Our Team

We assemble the right people for each investment we support.

Sure Valley Ventures

Brings together expertise and experience across a range of disciplines.

Led by Barry Downes, an integral figure in Ireland’s growing technology sector, we’re well placed to help your business thrive and grow over the long term.

Leveraging the relationships we’ve built, to share and grow your business. See our Advisors

Investment Team

Industry knowledge, capital and know-how.

Managing Partner

Barry Downes

Barry Downes is the Managing Partner and co-founder of Sure Valley Ventures. Barry has over 20 years experience in the areas of entrepreneurship, technology innovation and R&D, start-ups, accelerators and venture capital.

Barry previously founded FeedHenry Ltd. a leading mobile cloud company which was acquired by Red Hat (now part of IBM) for $82 million in 2014. Barry was also previously the CEO of the TSSG an international software R&D Institute and prior to that the Vice President of Software Services for Waterford Technologies a leading provider of cloud archiving tools, headquartered in Orange County, California.


Barry holds a BSc. in Applied Computing from WIT and an M.B.A. from Smurfit Business School. Barry also holds executive education qualifications from Harvard Law School, Henley Business School and Haas Business School at theUniversity of California Berkeley in Venture Capital.

Other Activities

Barry’s current research interests include augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) technologies and also new types of FinTech technologies in the areas of credit and lending, digital currencies and blockchain, mobile and digital banking and new models for Foreign Exchange.


T:+44 (0)207 186 9900

Founding Partner

Brian Kinane

Brian is an experienced industry software, tech entrepreneur and investment manager. He has extensive corporate technology experience from product management roles at global telecom companies such as Ericsson Group and Telenor Group. Additionally, Brian has deep operational experience as a founding shareholder and board director of a number of high tech start-ups backed by international VCs including FeedHenry where he worked with Barry Downes. He has had a successful track record as a hedge fund growth capital investment manager funding over 60 companies.


Brian holds a BA in Mod Computer Science from Trinity College, Dublin, and MBA from London and Columbia Business Schools.

Other Activities

A lover of fresh powder and all things gnarly, Brian escapes to the mountains as often as possible. A first lift, last lift kind of guy, he has the most energy on the mountain, and his skill on the skis is pretty reasonable too.


T:+44 (0)207 186 9900

Partner and Head of Platform

Cian Hughes

Cian Hughes is a Cambridge, UK based venture capitalist and technology entrepreneur with over 20 years operational experience in the areas of venture capital, accelerators, executive networks, software solutions, mobile platforms and supply chain operations.

Previously Cian was an executive with Lotus Inc. (now IBM), Intel Corporation and Palm Inc. as well as being Vice President of Operations for the San Francisco and San Jose, CA based Silicon Valley Global (SVG) Partners. In addition to venture capital and software executive positions, he also ran a solar manufacturing facility in Cardiff Wales and global smartphone repair, service and reverse logistics centers in the Czech Republic and the UK.

Cian holds a BSc in Mathematics and Physics from University College Dublin (UCD) and a post-graduate higher diploma in Business Management from Trinity College Dublin (TCD).


Isabelle O’Keeffe

Isabelle is a Principal at Sure Valley Ventures where she focuses on identifying and evaluating investment opportunities in areas including AR/VR, IoT and Fintech. Her previous experience has been working across the telco, technology and media sectors in London, Madrid and the Nordics.

Isabelle started her career at Telefonica on the Corporate Development & M&A team focused on acquiring and investing into companies in the following areas; SaaS, M2M, FinTech, Security, IoT and AdTech. Isabelle also supported Telefonica’s venture capital arm based in Silicon Valley with investments such as Box.com and Blueliv (Cyber Security) and also worked closely with the Wayra Academy (Telefonica’s Accelerator Programme) in London. She then went on to the Venture arm of  Norwegian Media Group Schibsted, sourcing and managing Seed, Series A and upwards investments into marketplaces, prop-tech, fintech and deep tech companies.

Immediately before joining Sure Valley she worked at the Barclays Fintech Accelerator Programme powered by Techstars, working closely with start-ups and helping them to build and grow their businesses. During her career she’s been involved in numerous deals and investment decisions helping to identify potential investee companies.


Isabelle graduated with honours from University College Dublin (UCD) with a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) and Spanish. During her degree she took part in the Erasmus programme and spent a year at the University of Valencia. Thereafter she continued her education at Cass Business School with a MSc in Management, specialising in Strategy. Isabelle obtained her CIMA qualification in 2014 and is fluent in Spanish.

Other Activities

Isabelle is a lover of all things travel and has been known to book last minute impromptu trips if time and money will allow. However, given the choice of a sun or snow holiday she will pick the Alps or Rockies every time and will ski all day every day. Isabelle is also a keen tennis player and enjoys running the odd half marathon.


T:+44 (0)207 186 9900