• Irish software developers attracting global interest 
  • The Q1 2021 edition of the Venture Pulse report produced by KPMG analyses the latest global trends in venture capital investment data and provides insights from both a global and regional perspective. All figures cited are in USD; data for the report is provided by PitchBook

KPMG has published its Venture Pulse Q1’21 report, tracking venture capital (VC) activity around the globe. Findings show that Ireland experienced one of its slower quarters in Q1’21, with $125.4 million invested in 24 deals involving Irish companies – down from the almost $500 million invested in Q4’20. Venture capital investment in Ireland has however showed trends of slower first quarters previously, with $171.6 million recorded in Q1’20 and $139.8 million in Q1’19. The highest investment recorded in Q1 to date was in 2018, where $331.1 million was invested in Irish companies. 

Companies which secured investment in the first quarter this year were predominantly software developers offering solutions to companies and consumers in various industries from food and beverages to healthcare, financial services, automotive and construction. 

Globally, Q1’21 saw the global VC market move at an incredible pace, with record levels of investment in Europe, the US, and the Americas fueling a significant surge in total global VC funding. Quarterly VC investment surpassed the $100 billion mark for the first time, reaching $126.9 billion globally across 6,508 deals during Q1’21, up from the previous record of $98.2 billion across 7,329 deals achieved in Q4’20.

Deals closed in Q1’21

The top 5 deals closed in Q1’21 in Ireland include: 

  1. Flipdish ($48.4 million): Digital food-ordering platform Flipdish secured funding from investment firm Tiger Global Management to expand in key European markets. Flipdish operates in 15 countries including Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, UK and US. It provides its technology to thousands of independent restaurants as well as brands such as Yamamori, Wowburger, Romayo’s, Dunnes Stores and Eddie Rockets.
  2. Neurent Medical ($25 million): a Galway-based medtech which develops non-surgical interventions that treat chronic inflammatory sino-nasal diseases.
  3. EasyGo ($12.2 million): A Kildare-based developer of electric vehicle charging units. The company will use the funding for the ongoing rollout of its network and to create an additional 50 jobs.
  4. We.trade ($6.7 million): a Dublin-based blockchain banking consortium which has developed a blockchain-enabled digital trading platform based for global transactions across trade finance, insurance and logistics.
  5.  CameraMatics ($4.9 million) – A Dublin-based IoT fleet and vehicle safety technology specialist. The funds will be used to support further expansion of the US branch of the business and drive forward the recent entry into the mainland European market. 

Other notable deals in the period included a $4.5 million raise by GoContractor, a developer of a digital onboarding and subcontractor management platform designed for construction workers; a $4.3 million raise by TerminusDB, a spin-out from Trinity College Dublin which creates tools for managing and utilising data; and $3.6 million raised by Mirai Medical, a Galway-based medtech company pioneering an energy technology for use in the treatment of cancer.

Commenting on VC activity in Ireland during Q1’21, Anna Scally, Partner and Fintech Lead at KPMG in Ireland said: “While it’s been a slow start to the year, a healthy amount of VC investment has still flowed into Ireland so far this year. Ireland’s investment numbers tend to be boosted by landmark deals and I expect to see more large deals close with Irish companies before the end of 2021. There are already encouraging signs of this uptick in Q2, with the recent news that Irish drone delivery company, Manna, has secured a $25 million investment as it looks to scale its business to operate in multiple markets by 2023.” 

“What stands out for me is the breadth of sectors that Irish companies are developing innovative solutions for, particularly software-based solutions. It’s clear the pandemic dominated environment has helped confirm their product market fit, and this bodes well for the future of the ecosystem here, as Irish companies aren’t hedging bets on any one industry. We are also continuing to see international companies committing to Ireland, with Stripe, Intel, Workday, and HP Enterprises all announcing new investments or expansion activities already in 2021.”

Key Q1’21 highlights globally

  • Global VC investment rose from $98.2 billion across 7,329 deals in Q4’20 to $126.9 billion across 6,508 deals in Q1’21.
  • VC investment in Europe reached a new record of $21 billion across 1,430 deals in Q1’21, up from the previous high of $15.8 billion across 1,937 deals in Q4’20. 
  • The Americas saw a record $74.4 billion in investment across 3,310 deals in Q1’21 – up from $47.6 billion across 3,399 deals in Q4’20. The US accounted for $69 billion of this total (3,042 deals) – up from $45.0 billion in Q4’20.
  • Asia-Pacific region saw $31 billion in investment across 1,615 deals in Q1’21 – a robust amount compared to historical norms, despite a drop from $34.5 billion across 1,840 deals in Q4’20.
  • Unicorn financings rose dramatically in Q1’21, accounting for $49.7 billion raised across 182 unicorn funding rounds, compared to $101 billion raised across 403 rounds in 2020. 
  • VC-backed exit activity rose to a new record, climbing from an already significant high of $209.5 billion across 649 exits in Q4’20 to $283.8 billion across 667 exits in Q1’21.



* All figures in USD

** Pre-seed investments, such as those made by accelerators, convertible debt investments, or post venture and private equity investments are not captured in the figures for this report. 

*** Results include investments in companies in the Republic of Ireland only.

For more information, contact:

  • Nuala Buttner, Q4 Public Relations, Tel 01 475 1444 / 085 1744 275, email nuala@q4pr.ie
  • Kelli O’Malley,  Associate Director of Communications, KPMG in Ireland, Tel 01 700 4169 / 087 050 4169, email kelli.omalley@kpmg.ie

Get in touch

For further information on this edition of Pulse of Fintech, please contact Anna Scally, FinTech lead.

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