Amidst much anticipation and fanfare, Enterprise Ireland, the Irish government’s agency responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world market, has launched the state’s fintech and deeptech fund yesterday at the Future of FinTech conference. The fund will support ventures in a broad array of fintech niches such artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented and virtual reality, the internet of things, blockchain, and cloud. Meanwhile, Luge Capital, a Canadian fintech venture capital fund focusing on AI, has finally opened its doors for operation after successfully raising $75 million from several other Quebec-based financial institutions for its investment pot.
Ireland’s Minister of State for Financial Services Michael D’Arcy, believes that the fund, which provides critical early-stage start-up capital, will help Ireland maintain its position as the fourth larger exporter of financial services in the world. Before the official launch of the fund,the state body has already pumped money into 23 fintech startups — making Enterprise Ireland one of the biggest fintech investors in the world. Luge Capital, in and of itself a partnership between Quebec-based credit union association Desjardins Group and the state owned pension fund la Caisse, have committed $25 million of their own funds and plans to enlarge the investment vehicle further still. Luge says that it is planning to invest sums between $250,000 and $2 million in seed and Series A funding rounds of startups working to enhance customer experiences, improve the efficiency of financial institutions, and the implementation of data analytics & AI.
Governments around the world have been amping state investment in fintech, seeing the sector’s high returns as a key source of economic growth. Over the past two years, China has launched its own USD 1.44 billion, partially state-controlled Asia Fintech Fund of Funds, while the State Bank of India has allocated USD 10 million into an unnamed fintech fund.