€1m investment for crafty software developer

19 Jan 2009

A young Irish software company specialising in niche business software that can develop bespoke R&D technology 20 times faster than the market norm has raised €1m in venture-capital funding.

The investment in Sandyford-based DataKraft was spearheaded by Enterprise Ireland and the AIB Seed Capital Fund, co-managed by Dublin BIC (www.dbic.ie), including private investors from the Halo Business Angel Partnership also participating.

DataKraft was founded in 2004 by Jacques Lefebvre and Carol McKeon. The company specialises in niche software, vertical applications and bespoke application development.

The bespoke solution development for R&D management, CRM, HR, project management, etc is based on its no-coding platform, which is 20 times faster than traditional development methods and totally unique in the market.

DataKraft employees 10 people, and customers include the Big Red Book, Dalkia, Bryan S Ryan and The InterTradeIreland Acumen programme. Its customer base is located in Ireland, Northern Ireland, the UK and Australia.

Mary Cryan of Cryan Consulting has been appointed chairman of DataKraft. Cryan is currently chairman of the Advisory Science Council, while she was a former chairman of the Irish Software Association.

“We have recently developed a new niche vertical solution for the food industry,” explained CEO Lefebvre. “Our DataKraft R&D management solution is a new product development project management solution.

“It includes recipe development and costing; nutritional calculation; Gantt chart project management; ingredient and allergen management; supplier and sample tracking; and trial and tasting management.

“The investment will be used to further develop this solution, as well as the underlying platform, and to protect a pending patent in the EU and USA, in addition to Ireland,” Lefebvre added.

The NPD solution was developed as DataKraft consulted with more than 50 companies operating in the food industry over the past six months.

“As a result of this engagement process, the design of our NPD solution has been determined by the industry and not just by ourselves in isolation, which is where many software vendors get it wrong,” explains Lefebvre.

“Of the 50 companies we met, more than 75pc said they would have an active and real use for our solution,” Lefebvre added.

By John Kennedy

Caption: Jacques Lefebvre and Carol McKeon, founders of DataKraft

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years