Venture capital investment into Irish tech firms and SMEs in 2022 totalled €1.33 billion, no change on the previous year, according to the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) VenturePulse survey published in association with William Fry. Fourth quarter funding fell sharply to €244.6m, down by 47% from €458.5m, compared to the same period 2021.
Leo Hamill, chairperson, Irish Venture Capital Association, said, “despite a flat year, venture capital funding in Ireland last year performed reasonably well compared to global VC trends in which funding in 2022 fell by 35% to $445 billion. It should also be remembered that VC funding in Ireland in 2022 was still 43% ahead of 2020, despite all the global economic challenges and uncertainties faced last year.”
He added, however, that the sharp falloff in Ireland’s fourth quarter was a cause for concern, “global trends were reflected in the fact that overseas VC investment in Ireland fell by 73% in the fourth quarter to €58.3m, from €214m in the same period last year. The flight of international capital in the fourth quarter highlights Ireland’s exposure and the need to boost local sources of funding for scaling companies.”
Sarah-Jane Larkin, director general, IVCA said that seed or first round funding to start-ups in 2022 showed little change, up by 1% to €132.2m from €130.7m in 2021. However, seed funding fell by 18% in the fourth quarter to €40.2m, compared to €49.3m in the same period last year.
Larkin commented, “economic and geo political headwinds experienced last year highlight the importance of having active Irish seed funds in the local market, able to invest in a counter cyclical manner and ensure that great founding teams can build companies in Ireland even during a global downturn.”
The top sectors raising funding in 2022 were Fintech (23% of total); Lifesciences (21%); Software (19%) and Cybersecurity (8%).