Deloitte Ireland snaps up Dublin accelerator Red Planet

9 Feb 2017

From left: Red Planet CEO Karl Aherne and Deloitte Ireland managing partner Brendan Jennings. Image: Jason Clark

Less than two years after it was founded, the Dublin-based innovation consultancy Red Planet has been snapped up by Deloitte Ireland.

Founded in late 2015 by former CEO of Wayra Ireland, Karl Aherne, and Katawave CEO Bernard Flynn, Red Planet set out to have a specific focus on generating revenue for both corporates and start-ups.

Unlike traditional accelerator models, Red Planet works with large corporations from the beginning to find the start-ups they might want to work with or acquire. It now finds itself on the same side as many of its clients.

As part of the deal, Red Planet is expected to continue operating and working with start-ups, but Deloitte’s acquisition will aid in its expansion, as well as tapping into the latter’s vast resources.

Deloitte has not disclosed the financial sum involved in the deal for commercial reasons.

In the two years it has been operating, Red Planet has secured a number of blue chip telecoms and financial services clients, following on from the success of the Wayra accelerator, with 31 start-ups on its books.

“Established corporates are designed to drive profit in stable environments. However, the speed of change is increasing rapidly, with many companies now struggling to resonate with their clients,” said Aherne, CEO of Red Planet.

“Customers are always on and always connected through the supercomputers in their pockets, and complex products and services have been mobilised through low-cost development and human-centric design.”

Brings a different strategy to Deloitte

Brendan Jennings, managing partner at Deloitte Ireland, said: “We have to disrupt the way we work and deliver value. Red Planet’s outside-in, start-up-led approach brings a different way of working for our clients and our people.

“Furthermore, it expands our global network of experts, partners and start-ups to help our clients understand and harness disruptive technologies to create new and accelerated growth.”

The news comes following Deloitte’s announcement of a partnership with Irish Funds to develop a proof of concept for regulatory financial reporting using blockchain.

Deloitte recently opened its new blockchain development headquarters for the EMEA region, housing 50 developers and designers.

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic