NDRC, which builds and invests in very early stage digital startups, reveals its portfolio of companies enjoyed another positive 12 months in 2018.
In a year which saw NDRC recognise its first Decade of Investing, businesses in its portfolio raised more than €50 million through private investment and funding.
A stand-out development from 2018 saw Nuritas secure a €30 million investment in what was merely the latest in a long line of successes for the company. The news represented the first time that the European Investment Bank has invested in an Irish biotech company.
It was a big year for AI company Artomatix, and medtech startups Cortechs and EnteraSense, the latter of which is developing an ingestible biosensor, as they added further rounds throughout 2018. Meanwhile a majority stake in iCabbi, which NDRC originally invested in in 2011, was acquired by a subsidiary of Renault.
With the market capitalisation of its entire portfolio nearing €500 million prior to January 2018, the end of the year saw NDRC realise more than €1 million from its various investments.
2018 also saw the inaugural NDRC at ArcLabs investment accelerator programme launched in Waterford, with the completion of the second NDRC at PorterShed investment programme in Galway in December.
NDRC’s call for applications for the third NDRC at PorterShed investment programme, as well as the first Dublin programme of the year, are currently open, with a second NDRC at ArcLabs to follow later in the year. In total, NDRC will run four accelerator programmes through 2019.
Ben Hurley, NDRC CEO, said: “Nuritas, iCabbi, Artomatix, EnteraSense, Cortechs… while there is no doubt that this is a diverse group of companies, they share two things in common: their NDRC heritage and a passionate resilience that enabled them to successfully secure substantial new funds in 2018.
“What we have seen throughout 2018 is a continued level of investment interest in NDRC startups. However it has not gone unnoticed that the gap between the stage where NDRC invests in startups, and where further private monies come in, has widened. This is why we have already taken a fresh look at how we do things for 2019, with an increased level of capital to be invested in each startup being a feature of our current strategy.
“What we are striving for through 2019 is continued levels of success among our near 300 startups, with our next Decade of Investing developing ever greater outcomes.”
Elsewhere the partnership with the Oman Technology Fund (OTF), which sees NDRC assist in an early-stage accelerator programme in Muscat, saw its second cohort visit Dublin to continue their progression towards scaling internationally. NDRC provides expertise as well as personnel over the course of the three-month programmes, with the required capital investment coming from OTF.
NDRC will publish further results on jobs supported by its investments and on the market capital value of its portfolio in its Annual Report later in the year.