NDRC companies’ market cap nears €500m after strong 2017

€40 million in follow-on investment was secured by NDRC companies in 2017, bringing total to €192 million. Total market capitalisation of NDRC companies reaches nearly €500 million. Since 2008, NDRC has invested in 255 digital startups in Ireland. Almost 1,000 direct jobs created by NDRC companies

NDRC’s portfolio of companies achieved a market capitalisation of €486 million to end 2017, according to the organisation’s annual report, published today. This is a rise of almost 14 per cent on 2016.

Across NDRC’s startups, approximately 1,000 people are employed directly. Of these, 20 per cent are based abroad, reflecting the globally scalable focus NDRC has on its investments.

The total follow-on investment rose 26 per cent on 2016, reaching €192 million across the portfolio. Significant raises through companies such as Nuritas, Drop and Tandem HR were recorded during 2017, with a strong year ringing in NDRC’s first ‘Decade of Investing’.

In 2017, NDRC invested in, mentored and accelerated 28 digital startups. These companies were selected from a competitive field of 350 applications for NDRC investment. That 1-in-12 applicants secured investment indicates the high quality bar that applies.

Also in 2017, NDRC launched 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.

I am very pleased to see further strong results from NDRC on foot of my Department’s support for early stage digital entrepreneurship in the economy

- Minister Denis Naughten

Established by the State in 2007 and based in the Digital Hub in Dublin, but operating nationally, NDRC has to date built and invested in 255 companies – one-in-four NDRC startups go on to secure more than €250,000 in follow-on funding.

According to NDRC research, 31 per cent of its startups have female founders on their team. Of these, Nuritas and Tandem HR raised more than €17 million between them in 2017.

In addition to NDRC’s core investment and acceleration activity, the organisation ran pre-acceleration programmes to stimulate innovation throughout 2017, working with leading industry and corporate partners to deliver a pipeline of exciting entrepreneurs into the startup space.

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD said: “I am very pleased to see further strong results from NDRC on foot of my Department’s support for early stage digital entrepreneurship in the economy. Recently, following an independent report by Indecon Economic Consultants, I sought and secured Government approval to continue to support this sector for a further five-year period. This is central to the Government’s strategy of supporting indigenous entrepreneurial activity by investing in very early stage digital ventures.”

Commenting on the Annual Report, NDRC Chair, Sean Baker said: “NDRC’s latest results show how our aim of increasing the economic impact of our ventures is working. What we do, 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.

“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.”

NDRC’s CEO, Ben Hurley said: “This Annual Report represents a key milestone for NDRC, coming as we mark our first Decade of Investing since we commenced operations in 2007. The year 2017 saw further ground-breaking developments, with our first regional accelerator, NDRC at PorterShed in Galway, highlighting NDRC’s ever-growing impact as we continue our journey.

“We want to deliver a sustainable supply of globally scalable Irish digital companies, which in turn create high-value jobs in the Irish economy. The fact that nearly 1,000 people are now employed by our portfolio companies, about 800 in Ireland underpinning our direct impact on the economy, and about 200 internationally highlighting the global reach of our companies, is testament to an effective and impactful investment model.”

Minister Naughten recently secured Government approval to continue Exchequer funding of NDRC. The Department commissioned a report by Indecon Economic Consultants, which found that the investment in the NDRC programme has been effective with estimated net economic benefits of €73.5m. Indecon also found that the NDRC is a high-performance initiative consistent with international best practices.