Irish VC investment stayed stable despite decline in deals

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Globally, VC investment in Asia and the Americas declined while Europe’s rose modestly, according to the latest pulse report from KPMG.

Venture capital (VC) investment was relatively busy in Ireland during the first quarter of 2022, according to KPMG’s latest quarterly Venture Pulse report.

Despite a decline in the total number of deals, Ireland continued to see a healthy amount of venture capital investment, led by a $150m raise by fintech Wayflyer and a $96m raise by food-ordering platform Flipdish.

Future Human

The funding rounds saw both companies become tech unicorns. During the same quarter, JP Morgan Chase announced plans to acquire Ireland-based share plan management technology company Global Shares for $730m. The deal has not closed yet, however. It is expected to close in the second half of this year.

The report also looked at VC investment on a global scale. Overall, it found that global VC investment dropped from a high of $191.9bn in the fourth quarter of 2021 to $144.8bn in the first quarter of this year. Investments in Asia and the Americas declined in the early months of 2022, while Europe experienced an increase from $31.5bn in Q4 2021 to $31.7bn in Q1 2022.

The Americas’ VC investment dropped from $103.3bn in Q4 2021 to $77.6bn in Q1 2022, while VC investment in Asia decreased from $55.2bn to $32.6bn.

KPMG’s head of private enterprise in the Americas region, Conor Moore, attributed the declines to “the turbulent start to the year” experienced by the capital markets. He said that this had effectively “slammed the door shut on most IPO activity for the moment”.

“Given the heightened geopolitical tension on top of shifting macroeconomic factors like interest rates and inflation, IPO activity will likely remain soft heading into Q2 2022,” Moore added.

Companies from seven countries attracted the top 10 largest deals this quarter. These included the US with biotech company Altos Labs and fintech company Ramp, the UK with fintech Checkout.com, China with clean-tech company Changan and Estonia with micro-mobility player Bolt.

Tom Henriksson, general partner at early-stage VC investment firm OpenOcean, said that Europe’s positive growth showed its “continued emergence as a significant player within the global venture capital landscape”.

“Europe is home to elite-level universities, flourishing technological innovation hubs and a thriving base of engineers, mathematicians and developers coming out of the Nordics. While Silicon Valley remains the world leader for VC investment, Europe is continuing to chip away at its throne,” he said.

“The region’s fortitude over the last quarter will likely peak the attention of more investors throughout the year ahead. One should expect mass developments in quantum technology, advances in AI and machine learning, and the maturing of the European data economy to drive VC investment to new heights.”

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