The European Investment Fund (EIF) - part of the European Investment Bank - has said it will invest €20m in ACT Venture Capital’s latest fund, ACT V, in Ireland. 

This will see the fund finance around 30 high potential early and expansion stage companies in the information and communication technology sector over the next ten years.

The EIF said that by mobilising other investors, including funds from the private sector and EIF, this investment should lead to overall investments of over €90m for Irish SMEs looking to expand internationally.

The investments made by the new fund will focus on companies in the software, internet, digital media, communications and mobile sectors. 

The fund includes investment from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, Enterprise Ireland, AIB and private investors.

It aims to back 15-18 expansion companies over the next four years and will invest up to €7m in each company. 

Some of these companies will come from ACT’s "seed fund" activities which backs early-stage companies at a rate of eight to ten deals a year. It has already completed over 50 such deals.

The European Investment Bank's vice president Andrew McDowell  said the bank is a firm believer in the potential of innovative companies in Ireland.

"The transaction will help to strengthen the Irish venture capital ecosystem and endorse an experienced second generation team now raising its first full scale fund," Mr McDowell said.