Irish tech funding reached a new high of €1.19 billion last year with a record number of 264 companies raising investments, new figures from TechIreland show. 

TechIreland said that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, ten companies each raised over €30m last year - more than double the previous year when just four companies raised over €30m. 

The number of companies raising between €5m and €30m has also more than doubled since 2018. 

TechIreland said the results highlight the real advances being made by the Irish tech sector and underline the benefits of supporting tech startups that are now scaling and creating exports and jobs across Ireland. 

It noted that the overall results were dominated by some very large rounds and the top 10 largest investments accounted for a little more than half (53%) of the funding raised.  Amarenco raised €165m, followed by ALX Oncology (€98m) and Fenergo (€73.6m).

The HeathTech sector accounted for most of the funding last year as 64 companies raised a total €411m.

Covid related projects were important for several companies - Let's Get Checked raised €71m to produce rapid test kits, and companies like Kastus, Remedy Bio and Aquila Bioscience all received supports for their Covid related solutions. 

Enterprise Solutions was the largest sector in terms of the number of companies, with 86 companies raising €219m. 

FinTech was at a distance third with 30 companies raising a total of €186m. 

Meanwhile, ten CleanTech companies raised €173m, while other sectors such as AgTech, eCommerce, MediaTech all raised in the €30m range with smaller sums going into SportsTech, Travel, Security and Telecom. 

But today's Funding Review from TechIreland also showed the downward trend in funding at the seed stage, which has been evident for the past few years, continued in 2020. 

It said that funding rounds in the €1-3m range have been dropping consistently - by over 20% over the last four years. They fell by €97m in 2017, €89m in 2018, €82m in 2019 and saw a further fall of €78m last year.

John O'Dea, TechIreland's chief executive, said that Ireland is producing world-class entrepreneurs and tech businesses with the ambition and capability to conquer global markets.  

"While we rightly celebrate some of the huge investments here, we always need to remember to support the vulnerable early-stage businesses that will be the giants of the next decade," he added.

Niall McEvoy of Enterprise Ireland said that Irish startup funding, while challenging, remains robust. 

"We have more than 10 active institutional investors alongside Enterprise Ireland, a strong angel network in HBAN and European Angel Fund, good family office activity and now crowdfunding as a real option," he added.