06 Jul 2018 | 11.29 am
NDRC Firms Near €500m Market Cap
Tech startup investor publishes its 2017 annual report
06 Jul 2018 | 11.29 am
The National Digital Research Centre, the state-funded tech startup investor, made €20,000 from realised investments in 2017, as its portfolio of companies grew to a claimed market cap of €486m.
The early-stage startup incubator and investor was established by the government in 2007. The organisation received €43m in taxpayer funding in the past decade, and an additional tranche of €5.3m has been pledged to fund activities until the end of 2019.
Government funding for the NDRC through 2017 totalled €4.2m. Around 1,000 people are now employed by NDRC’s portfolio of companies, 205 of whom are based abroad. Total follow-on investment for these companies rose by 26% in 2017, to €192m across the portfolio.
Significant raises through companies such as Nuritas, Drop and Tandem HR were recorded during 2017. NDRC also invested in, mentored and accelerated 28 digital startups.
Last year also saw NDRC launch the first of two regional accelerator programmes, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland. NDRC at PorterShed, also in partnership with Galway City Innovation District, saw nine startups join the organisation’s portfolio.
According to NDRC research, one-third of its startups have female founders on their team. Of these, Nuritas and Tandem HR raised more than €17m between them in 2017.
Sean Baker, chair of the NDRC, commented that the organisation’s latest results show that is aim of increasing the economic impact of its ventures is working.
“Investing in the early stage pre-seed space is fraught with risk. It is impossible to fund just the safe bets, because there are none at this early stage in companies,” Baker said.
“This defines the gap, the crucial time during which it’s impossible to attract sufficient private funding, the gap that the state must fill. We also believe that the gap is defined by the lack of experienced support, so NDRC provides extensive support for startups, helping them to be ready for seed funding.
“This is represented by the fact that one-quarter of our startups have secured at least €250,000. After a decade of investing, this is a significant achievement.”
CEO Ben Hurley added: “We want to deliver a sustainable supply of globally scalable Irish digital companies, which in turn create high-value jobs in the Irish economy.”
NDRC had 17 employees on its books in 2017, who between them took home €1.6m in salaries. Salaries for senior management and directors amounted to €849,000, while directors’ emoluments totalled €164,000.
Photo: Ben Hurley (left), Minister Denis Naughten and Sean Baker (right) (Pic: Orla Murray/SON Photographic)