€85m Fund Announced For New High-Tech Firms

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O’Keeffe TD, has launched an €85 million venture capital fund to help high-tech firms in Ireland to get off the ground.

Venture capital is a way of investing in firms in exchange for equity as opposed to loans. The project, called the Atlantic Bridge II Fund, is being supported under Enterprise Ireland’s Seed and Venture Capital Programme and will focus on high-tech firms across Ireland and Europe with international growth prospects.

It is expected that the fund will complete a second closing in the coming months, bringing the total fund to €130 million.

The fund’s backers are particularly interested in communications technology, semiconductor and software.

Minister O’Keeffe described the new fund as a "significant boost" for Ireland’s venture capital sector adding that it is critical to developing scalable Irish firms.

"The Atlantic Bridge II fund brings fresh capital to Ireland’s venture capital industry, allowing innovative high-tech firms to leverage the power of new investors in scaling their businesses and creating jobs."

The announcement comes only days after the Chairman of the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, Eilis Quinlan, castigated the Government for a lack of innovation, ideas and leadership, which he claimed was a significant contributory factor to the ongoing "economic mess".

“It is incomprehensible that as the Country heads down the tubes, with a projected €15bn deficit, little or no effort is made to address a sector that is eating over one third of all current expenditure in pay alone."

Referring to the Government’s four year plan and the upcoming Budget, Mr Quinlan added: "In conjunction with cost cutting, a stimulus package for enterprise must be introduced to get the country working again. Confidence will be achieved with a commitment to securing the future through a necessarily harsh but prudent budgeting, allied to a business stimulus package”.


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