Minister Richard Bruton announced the second investment by Enterprise Ireland under the Innovation Fund Ireland programme with Highland Capital Partners Europe. Highland Capital Partners is a premier international VC that has recently raised their first dedicated European Fund, a vehicle focused solely on growth phase technology companies. Highland Capital Partners Europe had a substantial first close in November 2012.
Enterprise Ireland has committed €10 million to the Highland Fund, alongside a commitment of €10 million by the National Pensions Reserve Fund. Enterprise Ireland has committed a further €10m to the Fund when it completes a second closing.
The fund will be establishing an office in the Irish market in April headed by Tony Zappalà who has recently joined Highland Capital from Index Ventures.
Minister Bruton made the announcement on the third day of a four-day Enterprise Ireland trade mission to Texas seeking to support greater export growth by Irish companies.
Speaking from Austin, Texas Minister Bruton said:
“The technology sector is a key target in the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs. Since we have taken office we have seen employment growth of over 11,000 in ICT, and we are implementing a number of measures to support further growth in this sector. Venture capital funding is a key part of this. We have provided a €60million second call under Innovation Fund Ireland which will be leveraged by further private sector funds, as well as €700million domestic venture capital scheme, to help provide funding as well as strategic advice and networks, to high growth Irish companies. “The announcement that Highland Capital Partners, a leading international venture capital fund manager, is partnering with Enterprise Ireland and the NPRF to establish a fund to invest in innovative companies here, is a major boost for the Irish venture capital industry and for innovative Irish companies such as those who have travelled to Texas this week”.
Further information about Highland Capital Partners Europe can be found at: www.hcp.com
Further information about Innovation Fund Ireland can be found at www.innovationfundireland.com