Half of the top 10 funded Irish start-ups were from outside of the capital, while women founders experienced a record funding year.
A total of 91 Irish start-ups managed to raise €746m between them in the first half of this year, according to a report by Irish non-profit TechIreland.
TechIreland’s H1 2022 Funding Review was published today (22 September). Overall, it contained good news – although some results may prove concerning.
While this year’s first-half funding figures compare well with other years, the €746m figure was skewed by three companies who took 40pc of that share.
These three outliers were Wayflyer, Flipdish and TransferMate Global Payments. Irish e-commerce unicorn Wayflyer raised €134m. Its fellow unicorns, online ordering platform Flipdish raised €87.2m, followed by TransferMate Global Payments‘ €66m raise. The remaining 88 (out of 91) companies raised €440m.
As well as the three unicorns already mentioned, the 10 companies to receive the most funding so far this year were ProVerum Medical (€30m), Energyx (€30m), &Open (€26m), Keelvar (€23m), Perfuze (€22.5m), Vivasure Medical (€22m) and WorkVivo (€20m).
The total raised by start-ups so far this year is 20pc lower than 2021’s figure, however, the report points out that last year was an exceptional year.
Drop in early-stage funding rounds
A statistic that may cause some concern is the fact that early-stage funding rounds dropped to their lowest point in five years. These were mostly seed and pre-seed rounds of around €500,000 or below.
The poor number of early-stage rounds so far this year raises a concern about the pipeline of companies likely to scale in future.
Valuations for high-risk companies are being reduced due to external factors, such as the war in Ukraine and inflation.
The Irish Venture Capital Association reported a 50pc decrease in funding from foreign investors in the second quarter, down to €152m from €303m in the first quarter. However, domestic funds were found to be sufficiently equipped to support start-ups.
John O’Dea, CEO of TechIreland said “The €90m Irish Innovation Seed Fund will be a vital support for Irish start-ups at a time when early-stage funding is cooling.”
Most of the capital inflow into Irish start-ups and scale-ups went into larger, more established companies. The number of investments greater than €10m increased to 18 from 16 last year.
There was positive news for women founders and regional start-ups throughout Ireland. Half of the top 10 funded start-ups were from outside of the capital. Out of the total list of 91, 11 companies from Galway raised €98m between them, while nine Cork companies raised €68m.
Start-ups founded by women experienced a record half-year, with €114m invested into women-founded companies. This was the best first half-year performance on record – twice what was raised in the past two years and nearly six times as much as was raised in H1 2018.
Fintech, agritech and cleantech performed the best out of the sectors, with healthtech and e-commerce losing out.
10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.