Northern Ireland tech startups raise record VC funding in 2022

Northern Ireland VC 2022 Image credit: Catalyst

Northern Ireland technology companies raised a record £139m in 89 deals from venture capital firms in 2022, bucking the trend of investment levels falling across the UK as a whole.

It marks a 29% increase on the year prior, in which investors deployed £107m across 68 deals and three times 2019’s total of £44.3m. Across the whole UK, tech investment dropped by 22% last year.

“In light of a fall in venture capital investment in the UK market overall, the increase in venture capital investment into Northern Ireland companies is very welcome,” said Kieran Dalton, head of scaling at Catalyst.

“When we analyse the underlying data, we can see the cause of this increase has been the emergence of a cluster of growth companies which are redefining the aspirations for innovation companies within NI.”

In 2022 the majority of Northern Ireland’s funding (71%) came from VCs based outside of the country. Average funding rounds increased by £100,000 increase compared to the year prior, with the average deal amount standing at £1.6m.

Catalyst found there were 20 deals between £1m and £5m, while 10 deals surpassed £5m and five investments exceeded £10m.

Steve Orr, chief executive of Catalyst, said: “These figures show that Northern Ireland companies continue to attract increasing amounts of international investment, even at a time when venture capital activity globally has fallen.”

The country received an additional funding boost earlier this month when the state-owned British Business Bank unveil a new £70m fund to support small businesses in Northern Ireland.