The digital business week

6 Apr 2010

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

Trintech sells off healthcare division for US$34.5m in cash

The Nasdaq-listed Irish financial tech company Trintech, founded by brothers John and Cyril McGuire, has sold off its healthcare division Concuity for US$34.5m in cash, it emerged. The company, which began by making payment terminals and is now a major provider of integrated financial governance, risk management and compliance software, has sold its healthcare division to The Advisory Board Company, a Washington-based company that provides executive research and business intelligence services to hospitals and other healthcare providers. For its financial year 2009, Trintech posted revenues of US$32.5m, down 5pc on last year. It generated US$2.6m in cash and prior to the sale of its healthcare division had a cash balance of US$20.1m.

Entrepreneur Dennehy raises €300,000 for new HR app

Technology entrepreneur John Dennehy, the driving force behind companies like Zartis and Upstart Games, is back in the start-up game and has built an HR app for businesses based on the Windows Azure platform. His new company, AssemblyPoint, has already scored its first client, Bandai Namco Networks Europe, the London-based publishers of the Pac-Man mobile app. The company in recent days just closed its first funding round of €300,000 involving AIB Seed Capital Fund, Enterprise Equity, Enterprise Ireland and Dennehy’s own personal investment. Dennehy is the entrepreneur who established companies like Zartis and Upstart Games. A publisher of games for mobile devices, Upstart Games was acquired in 2006 by Sun TV Shop, a new media company with strong Irish connections that is listed on the AIM.

Former Bebo boss joins Facebook

Former Bebo CEO Joanna Shields has joined social-networking site Facebook to run its sales and business development in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Shields once worked helping internet search giant Google manage the same geography, as well as having arranged the sale of Bebo to AOL for $850m. A year after that, Shields worked in a content start-up backed by Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine Group. Blake Chandlee, who had been running the EMEA group, is moving out of that position to run sales in the emerging markets of Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Interxion’s €12m green data centre open for business

Falling electricity prices are contributing to a boom for Dublin data centres, with overseas internet and telecoms providers deciding to locate services in the city, Tanya Duncan of Interxion told at the launch of its new €12m data centre. Duncan, who is managing director of Interxion in Ireland, told “Having this infrastructure in Ireland has a lot of benefits. Power costs have been high but internet and telecoms firms see the strategic value of locating in the city.” Duncan was speaking at the opening of Interxion’s second Dublin data centre, DUB2. The €12m expansion was required to meet growing customer demand for energy-efficient, high-power-density co-location infrastructure and outsourced managed services. The new data centre will provide an additional 2,455m2 of gross space, increasing Interxion’s overall capacity to 4,755m2. With a redundant 4 MVA grid connection, the data centre supports the latest high-density power configuration requirements. It offers 2N UPS power and N+1 cooling, as well as advanced alarm and monitoring systems.

The ‘Start-up 3’ walk through the Valley

Three Irish technology start-ups who took it upon themselves to head to Silicon Valley to meet technology giants and venture capital companies have reported strong gains in terms of nascent and potential business relationships. In recent weeks, Learnpipe, and imeeGOLF headed to Silicon Valley on their own steam and met with some of the region’s highest profile technology companies, including Google and Sun Microsystems, and will pitch their businesses to some of the Valley’s most respected venture capitalists. Selected from more than 500 applicants, all three companies are currently partaking in the Endeavour Programme, which is based out of the Tom Crean Centre in Tralee, Co Kerry.

Dublin rapidly becoming the ‘internet capital of Europe’

Now the location of choice for international headquarters of companies such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, eBay and Gala Networks, Dublin is on its way to becoming the internet capital of Europe. However, warns IDA chief executive Barry O’Leary, the country must move to ensure it has the high-speed communications infrastructure to support investments outside the capital because further flagship announcements are expected for elsewhere in the country. In just one week, Dublin received welcome jobs news in the form of more than 400 new internet jobs for the city.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Technology entrepreneur John Dennehy

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