New figures show that Irish high tech SMEs raised a total of €247m in the first three months of the year.

This was up 4% on the same time last year, according to the Irish Venture Capital Association's Venture Pulse survey, in association with William Fry.

IVCA chairman Michael Murphy said it was positive to see investment being maintained in 2017, especially as 2016 was a "bumper" year for funding with the first quarter of 2016 nearly double that of 2015.

The first quarter of 2017 also saw a continuing recovery in first round seed funding, which rose by over a third to €33m - or 14% of funds raised.

Today's survey showed that software and IT services dominated the first quarter with 51% of funds raised. It noted that one company - Version 1 - raised over 36% of total funds. 

Regina Breheny, director general of the IVCA, said that since the credit crunch in 2008, over 1,300 Irish SMEs have raised venture capital of €3.1 billion.

"These funds were raised almost exclusively by Irish VC fund managers who during this period supported the creation of up to 20,000 jobs; attracted over €1.37 billion of capital into Ireland and geared up the state's investment through the Seed and Venture Capital Programme by almost 16 times," Ms Breheny added.

Elsewhere, Ireland's biggest non-bank lender, Finance Ireland, says it has provided over €65m in finance for more than 40 different commercial property transactions since it launched just over a year ago.

The bulk of the money has gone towards projects in major urban centres.

The lender said it expects to provide more than €100m in loans this year.