New online Irish business network tries to take on LinkedIn

18 Sep 2008

A Limerick-based web service called launched today, claiming to fulfill a need not already being met by established global business networking site LinkedIn.

It’s a brave statement considering LinkedIn, which was launched over five years ago, had more than 24 million registered users spanning 150 industries worldwide in May of this year. Its site traffic was 3.2 million visitors per month at the end of December, up 485pc on the previous year. is openly about helping Irish companies to do business with each other, allowing them to find new customers and suppliers,” said Peter Gaines, business development manager at, which is located in the National Technology Park in Limerick.

“With LinkedIn, it can take several weeks to accrue any real benefits from registering as you’re linking with people you already know.

“Secondly, 80pc of people who subscribe to LinkedIn use it essentially as a social networking site – to get in contact with people they used to work with or were in school with. It’s nearly frowned upon if you try to push your business directly on the site.

“There’s a definite niche for a business-to-business networking site which is about doing business together, pure and simple.” uses unique matching functionality. A company registers its details, enters as many products or product classes as it wants, the different sectors it targets, what its business needs are and so on, and is matched up with ideal customers or suppliers also registered on the site.

“In practice, this means each company is notified by email of new potential customers who require its product or service. It is also notified about suppliers who can fulfil its specific business needs,” said Gaines.

Live now for just over a month, is offering a free one-year subscription until it gains critical mass. Its parent company is eight-year-old software development house Ardlee, which designs bespoke software solutions for businesses. Ardlee set up a company called Segaps two and a half years ago with the objective of using its own software to develop the concept.

By Sorcha Corcoran

Pictured: Peter Gaines, business development manager at