AIB Seed Capital Fund Investments reach 30-company milestone in 2010

26th January 2011

In its end of year review for 2010, the AIB Seed Capital Fund, an AIB / Enterprise Ireland partnership, has reported 13 new investments in new and existing investees. This brings to over 40 the total investments made in 30 Irish companies by year end. The fund’s investments are split approximately 55/45 between Dublin city and county and the rest of Ireland.

The investment to 2010 by the AIB Seed Capital Fund of over €10 million has leveraged in excess of €30 million of additional capital from other investors, including Enterprise Ireland, and helped to create and support over 250 jobs. In return for its investments the Fund has acquired an equity stake in each of the investee companies.

Looking ahead to 2011 the Fund’s chairman, Denis Marnane, said that “AIB Seed Capital Fund expects to invest in 8 to 10 new companies in 2011 and the Fund Managers are actively seeking new investment opportunities, in addition to continuing to support existing investees. We are encouraged, despite the challenging economic environment, with the number of entrepreneurs approaching the Fund with innovative and creative ideas and we look forward to working with many of these in 2011 to help them bring their ideas to fruition and on to sustainable businesses.”

During 2010, the Fund invested in 7 new companies operating in a wide variety of industries:

  • AER Sustainable Energy Ltd. who are developing enzyme technology, which significantly increases the yield of bioethanol, biodiesel and other high value products from algae, a next generation biofuel with key advantages over existing first generation biofuels.
  • Arann Healthcare Ltd. a company who are developing a system for disinfecting hard-to-clean objects such as bed mattresses and pillows, to reduce levels of MRSA and C. difficile in hospitals and nursing homes
    Ferfics Ltd. a developer of radio frequency switches for mobile devices
  • Marvao Ltd. who have developed a new category of Central Venous Catheters (“CVC”) that is expected to reduce the rate of Catheter Related Infections
  • Nortev Ltd. has developed a specialised nebuliser and associated mask for use in the treatment of respiratory diseases, initially in the equine industry
  • SensL Ltd. designs and markets Silicon Photomultipliers (SPM) – light detection components that are core to Positron Emission Tomography (PET) medical imaging systems
  • Endeco Technologies has developed an energy demand management system that automates energy load-shifting in response to variations in tariffs, providing cost savings for energy consumers and suppliers.

The Fund continued to receive a high level of specific enquiries in 2010, reflecting a continued interest in entrepreneurial activity in Ireland, despite the harsh economic climate. Enquiries in 2010 came predominately from entrepreneurs in the internet, software and services sectors, but the Fund has also received increasing levels of enquiries from the healthcare and renewable energy sectors, and from all geographical areas in Ireland.

The AIB Seed Capital Fund was originally established in 2007 under the Seed and Venture Capital Programme 2007 – 2012 as a joint venture between Enterprise Ireland and AIB bank. The Fund expanded in 2009 to €53 million, with AIB committing a total of €30 million and EI a total of €23 million. The fund’s investments are jointly managed by Enterprise Equity and Dublin Business Innovation Centre.