Despite the chaos caused by Covid-19, Ireland’s start-ups keep on innovating. Here are 50 to watch in 2021.

The year ahead will be an interesting one for Ireland’s entrepreneurs. The evidence is that despite the challenges caused by the pandemic, Ireland’s appetite for start-ups shows no signs of abating.

According to latest figures from credit risk analyst CRIFVision-net, Irish start-up figures are showing positive signs of Covid-19 recovery, with Q3 showing a 37pc increase in start-up registrations versus the previous quarter.

Venture capital funding into Irish SMEs increased by 41pc to €192.8m in the third quarter of 2020, compared to €136.4m last year, according to the latest  Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) VenturePulse survey published in association with William Fry. This follows a record second quarter (Q2) this year when funding increased by 58pc to €363.8m.

Going into 2021 after a year like no other, here are the 50 start-ups to watch in 2021:

ApisProtect

Cork-based ApisProtect uses beehive sensor technology and machine learning in its bee monitoring technology. This beekeeping technology combines the sensor data on hive conditions, strength and activity levels with its proprietary big data and machine learning techniques, to deliver a 24/7 early warning system about at-risk hives and give beekeepers actionable insights and to help prevent losses and increase colony productivity.

Dr Fiona Edwards Murphy, CEO and Co-Founder of ApisProtect is among the most widely published authors on Internet of Things and honeybees.

“Our bee monitoring technology will enable beekeepers to manage their apiaries more effectively and focus on cultivating larger and stronger colonies. We are delighted to be working with Microsoft as we scale our company globally over the next two years.”

ApisProtect recently joined the Microsoft for Start-ups programme. This strategic partnership will allow ApisProtect to use Microsoft technologies to scale its business for the next two years.

The Beauty Buddy

Two women holding a beauty buddy sign.

Sisters Tracy Leavy and Wendy Slattery

Sisters Wendy Slattery and Tracy Levy have built The Beauty Buddy, a data analytics company dedicated to the beauty and cosmetic industry.

The Beauty Buddy provides real-time insights and actionable data to global retailers.

Data is gathered directly from consumers’ social interactions through a product review app designed specifically for beauty consumers.

Bounce Insights

Two young men beside a sign that says Bounce.

Bounce Insights co-founders Charlie Butler and Brian O’Mahony

Dublin start-up Bounce Insights is transforming market research as we know it, enabling researchers to get answers directly from their target market.

The young Dublin company is moving the dial on market research, changing the narrative from “we think” to “we know” directly from the Bounce Insights dashboard.

Bounce Insights was founded by five Trinity College Students (now graduates), from both business and computer science backgrounds who started working as a team back in January 2019.

Buymedia

Smiling man in navy jacket.

Buymedia is building a community of what it terms “advertising superheroes” by helping SMEs to grow through more effective advertising.

The company claims to have built a world’s first in terms of an online platform that helps SME advertisers to plan, purchase, manage and monitor their advertising across all media, both traditional and digital, to increase return on investment from advertising.

“We believe that SMEs are the real business superheroes – they work hard, the support their community, their lives are a constant struggle and they have to compete for customers with big brands who have better insights and data, greater resources and expertise,” said co-founder and CEO Fergal O’Connor.

Buymie

 

ThinkBusiness.ie · Episode 15 – Devan Hughes – Buymie

Buymie has created a platform using artificial intelligence (AI) technology, that enables consumers to access multiple large grocery retailers and receive short notice delivery to their chosen destination in as little as an hour. The business has forged a multi-year partnership with Lidl Ireland. Buymie recently announced the creation of 200 additional personal shopping roles for Ireland in response to demand for same-day grocery delivery. 50 of these jobs have been earmarked for Cork. Buymie was founded by Artavazd Sokhikyan and Devan Hughes. In June, Buymie closed a Series A funding round of €5.8m in new investments into its business, to take its total capital raised in 2020 to over €8m and €10.5m to date.

CALT Dynamics

Man with beard beside dark-haired woman.

When it comes to the future of manufacturing and Industry 4.0, Wicklow-based CALT Dynamics makes it simpler through 3D printing and VR.

CALT Dynamics is a technology generation company that uses decentralising technologies such as 3D printing and virtual reality to create intellectual property (IP) for manufacturers to license. It also offers an online manufacturing service called CustomParts.ie

In plain English, it uses the latest tech to take the hard work out of making hardware.

Ross Lawless and Irene Villafane are the founders of CALT Dynamics, and they started the company to create technologies that empower people. “Recent events have really highlighted that self-sufficiency and short logistics chains are critical for the manufacturing industry.”

Campus Connect

Two men standing on a bridge.

CampusConnect is an app which connects university applicants with current students and graduates of their course of interest.

The app is used by top Irish and UK universities to help recruit students at home and from overseas. As many classes in third-level institutions move online during the Covid-19 pandemic, community building for students has never been more important. The company was founded by Daniel Hinkley and Declan Sweeney.

Change Donations

Young man and woman sitting at a table.

Change Donation founders William Conaghan and Lizzy Hayashida

Dublin start-up Change Donations is transforming the fundraising process for charities, enabling donors to link their debit cards and donate rounded-up change to their selected cause.

Dedicated to charities, non-profits and philanthropists, Change Donations is applying a fintech solution to a no-brainer way for people to support causes they care about.

The platform links to donors’ credit or debit cards and automatically rounds up their purchases to the nearest euro, donating the round-up difference to a charity or cause.

Chatspace

Man with glasses and a blue shirt.

John Clancy, CEO and founder of Chatspace

Galway start-up Chatspace has developed an artificial intelligence answers and insights platform that keeps projects on track and prevents costly failures.

Chatspace works with the world’s largest companies unleashing new insights for company strategy that traditional teams can’t reach, automating repeatable tasks and scaling capabilities across the enterprise.

“Project Management is integral to enterprise,” explained Chatspace CEO and founder John Clancy. “The vast majority of work is and will continue to be project-based. Studies show that half of all projects underperform and one third fail and it is estimated that failed IT projects cost enterprises €250bn a year across the US and Europe. Management is often limited to the subjective optimism or pessimism of project managers which can result in unnecessary and costly micromanagement.”

Dataships

Dublin and San Francisco-based Dataships helps companies to automate their privacy compliance while building healthy, transparent relationships with their customers. Dataships was founded by Michael Storan and Ryan McErlane. The company recently raised €500,000 in seed funding from backers that include Enterprise Ireland, Accelprise, former IBI CEO Peter Crowley and Irish rugby player Ian Madigan.

EdgeTier

Three men standing in front of graffiti wall.

EdgeTier founders Ciarán Tobin, Bart Lehane and Shane Lynn.

Dublin start-up EdgeTier delivers high-quality analytics products and services to clients in the areas of customer service, customer simulation, and analytics services.

Founded in 2015 by Bart Lehane, Ciaran Tobin and Shane Lynn, the company recently raised €1.5m in a funding round led by Episode 1, ACT Venture Capital and Enterprise Ireland. The company recently won Enterprise Ireland’s Digital Disruptor award.

Evervault

Young man standing on a bridge over River Liffey in Dublin.

At just 20 years of age, Dubliner Shane Curran has clocked up more achievements than most people twice his age. The founder of security start-up Evervault hit the headlines last after it emerged he raised $3.2m in seed funding led by venerable Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital along with Kleiner Perkins, Frontline, and SV angel along with some unnamed tech innovators and investors. He apparently raised the funding within days of doing his first Leaving Cert exam. This was followed by a further $16m in a Series A round led by Index Ventures.

In 2017 Curran stole the show at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition as overall winner when his encryption project using quantum, secured storage, wowed the judges. He previously hit the headlines as a skilled programmer at just 11 years of age building apps. Curran is currently on a “leave of absence” from UCD in order to focus on growing Evervault.

Frequency

Man in suit sitting at desk.

Captain Kris Vansteenkiste, co-founder of Frequency

Focused on eliminating airline delays using cloud technology, the three grounded Aer Lingus pilots who founded Frequency are flying high.

Frequency is a software solution that utilises the recently installed on-board Wi-Fi and 4G tablet devices within airlines, in a singular, simple and easy to use solution, combining the advantages of the eight existing systems, while discarding their inherent limitations.

“Frequency requires minimal capital expenditure, has no range issues, no line of sight issues, can run in parallel with existing systems before replacing them, has better sound quality, can use the optimum method of communication whether it is voice, text, file or photo at any time, on the ground, in the air and at the destination,” co-founder Kris Vansteenkiste said. “This has not been possible until now.

“Airlines will have less congested channels, increased reliability, and increased efficiency and reduced costs for their communications, which directly results in improved operational efficiency, turnaround time and safety. Critically, digitising these channels will make it possible to automate communications, collect rich actionable data and predict events. This decreases staff workload, improves disruption management and operational efficiency.”

Flexiwage

Man in blue jacket holding a mobile phone.

Waterford fintech Flexiwage empowers employees to have their wages paid their way throughout the working month.

Dungarvan-headquartered Flexiwage recognises a global issue, where lower income earners are constantly fighting an uphill struggle living in their overdraft or on costly credit facilities because of how their income and expenses are scheduled.

Having spent years in payroll in a Big 4 firm, founder Anthony Cronin knew there must be a better way. “Flexiwage is a financial wellness benefit for employees which enables them to schedule their income in a pay frequency that suits their needs without impacting on a company’s ability to process a normal monthly payroll,” Cronin said.

Flipdish

Two men standing beside a food kiosk.

Flipdish founders Conor and James McCarthy. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

Flipdish was founded in 2015 by brothers Conor and James McCarthy and is Ireland’s number one platform for white-label digital food ordering and marketing systems and the most popular alternative to the larger online aggregators (Deliveroo / Just Eat etc) that dominate digital food ordering globally. Flipdish currently employs 90 staff and has raised €7m to date in funding. So far in 2019, Flipdish order deliveries covered 1,146,575 km – the same distance as going to the moon, back to earth and returning to the moon again.

FoodMarble

Man and woman using a food digestive tracking device.

Dublin-based FoodMarble has developed a small but powerful breath test device that together with a smartphone app helps you figure out what food is best for you.

According to FoodMarble CEO and co-founder Aonghus Shortt, one in eight people experience frequent digestive disruption and food is the most obvious factor. Since everyone’s digestive system is unique FoodMarble has the answer.

FoodMarble recently raised €1.2m in a funding round led by a Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) investor syndicate along Enterprise Ireland, SOSV and Delta Partners.

The company was founded by Shortt along with co-founders Lisa Ruttledge and Peter Harte.

Glimpse

Two young men sitting at a desk.

Dublin firm Glimpse has developed an audience analysis platform that captures and surveys demographic, movement and crowd information at a large scale in the physical world.

Using advanced image processing, the Glimpse platform provides real-time actionable insights within the retail and media industries.

“Retailers across the globe are all facing the same issues, the rising tide of e-commerce is hurting real world ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses,” explained Glimpse co-founder Shane O’Sullivan.

Glimpse founders Oran Mulvey and Shane O’Sullivan

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. Glofox recently raised $10m (€9.2m) in funding as well as the launch of a new platform that enables gyms and fitness studios to deliver live streaming and premium on-demand content. The $10m funding brings total funding raised by Dublin-based Glofox to $23m.

HealthBeacon

Smartphone acting as a doctor.

HealthBeacon has developed a tech platform that helps patients adhere to medication with digital reminders. Its flagship product is a smart sharps bin for use by patients who inject medication at home.

The bin is digitally connected to an individual’s smartphone and is used for the disposal of injector pens and syringes, as well as to track individual patients’ adherence to medication regimes and to remind them to stay on track if necessary. The company, founded by Jim Joyce and Kieran Daly, has raised €12m to date with backers including SGInnovate, Manatt Health, BVP, Elkstone Partners and Oyster Capital.

ID-Pal

Four men and a woman outside a building.

Colum Lyons, founder and CEO; Shelley McKinney, CMO; James O’Toole, CBO; Simon Montgomery, director of Operations; and CTO Rob O’Farrell. Image: Conor Healy / Picture It Photography

ID-Pal enables businesses to verify the identity of customers in real-time simply, securely and conveniently. The company was founded by James O’Toole and Colum Lyons and enables businesses to onboard and verify customers identity in seconds.

The Dublin SaaS security company, recently raised €1m in fresh funding to fuel its local and global expansion.

Moby Bikes

Man standing with yellow bike in Dublin's Silicon Docks.

Moby is licenced by Dublin City Council to operate 1,000 electric bikes in the city, which has the potential to replace 10,000 car trips a day or 3.6 million car trips per year.

Having reached 4,000 registered users who have cycled more than 100,000km in the pilot phase, revenue is trending at €7-10 per day per bike, conservatively estimated to grow to from two to six journeys per bike per day over three years.

Prior to establishing Moby, founder Thomas O’Connell headed Yvolution, a kids’ wheeled-goods company that grew revenues to $60m within three years.

Moby recently launched a €300,000 equity crowdfunding campaign via online platform Spark Crowdfunding.

Nuritas

Woman in black dress talking on stage.

Nora Khaldi at the SingularityU, Netherlands Summit. Image: Sebastian ter Burg

Nora Khaldi is the founder of Nuritas, a company that uses big data to discover peptides that will influence the future of food, Dr Nora Khaldi has landed major investments from figures like U2’s Bono and The Edge as well as Marc Benioff and last year became the first Irish biotech to gain direct support from the European Investment Bank (EIB) with €30m in funding. The former mathematician founded Nuritas in 2014 and uses technology to mine DNA and protein data from plant materials to discover new food components to help prevent, manage and even cure diseases.

LetsGetChecked

Man holding a box.

Lets Get Checked Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

It emerged recently that Peter Foley’s fast-scaling Irish start-up LetsGetChecked is opening a new lab in Dublin and has moved into at-home Covid-19 testing, promising a 24-hour turnaround at €129 per test. LetsGetChecked earlier this year announced 120 new jobs after raising $71m in funding. In recent weeks it announced a further 80 jobs.

Founded by Foley in 2014, LetsGetChecked initially offered hormone tests, fertility tests, HIV tests, STI tests and wellness tests. It recently begun rolling out Covid-19 testing services using an at-home nasal swab and PCR lab analysis. In recent months it partnered with American Airlines to introduce pre-flight Covid tests.

Leveris

Man in black t-shirt making a presentation on stage.

Leveris CEO Conor Fennelly

Dublin-based Leveris is out to transform the fintech and banking world after building a software-defined, cloud-native, digital core banking platform.

Leveris claims the platform will help to finally cut the cord binding banks and fintech companies to complex, expensive and outdated systems.

The platform enables banks and fintech firms to offer a wide variety of retail banking products including current accounts, deposit accounts, personal loans, mortgages, digital onboarding (Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering) and more.

Incorporated in 2016, Leveris is headquartered in Dublin with offices and development centres in Prague, Brno and Minsk. Its 200+ team has extensive experience in financial services, technology and banking, and is imagining a better way to build a bank.

Manna

Man in blue shirt on white coach gesturing with hands while answering a question.

Bobby Healy, one of the brilliant minds behind the success of CarTrawler, is back with Manna.Aero, a fascinating new venture focused on using drones to deliver goods. Originally the venture focused on food deliveries but with the onset of Covid-19 it has pivoted in the direction of delivering medication and critical supplies to vulnerable people. If he is successful Healy could be the author of a breakthrough in transport platform that could make much of the road transport of goods by road a thing of the past. Manna has already attracted backing from venture capital firms Elkstone Capital and Frontline Ventures and raised $3m in funding last December.

NearForm

Waterford’s NearForm emerged as one of the heroes of the hour by playing a lead role in the development of the Covid-19 tracker app for the Republic of Ireland which has since been rolled out in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Gibraltar, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. NearForm is a software platform that delivers consulting, co-development, products, training and support for large enterprises. The company was founded in 2011 and is led by CEO Cian Ó Maidín.

Output Sports

Man lifting weights.

Martin O’Reilly using Output Capture System with Leinster winger Adam Byrne

With gyms and training grounds remaining closed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, athletes and coaches are increasingly turning to companies such as Output Sports to help them to optimise their remote training programmes.

Output Sports, a UCD sports technology start-up headquartered at NovaUCD, has developed Output // Capture, an end-to-end solution that can test multiple components of athletic performance and track training programmes with a single wearable sensor.

In March the company announced that it had closed a €1.3m seed funding round. In 2019 Output Sports was named ‘Best Early Stage’ company, at the Dublin Final of the 2019 InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition.

Output originated from PhD research completed by Dr. Darragh Whelan, Dr. Martin O’Reilly with Prof. Brian Caulfield in the Insight Centre for Data Analytics in UCD.

OnBrand

Man in black jacket.

Tom Ryan, founder, Smart Group/OnBrand

OnBrand enables business executives to tailor brand-compliant marketing collateral and localise it for their specific geography or need.

Think of OnBrand as a kind Netflix for marketing material for businesses.

OnBrand is a spinout from Nenagh and Dublin-based The Smart Group.

Parkoffice.io

 

ThinkBusiness.ie · Episode 17 – Garrett Flower – ParkOffice

ParkOffice.io ensures employers can mitigate risks for employees who are commuting to offices. Using the Covid-19-focused solution employers are able to track which staff members require parking at the office on a given day. An algorithm then allocates available parking to those who are most vulnerable or whose need is greatest. By leveraging the ParkOffice solution, companies will be able to increase parking availability by up to 40pc. While at risk or non-essential staff can be automatically advised to work from home if parking facilities are not available. The technology is already being used by several Fortune 500 companies.

PharmaPod

 

ThinkBusiness.ie · Episode 31 – Leonora O’Brien

Founded by CEO Leonara O’Brien PharmaPod has developed a secure cloud-based application that enables pharmacists to record and share medication-related incidents. O’Brien is on a mission to reduce medication errors globally, a $42bn a year worldwide problem.

The company has been going from strength to strength since closing a €1.94m funding round in 2018. PharmaPod is on the cusp of closing a €3.5m round and recently appointed a new managing director Andy O’Donoghue.

“And so we have developed a cloud-based software for pharmacies and hospitals, we cater for the whole healthcare sector and you can go on to the system to do a record review, analyse all the issues that are occurring in your organisation and at the click of a button know what the risks to the patients are. It’s all to do with continuous quality improvement and being able to demonstrate how you’re improving your professional practice over time.”

Provizio

Accident prevention player Provizio is the brainchild of Limerick native Barry Lunn whose previous company Arralis was acquired three years ago for $50m by a consortium of Hong Kong investors. Lunn has assembled experts in robotics, AI and radar sensors to develop a five-dimension vision system that will bring about radical changes in vehicle safety, predicting and preventing accidents in real-time. The company recently raised €5.2m in a funding round.

Scurri

Wexford-based Scurri is redefining the future of retail. It was recently named among the top 50 retail tech start-ups operating globally, according to a new report published today by RWRC – home of Retail Week and World Retail Congress.

Scurri, whose technology connects and optimises the e-commerce ordering, shipping, and delivery process, was the only Irish company to have been listed in the industry ranking.

The company, which has also opened offices in London, adds value at multiple stages along the e-commerce journey: from selecting the most effective delivery option for each package, creating accurate labels, tracking the packages, and running analytics to deliver insight to support process improvement.

Founded by Josephine O’Connor, Rory O’Connor and Eugene Crehan, the company recently raised €1.5m in funding following massive growth spurred on by Covid-19. This round takes the Wexford-based company’s total funding to €8.5m to date.

SISU Clinic

Dark-haired man with greying beard.

Cork entrepreneur Pat Phelan’s SISU chain of cosmetic and wellness clinics are going State-side after the company raised $5.5m in a Series A round.

Last February Phelan told ThinkBusiness about his plans to go Stateside with SISU, a market he believed was ripe for SISU’s offering. “We knew from the start that we had a good idea. Ireland, in reality, has been a testbed market for us and now that it has been measured, we feel very confident.”

The company will start with an e-commerce platform in the  US and 20 retail clinics are planned for the US east coast.

Skimmp

Models on a catwalk.

Irish fashtech start-up Skmmp is an enterprise supply chain optimisation product for the wholesale fashion industry that helps designers, wholesalers and retailers get more lines of clothing in stores. The business, which was founded by Aileen Carville, is focused on the $275bn wholesale luxury fashion industry. Skmmp’s virtual showroom centralises wholesale order management and with the onset of Covid-19 it has emerged that the company is being approached by major fashion brands to digitise their collections.

Snapfix

Group of men celebrating an award win.

Initially focused on hotels but now supporting a whole range of applications, Snapfix is an application that covers a significant number of processes such as maintenance, housekeeping, fire safety checks, security checks, food safety checks and more via smartphones using photography and Near Field Communication as the conduits.

Snapfix has three experienced co-founders Paul McCarthy (CEO), Cathal Greaney (CTO) and Fergus McLoughlin (CFO).

The Startup.com

Fionan Murphy, co-founder, The Startup.com

Howth-based TheStartup.com aims to be the Swiss Army Knife of starting a business with cloud, business plan, mentor and investor resources every entrepreneur needs.

TheStartup.com is the brainchild of Rich Corbett and Fionan Murphy and aims to be a global resource for start-ups all over the world.

Smiling man in navy jacket.

Rich Corbett, co-founder, The Startup.com

“We help individual entrepreneurs and teams globally,” Murphy explained. “We are seeing a lot of interest in our white-label software solution for enterprise, called YourEcosystem. We can sell into any entrepreneurial environment such as academia, incubators/accelerators, corporate innovation, start-up judging competitions and the like.

“TheStartup.com is a community platform and as such contains a private network of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and jobs seekers. All members are able to connect on a forum of relevant content and also chat with an integrated chat solution. 

“To support entrepreneurs to source and engage the best service providers at the best price we have integrated a marketplace with discounts and offers on global service providers and a local coop of trusted service providers in the customer’s locality,” said Murphy.

Soapbox Labs

Woman in black dress talking on a stage at a TED talk.

Dr Patricia Scanlon, CEO and founder of Soapbox Labs.

Dr Patricia Scanlon’s Soapbox Labs is powering ahead with its mission to address a global education problem using speech recognition.

The Dublin-based tech start-up recently raised €5.8m in funding from international venture capital firm Astia Angels and Dublin-based Elkstone Capital. The latest funding round brings the total funding raised by Soapbox to €10.2m.

Identified in 2018 by Forbes magazine as one of the world’s “top 50 women in tech”, Soapbox Labs CEO Dr Patricia Scanlon is one of a number of Irish women shaping the future of technology and is addressing a global education problem using speech recognition.

Unlike the speech recognition technology found in mainstream voice assistants, SoapBox Labs’ speech recognition technology was built specifically for kids and their early literacy needs and has been popularly dubbed ‘Siri for kids’.

Sweep

Three young men lean on top of a car.

From left: Sweep founders Shane Ennis, Stephen Farrell and Conor O’Boyle

Billed as a car buying app for the TikTok generation the idea for Sweep first came about in late 2018 while co-founder Conor O’Boyle was observing digital trends across e-commerce and media.

O’Boyle says the Snapchat-TikTok-Instagram-Tinder generation were gradually becoming maturing adults.

Sweep’s core product is an app based only platform that allows users to shortlist the cars they like, but also get rid of the cars they don’t like.

“We saw the opportunity to give them an automotive browsing and buying experience in line with what they like – clutter-free simplicity and ease of use on mobile apps.”

Stampify

Four men and a woman in a wine bar.

Stampify has developed a loyalty card that allows businesses to work with customers to fight world hunger.

Stampify was founded by five graduates from Trinity College in 2018: Conor Leen, Conor Hughes, Mark Reihill, Conor O’Keeffe and Padraic O’Maille.

“Our vision is a world where no one is unsure of where their next meal will come from, to help realise this vision we created a loyalty card that allows users to swap loyalty stamps for meal donations,” said Stampify CEO Conor Leen.

The Stampify team (from left) Conor Leen, Mark Reihill, Conor O’Keeffe, Clara Mądroszkiewiczówna, Stephen Flynn

Standard Access

Man in dark-jacket, arms folded.

Damian Browne, founder and CEO of Standard Access

Standard Access is a Dingle, Co Kerry-based company that has plans to disrupt the commercial property world by replacing keys with a secure smartphone-based technology.

Combining state-of-the-art technologies, Standard Access has built a proprietary access control hardware system with a smart-lock, reader and hub to allow access using an app to send an encrypted burst of sound from your phone to unlock a door.

Damien Browne is the founder and CEO. He started this business to address the issues he faced as a commercial real estate landlord on a daily basis like rent collection, giving secure access, having to depend on key-holders and managing the cost of utilities.

TeachKloud

Woman in red dress with arms folded.

TeachKloud founder Dr Wendy Oke

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.

Founded by Dr Wendy Oke, TeachKloud recently announced a €750,000 investment that will enable it to address a market estimated to be worth €215bn by 2025.

Identified as a High Potential Start-up by Enterprise Ireland, TeachKloud’s Early Years Management System is a cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution. Accessible via web browsers it enables educators to streamline all aspects related to managing their business, comply with regulations and communicate with parents.

Utility AR

Ar glasses showing data.

UtilityAR was founded at the beginning of 2018 when it became clear that augmented reality glasses were about to become a real thing.

The company, which has offices in Dublin and London, was started by Patrick Liddy, Seadna Smallwood and Aidan McDonnell.

“When the glasses began to become readily available, we knew it was time to make a move,” said Patrick Liddy, co-founder of UtilityAR.

“We aim to help a worker to get their job done. To date workers who work with their hands have minimal engagement with digital tools as the form factor was never appropriate. We believe that in years to come augmented reality glasses will be worn by the majority of such workers to provide them with hands-free and contextually appropriate access to the information they need when they need it.”

Venari Medical

Three smart dressed men.

Sean Commins, Stephen Cox and Nigel Phelan. Image: Martina Regan Image: Martina Regan

Oranmore, Galway-based Venari Medical is the creator of a device called BioVena, which it claims is the world’s first medical device to utilise the body’s biological response to treat varicose veins and venous ulcers. The company was founded by Sean Commins, Stephen Cox and Nigel Phelan and has its eyes on a global market. In the US alone the market for the treatment of chronic venous disease (CVD) is growing 15pc per annum and at current insurer reimbursement rates is valued at €500m. Japanese giant Nipro Corporation recently led a $4.5bn investment in Venari to advance ground-breaking treatment for venous disease, a $2bn market opportunity.

Volograms

Volograms is developing a technology that can record footage of real people and then use this to create a dynamic 3D hologram that can be used in a wide range of content. It uses a number o fcameras to capture moving images of people and transforms them into volumetric holograms (volograms) for use in AR and VR applications. The company was set up in 2018 by Rafael Pagés, Konstantinos Amplianitis and Jan Ondrej, three post-doctoral researchers who worked together at V-Sense, a leading visual computing research group based at Trinity College Dublin.

VR Education

Woman wearing VR headset.

VR Education was founded by husband and wife team David and Sandra Whelan and two years ago listed on the Dublin and London stock exchanges. The company has attracted top global VR talent to work on some of the most compelling titles in VR today. These include a realistic recreation of the Apollo 11 space mission to the moon in 1969 as well as a faithful rendering of the Titanic that allows users to explore the wreck within virtual reality. In recent months the company signed a deal with VictoryXR that will see the US company using the Engage platform to help support students affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

WarDucks

Group of people posing for photo.

Apple CEO Tim Cook with the WarDucks team in Dublin earlier this year.

Irish game development studio WarDucks is on a mission to build immersive games and has built six best-selling games so far including Sneaky Bears, RollerCoaster Legends and My Smooshy Mushy. Founded in 2013 by Nikki Lannen, WarDucks earlier this year raised €3.3m in funding in a round led by EQT Ventures. The funding will drive the development of WarDucks’ new location-based augmented reality (AR) game.

Workvivo

Two casually dressed men standing in an office.

John Goulding and Joe Lennon

Cork-based Workvivo, founded by John Goulding and Joe Lennon, 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. A year ago Zoom founder Eric Yuan took part in a €500,000 investment in the company. In May, Workvivo announced a funding round worth €14.7m led by Tiger Global – investors in Stripe, Uber and Square – with participation from Frontline Ventures and Enterprise Ireland. This has brought the total funding by the company to €16.1m so far. In September the company announced plans to create 100 jobs in Cork over the next three years.

Xerotech

Man standing between two big batteries.

Galway business Xerotech was founded by Dr Barry Flannery, who admits he always had a clear vision of what he wanted to do in life, and that mission is a fully electrified future.

“The automotive industry is electrifying, and this is now clear to everyone – but what about everything else? How are the construction equipment, mining equipment, agricultural machinery or the rest of non-road mobile machinery market (NRMM) going to electrify?

“Xerotech has developed a scalable and flexible battery platform. The idea is that we can offer these customers off-the-shelf battery systems in regular sizes. While it might not be the perfect size for the customer, it will be close enough and sufficient just like the engine they buy today. The trick with Xerotech’s platform is that we have engineered in commonality and modularity across the platform, so it doesn’t matter if the customer buys a 10hp or 50hp battery, they share the same components,” Dr Flannery said.

Xsellco

A shopping trolley filled with goods sits on top of a computer keyboard.

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.

Zipp Mobility

Group of people standing with 2 e-scooters.

Pictured: Will O’Brien, Head of Growth and Government Affairs; Ben Duffy, Operations Lead; Robert Coyle; Investment Lead; Charlie Gleeson, Founder and CEO; Síofra Brady, Growth Associate and Lorcan Brophy, Investment Associate. (Photographer: Saiful Haque)

With investors including former Irish rugby captain Brian O’Driscoll, micromobility start-up Zipp Mobility has announced it has secured a €500,000 investment as it ramps up plans to operate several shared e-scooter trials in the UK.

The latest funding takes Zipp’s investment to date to over €1 million and comes just a week after the UK Department for Transport (DfT) approved Zipp Mobility’s e-scooter for use in these trials.

The Irish e-scooter operator was founded by Charlie Gleeson in 2019, and is headquartered at NovaUCD, the centre for new ventures and entrepreneurs at University College Dublin.

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 18 November, 2020

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