Elkstone targets Irish early stage start-ups with a €100m EIIS approved fund

8th April, 2022

Enterprise Ireland

The new fund will primarily focus on early stage EIIS qualifying startups (Seed & pre-Series A) and typical investment sizes will be in the €1m to €2m range. Elkstone is a generalist investor engaged with a broad spectrum of industries from digital health to drone delivery to artificial intelligence and much more. This breath will ensure improved access to funding for all high potential Irish companies. This fund benefits from Enterprise Ireland as a cornerstone investor and private Irish investors looking to support and build Ireland start-up ecosystem.

Elkstone has built and backed a stellar start-up Venture portfolio over the past decade with a number of Irelands’ flagship start-up Unicorns in their portfolio. Deeply networked across the global investment landscape, with strong relationships across global family offices and international venture capital firms, Elkstone are uniquely positioned in the Irish market to help founders and other venture players bring their companies to the next level.

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, said “This is an excellent outcome from Elkstone. This new Fund is a real boost to the Irish start-up community. The Government has committed to having 2.5million people at work by 2024, which would be our highest ever level of employment. Backing our early stage entrepreneurs is a crucial part of our plan to get there and I’m really happy to see the creation of this Fund, which will give those brave enough to start their own business, a chance to take it to the next level.”

Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy added: “Enterprise Ireland is delighted to commit €20m from our Seed & Venture Capital Scheme to the establishment of this fund, which will invest in early-stage companies. Enterprise Ireland is committed to leading the expansion of venture funding in the areas of the Irish market that are most challenging for growing firms. This fund is the first to launch following the amendment to EIIS legislation and we look forward to seeing the difference that this private and public capital will make to the next generation of Irish entrepreneurs.”

Elkstone, Founder – Alan Merriman commented: Elkstone have been deeply engaged with both the Start-Up community & Investor community for many years. From our firsthand experience, we strongly believe Ireland can continue to grow great new ventures and are excited about the opportunity for Elkstone and our clients, with this new fund, to play a meaningful role in making this happen. It has been a long road to get here to ensure the right win-win framework is in place, but the support we got across the community and from Enterprise Ireland and the Department of Enterprise Trade & Employment as well as the constructive engagement from the Department of Finance was pivotal. We look forward to working with more and more Irish based founders who will now have the opportunity to accelerate their journey, grow and go global.

The announcement was made at Elkstone’s offices today with representatives from Elkstone and Enterprise Ireland in attendance. The partnership and collaboration with Enterprise Ireland, the Department of Enterprise Trade & Employment and Elkstone ensured that the required legislation was enacted (recently announced in Budget 2022) putting the right infrastructure in place to ensure a compelling proposition for start-up founders & investors. Locally there have been significant calls for Ireland’s Investor community to do more across Ireland's Venture eco-system and Elkstone plans to deliver on this call. Elkstone has successfully closed the first round of their innovative EIIS early-stage Venture Fund and are now targeting €100m by final close.

The Elkstone Ireland Venture Fund will be impactful, supporting Irish founders who are building great internationally scalable companies. This mandate will enable home-grown Irish companies to maintain their Irish HQ and support the creation of thousands of Irish jobs over the coming years. Elkstone’s existing venture portfolio include stars such as LetsGetChecked, Manna, Soapbox Labs, Flipdish, HealthBeacon, Altada and many more which have collectively created over a thousand jobs.

With broad support from other stakeholders across the ecosystem, Elkstone advocated for the legislative change required to launch this fund and has delivered on its promise to Government to raise meaningful capital to invest in Irish early-stage companies.


For further information, please contact:

Press Office, Enterprise Ireland