Irish VC's : A personal perspective

Things you need to know about Irish VCs:

  • Nobody has made out like a bandit yet. This biggest IT success in this generation, Iona didn’t take a penny from Irish VC companies, worst luck.
  • They are nervous of being a leader in any market and will look for preliminary validation in UK, Europe and the US.
  • They tend not to micro-invest (amounts below €100,000) and they won’t make you a single round company (i.e. invest €5,000,000 or more in the first round). The micro-investment limit is a function of the size of the market and the macro-investment is a function of my first point
  • They pretty much know as much about the US investment market as you and me (which is to say, not much)
  • They aren’t all bastards, thieves or arseholes (insert favourite invective here). They mostly want success just like you. There are some bastards in there though, just like any business. Caveat emptor
  • They are not your business partners, they are shareholders, its different
  • They are trade sale specialists and very few have any experience of an IPO. If you pitch that as an exit expect raised eyebrows at the very least
  • Expect due diligence to take at least three months and often six. Expect the detail of the process to be both annoying and invasive, learn to live with it
  • The decision to invest will not be based on your 30 page business plan, although the decision not to invest maybe
  • No serious investor attend First Tuesday
  • A personal introduction from a shared colleague beats a royal flush

A pretty good list of the Irish VCs can be found on the Irish Venture Capital Association Website.

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