Cork start-up In Hand Guides secures €400,000 investment
(From left) Donal Duffy, head of Enterprise Ireland relations, Bank of Ireland; Trevor Winckworth, In Hand Guides CEO; Dawn Guiney, Kernel Capital; Michael Moriarty, manager of financial and enterprise software high-potential start-ups, Enterprise Ireland
In Hand Guides, the Cork start-up that is developing handheld embedded audio devices, has secured a €400,000 syndicated investment to help focus on its expansion into new markets.
Kernel Capital through the Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund, led the €400,000 investment in In Hand Guides, with the remainder of funds being provided by Enterprise Ireland.
In Hand Guides is pioneering branded embedded audio players to deliver personalised multilingual content to customers in the tourism and health and lifestyle sectors.
The company's technology has been built upon R&D that was carried out in the Nimbus Centre at Cork Institute of Technology over the past three years as part of a five-year research programme.
To date, the start-up has sold more than 140,000 of these audio devices, including souvenir audio products for Irish attractions, such as for Glasnevin Cemetery, the Botanic Gardens and Kilkenny Castle.
In Hand Guides is now planning to expand its portfolio into the UK tourism and heritage market. It recently designed its audio product for the Blackpool Tower.
As well as this, In Hand Guides has also forged a partnership with AudioConexus, a Canadian company that produces GPS and audio tours for the tourism sector.
In Hand Guides is also working on audio products for the health services and for the area of public advocacy.
Trevor Winckworth, CEO at In Hand Guides, said the funding was a "vote of confidence" and an important revenue stream to fund both employment and growth.
"We are now turning our attention to a major export drive backed by constant research at Nimbus to develop our offering, which has huge potential internationally," he said.