FinTech Fund Launched By Enterprise Irelandbr>
Enterprise Ireland, a state-owned economic development agency, has launched a new €750,000 ($885,000 USD) Competitive Start Fund focused on FinTech and deep tech startup companies.
Enterprise Ireland is responsible for the development and funding of the indigenous business sector. Their mission is to accelerate the development of world-class companies to achieve strong positions in global markets resulting in increased national and regional prosperity.
The fund, which was announced at the agency’s Future of Fintech event in Dublin, will support ventures in areas ranging from FinTech to PropTech, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, augmented and virtual reality, Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain technology, and cloud. The purpose of the Competitive Start Fund is to enable tech startups to reach key technical and commercial milestones.
Ireland’s Minister of State for Financial Services Michael D’Arcy said the fund will be a central plank of the finance department’s IFS2020 Action Plan, the country’s five year plan for its international financial services sector. He said the fund will provide a new funding stream, critical for early-stage startup funding for FinTech and deep tech companies.
“With Ireland being the fourth largest exporter of financial services in the world, developing and supporting the FinTech sector is a national priority,” D’Arcy said. “As the home to one of the most important financial services centers in the EU and one of the world’s largest concentrations of technology companies, Ireland combines the technical and financial expertise that global FinTech buyers seek.”
The Competitive Start Fund is not the first FinTech fund to be launched by Enterprise Ireland, but it is the biggest so far and underlines the country’s ambitions to develop its FinTech sector. Enterprise Ireland claimed that has invested in over 80 FinTech startups since 2014 and its portfolio of over 200 FinTechs generated €1 billion ($1.17M USD) in revenue in 2016.
“The launch of Enterprise Ireland’s new Competitive Start Fund for FinTech and deep tech companies paves the way for the next wave of companies emerging from what is a very dynamic startup sector in Ireland,” said Enda McDonnell, Head of FinTech for Enterprise Ireland.
The announcement came after the Irish Blockchain Expert Group (IBEG) launched a new online platform that will serve as a go-to source of information on the Irish blockchain ecosystem. The platform will provide information on setting up a business in Ireland, available services and support for blockchain projects, upcoming blockchain events within the country, as well as an overview of the key domestic and international stakeholders within the blockchain ecosystem.