UK venture capital fund BGF is launching the largest ever growth capital fund aimed at the Irish SME market.

The new €250m fund is backed by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and both AIB and Bank of Ireland.

BGF provides initial investments of between €2m and €10m in return for a minority stake in a company, with additional funding to investee companies as needed. 

It said the businesses it backs typically turn over between €5m and €100m a year and have a strong management team in place. 

Over the past six years, BGF has invested in nearly 200 businesses in the UK, including technology companies, manufacturers, recycling firms, housebuilders, retail chains and more. 

It said these businesses collectively generate revenue of over £3 billion and employ more than 28,000 people.

Leo Casey, head of BGF in Ireland said that there are many businesses across Ireland that can benefit from the type of long-term capital that BGF provides. 

"Over the past 20 years, I have worked with many diverse companies here - from family-run firms to high-tech innovators and professional services companies - and many share the same aspirations to grow their company without losing control," he added.

Stephen Welton, CEO of BGF said the company exists to enable entrepreneurs and management teams to realise their ambitions by helping them to scale up and reach new heights. 

"Along with capital we bring knowledge, resource and patience. So far, this approach has achieved phenomenal results and we can't wait to bring this model to Ireland's immensely exciting entrepreneurial landscape," Mr Welton added.