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AI-focused VC, Sure Valley Ventures announces €30M fund to back Irish software startups

Sure Valley Ventures
Sure Valley Ventures

Sure Valley Ventures, a London-based AI-focused venture capital firm that helps early-stage software entrepreneurs in the UK and Ireland, has launched its third fund with a €30 million first close to invest in the Republic of Ireland. 

Previously, the VC invested in several AI startups, including Jaid, EVERYANGLE, RETìníZE and much more. 

It includes a cornerstone €15 million investment from Enterprise Ireland (EI) through its Seed and Venture Capital Scheme (2019-2024). The UK VC firm is targeting a final close of around €50 million for its third fund.

With the latest fund, Sure Valley Ventures plans to invest in 15 software companies from across the Republic of Ireland. 

With this new fund, VC plans to expand its regional focus to work with startups that have developed around Artificial Intelligence, Immersive Tech, and Cybersecurity throughout Ireland.

Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment Simon Coveney TD says, “I congratulate Sure Valley on launching this funding, with significant financial input from the Irish Government through Enterprise Ireland. Sure Valley has a strong track record in backing innovative, cutting-edge Irish start-ups and I know that its experience and vision will enable this significant fund to support the next generation of tech disruptors. Sure Valley will focus on critical areas for the future of the Irish economy, such as AI, immersive technology, and cybersecurity, and having start-up funding available for these sectors is a very positive development.”

Supporting AI-focused companies

Founded in 2017 by Barry Downes and Brian Kinane with support from Shard Capital, Sure Valley Ventures is an AI-focused venture capital firm focused on investing in disruptive software innovation at the seed stage in sectors of AI such as Enterprise, Immersive Technologies (AR/ VR/ Gaming/ eSports), and Security (Cyber/ Infosec). 

Sure Valley Ventures Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Barry Downes, said, “We are seeing exciting innovation clusters developing around Artificial Intelligence across the regions and are therefore thrilled to partner with Enterprise Ireland and additional investors on this new €30 million Irish software fund. As entrepreneurs and founders ourselves, we understand the challenges that start-ups face for funding, particularly in the current economic climate, however, we believe it is still a great time for software founders to build a business in Ireland with lots of opportunities available. With our regional presence in Waterford and strong track record in Ireland, we are well positioned to find innovative new companies across the country and through our Platform offering and strong adviser network, help them scale and grow in international markets.”

The VC firm targets companies with a strong potential to disrupt industries and scale up, and in doing so, deliver robust returns for the economy and society at large. 

Typically, the UK VC invests in the range of €750,000 to €1,500,000. However, it often brings in co-investors to complete total investment packages of €1 million to €3 million in new companies.

The VC has offices in Waterford and Dublin in Ireland and London Cambridge, Leeds, and Manchester in the UK.

Leo Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Ireland said: “Sure Valley is an excellent partner for Enterprise Ireland and we are delighted to support this fund. Based in Waterford, Sure Valley has a deep understanding of the developing tech ecosystem in Ireland, and in particular how regional clusters are supporting new enterprises and innovation. We look forward to the fund tapping into that wealth of creativity to support the next generation of innovative tech entrepreneurs throughout Ireland.”

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