ACT tops European technology fundraising

The Irish venture capital firm has attracted a broad range of international investors for its third fund, with E170m the largest European technology fund raised in 2002.

ACT Venture Capital, the Irish technology venture capital firm, has defied the depressed fundraising environment for venture capital managers, closing its third technology fund on E170m.


ACT 2001 has attracted a diverse range of international investors, including Irish investors Bank of Ireland Asset Management, KBC Asset Management, AIB Group Irish Pension Scheme, Eircom Superannuation Fund, ESB Pension Fund, Hibernian Investment Managers, Friends First and the GMS Superannuation Fund. International investors include JP Morgan Fleming and Merrill Lynch, Partners Group, Access Capital Partners, Extorel, VCM, and the European Investment Fund.


“We are particularly pleased to have attracted the support of prestigious overseas investors,” said Niall Carroll, Managing Director of ACT Venture Capital. ACT will continue its strategy of investing primarily in Irish companies with technologies aimed at international markets and at various stages of development. The fund may also invest in the non-technology sector.


ACT was originally the venture capital unit of AIB Bank until it became independent in 1994. Since then it has invested in over 50 private companies across Ireland, and in a small number of companies in the UK.


ACT expects to invest the fund over the next three to four years. The amount invested per company is expected to range from about E3m to E15m, an increase on the firm’s traditional investment range which started at E750,000. Larger amounts will also be provided in syndication with the fund’s investors.


“Since 2000, the technology sector worldwide has been experiencing a sharp reduction in demand and it is taking longer for companies to build revenues in the global market place,” added Carroll. “Nevertheless, companies with innovative technologies addressing real market needs will be able to raise the necessary venture capital to realise their potential.”


ACT now manages E350m through its three venture capital funds. The firm has a staff of ten investment professionals at its Dublin headquarters.