses from Ireland and thereby drive a significant increase in export sales and jobs.
Under the Call, Enterprise Ireland proposes to allocate up to €100m to funds focused in three specific areas. Up to €50m will be available to funds focused on Pre-Seed and Seed investments, supporting Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up strategy, and a further €30m to funds making investments at Series A and beyond in companies seeking to scale. Up to €20m will also be made available to funds focused on the Food and Foodtech sectors.
Proposals are being sought from fund managers, both domestic and international, who can bring real added value in terms of commercialisation and connectivity to their investee companies. For those funds focused on the Pre-Seed and Seed Stages of development, under this new scheme Enterprise Ireland can invest an increased maximum of up to 70% of these funds.
Since the Seed & Venture Capital programmes commenced in 1994, the investment provided through Enterprise Ireland commitments has leveraged substantial additional external funding and as a result over 500 Enterprise Ireland clients have received in excess of €900m in investment.
Making the announcement, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys said, "The benefits to businesses of the scheme are twofold. It will provide them with much needed finance during the stages in their business cycle when finance can be extremely difficult to come by. Crucially, it will also introduce young businesses to networks and connections that will provide an invaluable source of mentoring and guidance."
She added, "This scheme builds on the previous Seed & Venture programmes and aims to develop the flow of high-growth and innovative companies in the economy needed to sustain growth and employment."