Largest Irish VC fund closed

Trinity, the Dublin-based venture capital house, has raised E140m for early-stage technology investments in Ireland.

Trinity Venture Capital, an Irish early stage technology investor has completed Ireland’s largest venture capital fund, raising E140m. The fund is one of the largest to be raised specifically for technology investments in Europe this year.


Trinity Venture Fund II, which will predominantly invest in Irish-based companies, set an initial target of between E100m and E150m when the fund was launched in late 2000. “We’re very happy to have raised what is the largest dedicated technology investment fund raised in Ireland,” said John Tracey, Trinity CEO.


In the two years since holding a first close in October 2000, Trinity has invested 23 per cent of the total funds raised in seven transactions including Havok, LeT Systems, Network365, Norkom and Sepro. Investors in Trinity Fund II include European and Asian financial institutions, although specific details of the investor base investors have not been disclosed. Trinity is part of Reihill Venture Capital Group, which includes Hibernia Capital Partners, focused on management buyouts and restructuring opportunities.


Tracey said the firm will maintain a focus on its specialist areas. “We will continue to invest in early-stage software, telecoms and financial services companies. However, we will consider making series D investments as valuations have come down in this area.”


The fund, which will make a total of between 15 and 20 investments is just under six times the size of Trinity Venture Fund I, which raised E24m and is now fully invested. “Fund I has been a success for the firm and we have already realised 30 per cent of the original fund total.”


The successful fundraising comes at a time when Irish venture capital investment has fallen. The level of investment in Irish firms for the first six months of 2002 fell by over 30 per cent to E147.5m, compared with E220m in the first half of 2001. Ion Equity, which published the data, forecasts that the year-end figure for 2002 will reveal a drop of around 40 per cent to a total below E300m, down from E450m invested in 2001.


Trinity also announced the appointment of Brian Caulfield as an Investment Director. Prior to joining Trinity, Brian co-founded a number of technology companies, including Exceptis Technologies, which was sold to Trintech Group for E26m in November 2000, and Similarity Systems.