Well-known Irish figures including former Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Guinness family head Lord Iveagh and U2 band members Adam Clayton and The Edge are among a wide-ranging line-up of advisors and investors in a new ‘Impact Ireland’ fund launched by Dublin-based venture private equity investor VentureWave Capital.
VentureWave this week confirmed the successful first close of its new fund, which aims to invest in and build global ‘technology for good’ companies from Ireland. The fund will take strategic stakes in up to 15 ‘high growth potential and scaling Irish companies’, with investments in each company of between EUR1 million and EUR25 million, and will target cloud-based technology companies in sectors including education, healthcare, food and agriculture, energy and the environment.
The ‘Impact Ireland’ fund will adhere to the principles of impact investing which are designed to generate a return for society as well as investors, investing in profit-driven companies that will also advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“Impact investing is growing rapidly worldwide in recognition of the central role and responsibility of business in meeting key social and environmental challenges,” said a statement issued by VentureWave Capital.
The fund is a member of Global Impact Investing Network and is the first Irish signatory of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation’s Operating Principles for Impact Measurement, which are setting the standard by which the social benefit of Impact Investments will be gauged.
VentureWave Capital is headed up by chairman Alan Foy and managing partner Kieran McLoughlin –formerly president and chief executive of The Ireland Funds, a philanthropic organisation – with a team of founding partners, executives and special advisors that will add sales, operating, technology, finance, fundraising and entrepreneurial skills to bring value to their investee companies.
Investors in the fund include distinguished entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, and philanthropists from both Ireland’s diaspora and at home. The fund seeks to tap into this network of expertise through a 23-strong Global Advisory Council, chaired by Enda Kenny.
The Council will work with the VentureWave investment professionals in promoting Ireland as an international location for innovation and investment, especially impact investing.
Kenny commented: “I am very pleased to chair Impact Ireland’s Global Advisory Council. It will be a powerful corps of advocates for developing the next generation of successful Irish businesses and accelerating the impact that they will have.”
VentureWave Capital managing partner McLoughlin said: “We are delighted to launch Impact Ireland with its focus on supporting highly scalable companies which benefit society from one of the best investment global locations there is, Ireland.”
He added: “We are privileged to be able to draw on the experience and insights of such a remarkable group of people in the Global Advisory Council, especially in promoting Ireland. We are in active dialogue with a number of prospective pipeline investment companies and are confident of building great companies from Ireland with global scale and ambition.”