Elkstone introduce €75m venture fund for early-stage Irish tech start-upsBlathnaid O’Deaon January 19, 2022 at 10:31 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic

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Irish financial services company Elkstone has introduced a new venture fund totalling €75m aimed at early-stage tech companies in Ireland.

Elkstone has already backed more than 45 companies, including healthcare unicorns LetsGetChecked and Thirty Madison, as well as HealthBeacon, Soapbox Labs and Altada. It also backed Ireland’s newest unicorn, the online food-ordering platform Flipdish.

The newly announced venture fund is the first from the multi-family office. It plans to offer deals ranging from €2m to €500,000 to around 35 different companies. The company has a venture club which has invested some €50m to date.

Elkstone also provides services including wealth management, venture and investment opportunities to its range of Irish and international clients. Founded in 2011, it has offices in Dublin and Galway.

According to chairman and Elkstone co-founder Alan Merriman’s comments in The Irish Times, the company is targeting €75m because it wants to have “a meaningful fund.”

We also want it to be focused on early-stage because that is where the gap is primarily in the Irish market in terms of real risk investing,” he added.

“If we get more big liquidity events then there is also more likelihood that employees in those companies will go out and create new ventures themselves, which we haven’t really had here and which successful tech scenes need to succeed,” he said.

Merriman said that he hoped bigger international players would come on board to fund companies at later stages if Elkstone supported them through the early stages.

Last June, Merriman told The Currency that he thought real estate, in particular, was “behind the curve in terms of technology” and that there has not “been enough disruption.”

He also said that Ireland needed “the right set-up to help more start-ups come through.”

“The Irish ecosystem needs more angel funding. We need the right government policy to encourage people to allocate their capital towards venture.”

Merriman and the company’s management will contribute €3m to the fund, which has already secured €20m from a cornerstone investor ahead of its launch next month. Elkstone’s client base will contribute €35m.

Advisers to the new fund will include Stripe’s head of payments engineering Sean Mullaney, Huckletree co-founder Andrew Lynch, former head of listing at Euronext Orla O’Gorman and TikTok’s EMEA head of strategy Claire Fitzpatrick.

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