A new fund being floated today on the London Stock Exchange is to invest €5.7m into Barry Downes’s Waterford-based Suir Valley Ventures Fund.

‘Sure Ventures’ will raise money that specifically targets investments in Irish startups focused on virtual reality, augmented reality, fintech and ‘internet of things’ technologies.

Mr Downes, who is managing partner of Suir Valley Ventures, was a founder of FeedHenry, the Waterford-based cloud-based mobile app company acquired for $82m by the US tech giant Red Hat in 2014.

He is also the chairman of the Waterford-based Telecommunications Software and Systems Group, a software research institute focusing on artificial intelligence, virtual reality and mobile technology.

Mr Downes also has Silicon Valley experience as a partner of SVG Partners, an investment firm with San Francisco-based connections to companies such as the mobile security firm Lookout.

“The team has a proven record of value creation by investing in early stage technology companies,” said Gareth Burchell, Sure director.

“We are looking to replicate this success on the public markets with Sure, and in the process, offer investors the opportunity to gain early stage exposure to pioneering companies with winning technologies,” Mr Burchell said. “The markets we are targeting in the technology sector are fast approaching what we believe are growth inflexion points.

“In the case of VR, as the number of headset units sold increases so too does demand for quality content and applications from a growing ecosystem of software, support and content providers.

“FinTech is already an established market but is set to grow further thanks to secular drivers such as regulation, cyber security and changing payment methods.”