The digital business week

8 Nov 2010

A digest of the top business and technology news stories from the past week.

Cork wireless firm raises €1.7m – creates 30 new jobs

Ferfics, a Cork-based company specialising in the development of components for mobile phones and wireless devices, has announced it has secured €1.7m of new equity funding.

The investment is being led by The Ulster Bank Diageo Venture Fund, managed by NCB Ventures. Investment will also be provided by The AIB Seed Capital Fund, managed by Enterprise Equity Venture Capital Group, as well as by Enterprise Ireland.

Established in 2007, Ferfics develops high-tech microchips that substantially improve the battery life of mobile phones and wireless devices and can be manufactured at a fraction of the cost associated with the production of such components.

Eugene Heaney, founder and chief executive Officer of Ferfics, envisages that in time increased production, sales and marketing activity will result in the creation of 30 new jobs in the firm’s Cork base.

Chip firm raises €2m in venture capital funding

Chip firm DecaWave, which has developed a semiconductor that solved the problem of accurately tracking an object or person using low-cost wireless sensors, has raised €2m in an investment round led by Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Fund and investors, including Dermot Desmond.

The investment in this early stage semiconductor company is co-led with Desmond’s International Investment and Underwriting (IIU).

An Enterprise Ireland-supported company, DecaWave provides real-time location and wireless sensor solutions.

DecaWave’s flagship product, ScenSor, is gaining significant interest from many market leaders. The ScenSor chip solves a range of problems, including how to identify and accurately track the specific location of any object or person, utilising low power and low-cost wireless-enabled sensors. 

The investment funds will be used to accelerate the next phases of growth for ScenSor technology.

Medical test player invests €3m in Irish market

Medical testing leader Biomnis is investing €3m in the Irish pathology sector. This includes the acquisition of Euromedic Lablink and the launch of new medical tests by its subsidiary.

Euromedic Lablink will now join forces with Claymon Biomnis to create a new enlarged group, Biomnis Ireland. As a result of the acquisition, Biomnis Ireland will also become the largest workplace health screening provider in the Irish market.

Biomnis is beginning a major test repatriation scheme to Ireland which will see a suite of test processes transferred from Biomnis labs in France to the Irish laboratory, based at Sandyford in Co Dublin.

The company will also conduct a significant technology upgrade as part of the deal, which will lead to a 30pc increase in the amount of testing currently carried out within its Dublin laboratories.

The deal is the first major consolidation within the independent medical laboratory services sector, creating the largest private provider in the Irish market.

MySpace has ‘quarters, not years’ to turn things around

News Corp COO Chase Carey has said MySpace’s current losses were “unacceptable”, and the social media site has quarters, as opposed to years, to become profitable.

According to USA Today, while Carey is optimistic about MySpace’s complete overhaul, he said the site needs to turn the dropping traffic numbers around, and fast.

Carey also noted that News Corp wanted to see a path to profitability on a timetable measured “in quarters, not in years.”

Pfizer announces net profit of $866m in 3rd quarter

Pfizer has announced third-quarter net profits of $866m (€618m), representing a 70pc drop from the same time last year.

Pfizer has announced that third-quarter 2010 revenues amounted to $16.2bn – an increase of 39pc compared with $11.6bn in the year-ago quarter.  

Pfizer reported net income of $866m (€618m), a decrease of 70pc compared with $2.9bn in the prior-year quarter.

The company’s revenues for third-quarter 2010 were favourably impacted, compared with the same time last year, by $5.2bn, or 44pc.