In­vest­ment in com­pa­nies backed by NDRC up 22pc

Irish Independent - Business Week - - BUSINESSWEEK - El­lie Donnelly

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

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