Belfast Telegraph

Investment firm set to open £78m kitty for start-ups

By Staff Reporter

Dublin-based venture capital company ACT is planning to launch a €100m (£78m) fund providing expansion money for technology start-ups in the Republic and Northern Ireland.

The firm is believed to have secured €70m (£55m) in commitments from investors, and it aims to secure the remainder over the next few months.

It has previously invested in Belfast-based software developer Kainos and defibrillator company HeartSine, which is also based in Belfast and recently announced it had agreed to be acquired by the US firm Physio Control.

It was HeartSine's world-beating technology that helped to save the life of footballer Fabrice Muamba when he collapsed during a game in 2012.

ACT has had a number of high-profile successes over the past year, including Trustev, the Cork-based e-commerce fraud-prevention firm that was sold to New York-listed Transunion, and Soundwave, the music tech start-up sold to Spotify.

Other companies it has backed include internet-of-things firm Cubic Telecom, foreign-exchange trading and risk-management software company Barracuda FX, the media company Storyful and medical software company Slainte Healthcare.

ACT has offices in Dublin and Belfast and customarily invests between €200,000 (£156,000) and €7m (£5.5m) in funding rounds of up to €30m (£25.5m).

The new funding will be a significant boost for the Irish start-up scene and comes on the back of Atlantic Bridge closing a funding round believed to be in the region of €100m.

Last year Irish high-tech SMEs raised 30% more - €522m (£409m) - than in the previous year, according to figures from the cross-border Irish Venture Capital Association.

Belfast Telegraph