Hoxton Ventures launches €6m Irish VC fund with Enterprise Ireland

Business, Finance | Thu 4 Dec | Author – Business & Finance

Hoxton Ventures, the leading European micro-cap venture capital firm, has announced the launch of a €5.875m Irish early stage venture capital fund, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland.

Hoxton Ventures is a $40M early stage venture capital fund designed to bridge the gap between Europe and Silicon Valley. The new €5.875m side fund will focus exclusively on Irish investments. The firm was founded by Accel and Fidelity Ventures alums, Hussein Kanji and Rob Kniaz, and invests primarily in software-driven companies and services.

The fund also announced two new members to its team, Dylan Collins and Vijay Pandurangan. Collins is the Irish technology entrepreneur behind SuperAwesome, Jolt Online (acquired by Gamestop) and DemonWare (acquired by Activision). Pandurangan was formerly a senior engineer at Google and founder of Mitra (acquired by Twitter).

The announcement forms part of the €700m Seed and Venture Capital Scheme, supported by the Department of Jobs through Enterprise Ireland.

Welcoming the announcement the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD said: “Today’s announcement that Hoxton Ventures is partnering with Enterprise Ireland to establish a €6m fund that will invest in innovative companies is another important boost for the Irish venture capital industry.  This fund increases the availability of funding for ambitious businesses that can achieve the export growth levels and create the jobs the country needs.  Increasing the availability of different types and sources of non-bank financing is a core objective of the Action Plan for Jobs 2014.”

“We are excited to open up an Irish presence. Ireland has become a leading place for large technology companies entering the European market, and we think it has the seeds of innovation to build exceptional companies,” said Hoxton founder, Rob Kniaz.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland, commented: “Enterprise Ireland is delighted to commit €2.5m to the first closing of Hoxton’s Irish Sub Fund. This fund will build on the success of the 2007-2012 Seed & Venture Capital Programme and the addition of a new fund manager to the Irish market represents a great opportunity for our clients.  The Hoxton team clearly have a deep understanding of what is required to accelerate web companies to market; investee companies will not only get access to capital but will be immediately connected into networks that provide expertise and rapid access to customers.”

Hoxton has been quietly meeting with Irish entrepreneurs for the last few months and has reviewed a large number of investment opportunities. The fund expects to make several investments in Irish startups over the coming three years. It has made eight investments to date, including Deliveroo, Campanja and Immun.io.