Finch Capital, a leading early-stage venture capital firm with offices in Amsterdam, London and Singapore today announced that they now have an active presence in the Irish market and are dedicating up to €20 million to Irish start-ups in the fintech sector, following a €10 million investment from Enterprise Ireland.
The announcement was made at Enterprise Ireland’s international fintech event ‘Appetite for Disruption’ today at the Talent Garden, with a focus on showcasing Ireland’s fintech sector capabilities to international financial services buyers.
In 2018, Finch Capital closed its second fund, with commitments of €110 million, and today’s announcement follows an investment of €10 million from Enterprise Ireland into the fund, from the Seed & Venture Capital Programme (2013-2018). This will be the first time that the venture capital firm will have a targeted Irish strategy.
The fund is focussing on early-stage companies in the financial technology and deep tech sectors, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), security and Internet of Things (IoT). Finch Capital has offices across Europe and South East Asia, and now Dublin, out of which it supports entrepreneurs transforming the financial services industry. Finch Capital recognises the fintech sector as one of the most dynamic areas of venture capital and has made over 25 investments in leading financial technology businesses including start-up funding for the Irish company, Supply Finance in 2018.
Making the announcement, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said: “Venture capital is essential for the growth and development of successful high potential Irish business and I am delighted to announce the introduction of this fund by Finch Capital, supported by the Government through Enterprise Ireland. This fund is very important because it marks a significant increase in the availability of capital for companies in the fintech sector. It also advances the Government’s IFS2020 strategy of supporting the sustained growth and internationalisation of this vibrant sector. Furthermore, it will help to drive the commercialisation of new and innovative products and services from ambitious Irish companies.
The Minister continued: “As we reach full employment, our focus must shift from getting people back to work to creating sustainable jobs that can deal with new challenges and embrace new technologies. In that regard, the Government is developing a new strategic plan called Future Jobs, which is due to be launched in the coming weeks. The plan will underpin the next phase of Ireland’s economic development by enhancing productivity, ensuring quality and sustainable jobs, embedding resilience and securing long-term economic prosperity.”
Speaking about the launch, Radboud Vlaar, Partner of Finch Capital said: “Finch Capital recognises that Ireland has established itself as a leading European Fintech and technology hub, and we are delighted to be establishing a presence here in the Irish market to support bold entrepreneurs transforming the financial services industry.”
Minister of State Michael D’Arcy said: “I very much welcome the establishment of a presence by Finch Capital in the Irish market. The Fund announced today will enhance the existing financing environment for more entrepreneurs, enabling their businesses to develop and grow and ultimately leading to the creation of employment. My goal is to develop, through my Department and working with Enterprise Ireland and partners, a financing eco-system that ensures the availability of appropriate finance for businesses and entrepreneurs.”
Welcoming the announcement, Kevin Sherry, Executive Director of Global Business Development at Enterprise Ireland said “Enterprise Ireland is delighted to partner with Finch Capital in the new Fund focused on early-stage disruptive Fintech companies. Finch Capital brings proven additional capacity and resources to Ireland combined with deep industry knowledge and connectivity in the sector. Enterprise Ireland is delighted to support this new fund as it establishes a presence in Ireland. We look forward to working with the team to drive the development and growth of an increasing number of Irish Fintech companies, supporting them to build scale and expand reach in global markets.”