These negotiations are on the back of the success of the first closing of its Trinity Fund II that added E100 million to existing funds under management. The Reihill Venture Capital Group, which includes Hibernia Capital Partners as well as Trinity, now has around E200 million under management.
Trinity was particularly pleased with the response to its second fund from Irish institutions and is now moving to expand that response internationally.
Gavin Bourke of Trinity Venture Capital said the firm was busy examining projects in a venture capital environment that has changed over the course of the current technology downturn. “The change in the technology market conditions has made fewer sources of financing available given the withdrawal of the privates and the reducing appetite of international investors to invest alone. This creates further opportunities for Irish VCs.” He noted that “deal flow has slowed somewhat but the relative quality of deals has improved.”
The negative press attendant on the withdrawal of high-profile, multinational, especially US, companies from Ireland has given a skewed picture of the entrepreneurial scene in the country, he said. “Most of these companies are manufacturing/assembly concerns- makers of PCs and the like. Irish strengths lie in the software sector and that is where we see our deal flow. Further, there is the continuing stream of innovative projects coming from our universities and successful, indigenous software companies.” There is, moreover, an upside to this withdrawal: “This frees up a pool of experienced, international management teams to come into early-stage companies.”
Trinity’s most recent deal, completed earlier this summer, involved Rococo Software, which builds wireless infrastructure for Bluetooth applications, enabling a variety of mobile devices including mobile phones, laptops and PDAs (personal digital assistants) to communicate in a wireless network.
Rococo raised IRGBP2.5 million from Trinity. This followed on the heels of Trinity’s role in the IRGBP4 million funding, along with Davy Stockbrokers’ private clients, of Irish telecommunications and e-commerce software company Sepro. The funding is to be used to globally market version three of Sepro’s flagship product, E-Rate. This is aimed at global telecommunications companies, web content providers, ISPs, ASPs and Internet portals. It allows these organisations to analyse voice, data or content on their system, capture value and take a share of revenue generated.