Investment in companies backed by NDRC up 22pc
DIGITAL companies backed by NDRC, formerly the National Digital Research Centre, had raised a combined €152m in follow-on investment by the end of last year, a 22pc increase on 2015.
In 2016, a total of 32 digital start-ups were mentored and accelerated through the Statebacked NDRC, an increase of almost 25pc on the previous year. The findings are contained in the organisation’s annual report, published yesterday.
Companies supported by the scheme that went on to secure significant investment in 2016 included NewsWhip, Bizimply, Nuritas and SilverCloud.
“Our results indicate a pattern of steady and consistent growth across all metrics.
“Increasing the volume and building the quality of our digital startups remains our focus,” Ben Hurley, ceo of NDRC, said.
NDRC was founded in 2007 to provide early-stage investment to tech companies across Ireland. It has invested in 226 companies that now have an estimated market valuation of €427m.
Approximately one in two NDRC-backed ventures have secured next-stage financing from other sources.
Over 800 people are now directly employed in businesses that have emerged from NDRC‘s digital-acceleration and investment programmes.
In 2016 NDRC won the tender to run two regional accelerator initiatives on behalf of Enterprise Ireland.
These joint initiatives are designed to grow the number and quality of digital start-ups nationally.
Yesterday’s results were welcomed by the Minister for Communications Denis Naughten. He said that they reflected NDRC’s focus on enabling the delivery of digital innovation within the economy.
In addition to its investment and acceleration activity, NDRC ran pre-acceleration programmes targeting fintech, healthtech and insurtech, and a dedicated female founders programme in partnership with Enterprise Ireland.
At the launch of the first-ever ISAX (Ireland Smart Ageing Exchange) Smart Ageing Innovation Awards were, from left, businessman Bobby Kerr; Anne Connolly, ISAX; Michael Murphy, managing director of ProU yoghurt; and David Tighe, head of innovation, Bank of Ireland. The awards, held in association with Bank of Ireland, will recognise companies with innovative products or services that help to improve the quality of life of older citizens. The Irish Smart Ageing economy is an emerging and growing sector with huge potential for Irish businesses in areas including health and well-being, leisure and tourism, housing and mobility, consumer goods and services, education as well as employment and finance. Picture: Naoise Culhane