BDO Development Capital Fund invests €9M in Netwatch Group as part of €19.5M funding round

BDO Development Capital Fund invests €9M in Netwatch Group as part of €19.5M funding round

The BDO Development Capital Fund is co-funding a €19.5million investment in Netwatch Group, Ireland’s leading high tech security specialists.

It is the largest funding round in Netwatch to date. The BDO Development Capital Fund is providing €9 million, the largest of its five investments so far, with Bank of Ireland providing €10.5million debt financing.

Netwatch was incorporated in Carlow in 2003 by co-founders and joint owners of the Company, David Walsh (CEO) and Niall Kelly (CTO).

The funds will be used to support Netwatch’s international growth strategy.  New customer acquisition in the US and the UK markets is a key aspect of the investment.  As part of the Investment Sinead Heaney, Investment Director of Development Capital has joined the Netwatch Board. The project is also supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland’s investment in the BDO Development Capital Fund.

Netwatch deploys the most advanced video processing technologies to proactively monitor and protect their clients’ assets. This involves installing high quality security cameras coupled with its intelligent software to detect suspicious events at its customer’s sites.  Intervention Specialists direct operations remotely from the Netwatch Communication Hub, visually verifying the intruders and intervene as soon as security is breached by verbally alerting the intruders they are being watched with a personalised warning. 

Netwatch is experiencing significant demand for its services in all of its active markets driven by:

•           The size of the UK and US markets;

•           Demand for real-time response systems;

•           Pressure from first responders to reduce false alarms;

•           Regulatory developments;

•           Insurance pressure to reduce liabilities

Announcing the Fund’s investment in the Netwatch Group, Investment Director of The BDO Development Capital Fund, Andrew Bourg, commented:

“We are delighted to partner with Netwatch and look forward to supporting and assisting them achieve Netwatch’s international growth objectives.  The Netwatch Group, led by its ambitious management team, has proven itself as a premium provider of remote video monitoring and security systems both domestically and internationally.  It now has significant and exciting growth opportunities to further scale internationally, which is what the BDO Development Capital Fund is designed to both accelerate and support.”

Netwatch Group Chief Executive, David Walsh, said:

“In the middle of the recession, we focused on research and development and expanding the business internationally. This funding announcement is validation of that decision and also lays the ground work for the next three years. The Netwatch value proposition is well received in the USA and this investment will enable us to capitalise on the great opportunity that the US presents. We are confident that we can double the size of the company over the next three years.” 

Enterprise Ireland CEO, Julie Sinnamon, commented:

“A key role of Enterprise Ireland is to help companies innovate and scale internationally. We are delighted with the investment by the Fund into Netwatch.  This is exactly the type of investment that our Development Capital Scheme was set up to make, which is to provide our client companies with the funding to reach the next level of scale.  Enterprise Ireland has supported Netwatch through funding and participation in stock exchange IPO programme.  The investment fund will enable company to further expand in global markets”.

Donal Duffy, Director, Corporate Banking Ireland, Bank of Ireland said: 

“We are delighted to partner with the BDO Development Capital Fund in providing long-term financing to the Netwatch Group, a leading international technology company at the forefront of security surveillance.  Bank of Ireland has a proven track record in supporting Irish businesses with global reach and we are delighted to continue our relationship with Netwatch to help achieve its future ambitions.”

Netwatch were advised by EY and William Fry while Eversheds acted for Development Capital. 

The BDO Development Capital Fund forms part of the Government’s Development Capital Scheme, an initiative under the Action Plan for Jobs through which a total of €225million is being made available to mid-sized Irish companies with significant growth potential. As part of this Scheme, €75million in funds from the Department of Jobs through Enterprise Ireland will be matched with €150million of private sector funding for investments in Irish companies through a series of different funds.