Ireland has a strong cohort of born-on-the-cloud software businesses using the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model to reach global markets. Here are the ones to watch in 2020.

1. AMCS

Limerick enterprise SaaS player AMCS is the leading supplier of integrated software and vehicle technology for the waste, recycling and material resources industries. It helps more than 2,500 organisations to reduce their operating costs, increase asset utilisation, optimize margins and improve customer service. The company was founded in 2003 by Austin Ryan and Jimmy Martin, employs more than 300 people and has raised 183.6m in funding so far.

2. Big Red Cloud

Beginning life as a pure-play accountancy software business, Big Red Cloud evolved to the cloud in 2012 and today has more than 75,000 customers across the UK and Ireland. The company recently raised €2.5m from alternative SME lender DunPort Capital and has its eyes on winning 100,000 new customers in the post-Brexit SME business landscape. The company was founded in 2010 by Marc O’Dwyer.

3. CloudSmith

Four men and one woman standing on top of a building.

Cloudsmith’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offers an advanced logistics platform for software developers, operators and vendors, who need to secure, manage and accelerate their product development and distribution. It distributes millions of artifacts on behalf of its global customer base. The company, founded in Belfast by Alan Carson, Lee Skillen and Peter Lorimer recently raised £2.1m in one of the largest seed funding rounds generated by a Northern Ireland start-up. The round was led by Frontline Ventures and co-investors MMC Ventures, and locally by Techstart Ventures through its Invest NI fund, Techstart.

4. The Context Factory

 

The Context Factory is a B2B SaaS with an initial product in the use of adaptive intelligence to optimise the engagement of every talent and remove the bias in how you engage them. “Our tech works like a Netflix for talent, in that we bring an understanding of someone’s digital signature so as to match a digital engagement to them,” explained CEO Sean Fay in an interview with ThinkBusiness last year. “We then use machine learning to understand the performance of every engagement, and from that we learn what works.”

5. Edgescan

Pictured: Eoin Keary and Rahim Jina, Edgescan co-founders.

Dublin-based Edgescan has developed a platform that helps organisations navigate the confusing world of cybersecurity, identify weaknesses and shore up their defences. It is now plotting a global course. “Many organisations are faced with a wide array of threats and it’s challenging for them to keep pace with maintaining a secure posture,” said CEO and co-founder Eoin Keary in an interview with ThinkBusiness last year.

6. Glofox

Glofox is a business management platform that encompasses an integrated mobile and web application, a booking platform and payment processing, all specifically tailored for the health and fitness industry. The company was founded in 2014 by Conor O’Loughlan, Anthony Kelly and Finn Hegarty and has raised more than 13m in funding to date.

7. Intercom

Intercom is a customer messaging platform started in San Francisco in 2011 by four Irishmen – Des Traynor, Ciaran Lee, Eoghan McCabe and David Barrett – and which in 2018 sailed past the $1bn valuation milestone after raising $125m in a series D round. The company employs about 600 people in five offices worldwide and has more than 30,000 customers. Most of the company’s engineering takes place at its Dublin office on St Stephen’s Green.

8. MeetingsBooker

MeetingsBooker.com lets organisations easily book from 137,000 meeting rooms in 134 countries. The company is expecting the number of reservations it processes to triple to more than 30m by 2020. Founded by Ciaran Delaney, the Dun Laoghaire-based company boasts clients that include Dyson, Sky, Slack and Amazon.

9. MyAccessHub

Founded by IT Tralee graduate Gearoid Kearney (pictured), myAccessHub helps businesses and employees learn to be more inclusive of colleagues with autism and other neurodiversities. The company’s technology uses e-learning and virtual reality to immerse employees in scenarios that educate them in how small things within their workplace can have a huge impact on employees who have autism and other neurodiversities.

10. Payslip

Payslip’s software-as-a-service platform empowers payroll professionals to streamline their global payroll processes. The Mayo-based company was founded by Fidelma McGuirk (pictured). Prior to launching Payslip, the Wexford native previously founded Sprintax and was the CEO of Taxback.com.

11. Phorest

Phorest has developed cloud-based salon software solutions for hair, nail and beauty salons and spas. Phorest Salon Software takes the pain out of managing and growing salon businesses. Founded in Dublin in 2003 by Ronan Perceval along with Dylan Collins and Sean Blanchfield, the company is one of the biggest scheduling platforms for beauty salons in Europe, with 88pc of salons in Ireland and 19pc of the UK market. Phorest last year secured €20m in funding from US investment firm Susquehanna Growth Equity in a move that facilitated a buyout of, and a healthy return for angel investors who backed Phorest through the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN).

12. Poppulo

Cork-based Poppulo, formerly known as NewsWeaver, is a global leader in employee communications technology. Its pioneering software and expert advisory services are transforming internal communications, creating more connected, aligned and successful organisations all over the world. Founded in 1996 by Andrew O’Shaughnessy, Poppulo employs around 250 people and has raised 30m in funding to date.

13. Roomex

Roomex is a free, B2B, self-service hotel management platform with expert support offering cost savings, a simplified expense management system, a single monthly invoice and the best rates on all hotels globally. Roomex makes workforce travel easier for the finance department, hotel bookers and business travellers. Roomex was founded by Karl Glennon and Jack Donaghy in 2006 and has raised more than 11.5m in funding. The company employs around 100 people.

14. Scurri

Wexford-based Scurri has created a simple, effective and adaptable API (application programmable interface) and dashboard built to help e-commerce merchants to optimise their ordering, shipping and delivery. Founded by Josephine O’Connor, Rory O’Connor and Eugene Crehan, the company has raised €7m in funding to date.

15. TeachKloud

TeachKloud is a Cork-based cloud edtech management platform that allows preschool managers to work smart and cut time spent on administration to improve the quality of teaching delivered by all staff. The company recently announced a €750,000 investment. The company was founded by Wendy Eke and plans to address a market estimated to be worth €215bn by 2025.

16. Teamwork.com

Two men in tuxedos holding awards.

Teamwork.com is a web-based project and groupware management tools platform helping managers, staff and clients work together online. Teamwork was founded by Daniel Mackey and Peter Coppinger (pictured above) in 2007 and is one of Cork’s biggest indigenous tech success stories. It is now $31m a year software business employing 244 people (180 or so of them in Cork), recently opened new offices in Belfast and in 2018 was named EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year. The company even has plans to build its own Apple spaceship-style campus in Cork.

17. Utmost

Three men smiling in front of a grey background.

Pictured (left to right): Utmost COO Dan Beck, CEO Annrai O’Toole and CTO Paddy Benson.

Utmost is building solutions for the enterprise and its extended workforce – from temporary workers to consultants, vendors, freelancers, contractors and more – to seamlessly and efficiently work together. Co-founded by Iona and Cape Clear co-founder Annrai O’Toole – Utmost recently raised €11.2m in a Series A round led by Greylock Partners.

18. Webio

Group of men standing with a robot cut-out on a street in Dublin.

Webio founders Paul Sweeney, Graham Brierton, Mark Oppermann and Cormac O’Neill.

Dublin and Limerick-based Webio provides conversational middleware for very large companies in retail, financial services, and utilities. Founded by Paul Sweeney, Graham Brierton, Mark Oppermann and Cormac O’Neill Webio raised €1.75m in a seed round to build a platform to pursue this vision and now employ ten people spread between Dublin, Cork, Belfast and the UK.

19. Workvivo

Man in blue t-shirt beside man in vest.

Workvivo co-founder John Goulding with Xoom co-founder Eric Yuang.

Cork-based Workvivo has designed an internal communications platform based on the way people are familiar with interacting outside of the workplace, and brought that into a business context. Co-founded by John Goulding and Joe Lennon in 2017, Workvivo recently raised €500,000 in a funding round led by Zoom founder Eric Yuan.

20. XSellco

XSellco makes selling online more simple by empowering e-commerce businesses of all sizes to fulfil their potential. Its products – Repricer, eDesk and Feedback – help firms sell smarter, respond faster and enhance their reputation. XSellco was founded by tech entrepreneur Ray Nolan in 2014. Nolan is a highly successful entrepreneur behind companies like Web Reservations International and Hostelword, which floated publicly in 2015 raising €180m in the process.

Written by John Kennedy

Published: 14 January, 2020

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