Ulster Bank is teaming up UK venture capital fund BGF, the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), AIB and Bank of Ireland to support entrepreneurial and scale up businesses across the country.

Ulster Bank has committed additional capital to BGF's long-term investment vehicle which has potentially up to €250m to invest in Irish SMEs.

BGF became the largest growth capital investor in Ireland when it launched in November last year with initial backing from ISIF, AIB, Bank of Ireland, and its existing shareholders.

BGF will make initial investments of between €1m and €10m in Ireland into early-stage and established companies across every sector. 

The companies it backs will typically have revenues of between €5-100m. 

In the UK, BGF has invested in more than 220 UK-headquartered since 2011, making it the UK's most active equity investor.  

Leo Casey, Head of Republic of Ireland at BGF, said the fund was in a unique position as the only equity investor to have the backing of the three major Irish banks. 

"Importantly, we have an increased pool of money to invest and we will now look to build relationships across a wider network of promising businesses across the country," he added.

"There is a huge opportunity to help more of Ireland’s ambitious smaller and mid-sized companies, as well as entrepreneurs, to build bigger businesses," commented Stephen Welton, CEO of BGF.

"BGF is focused on working alongside Ireland's funding community as a core part of broadening the availability of equity finance for growing companies," he added.