The tech business week: Digital Hub to expand via €40m property plan, Alpha Wireless in 4G deal with Samsung

31 Mar 2014

300 construction jobs as Digital Hub expands through €40m property plan

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with the news 300 construction jobs are to be created as the Digital Hub in Dublin expands through €40m property plan.

300 construction jobs as Digital Hub to expand through €40m property plan

In a €40m deal, the Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA) has secured new enterprise office space and a student accommodation development for The Liberties area in Dublin City.

The project is expected to create up to 300 jobs in construction in the short term, and will result in 10,650 sq feet of enterprise office space in the Digital Hub area, as well as a housing development for 470 students on Bonham Street.

Work on the housing development is expected to begin in August, with the first students expected to be in residence by September 2016. Work on the refurbishment of a 19th-century grainstore building will start in May, and is expected to be complete within a year.

Alpha Wireless secures multi-million euro 4G deal with Samsung

Irish technology company Alpha Wireless has won a multi-million euro contract with Korean electronics giant Samsung to provide US mobile infrastructure. The deal coincides with fresh investment by two AIB-supported venture-capital funds.

Founded in 2008, Portlaoise-headquartered Alpha Wireless designs, manufactures and supplies base station antennas for 4G cellular and broadband networks globally.

In addition to the Samsung deal, Alpha Wireless announced investment from two venture-capital funds supported by AIB Bank, which will enable the company to meet requirements of the Samsung contract and allow the business expand its Irish operational capacity.

Wearable tech player Shimmer strikes €10m US medical devices deal

Irish wearable sensor company Shimmer has won a €10m contract with US company Emerge Diagnostics to provide technology to improve the management of occupational injury claims.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, soft tissue injuries account for an estimated US$200bn annually in lost work hours, with workers’ compensation making up the largest component of this cost.

Shimmer’s technology helps diagnose the severity of conditions to improve claim management and clinical outcomes.

Equity group buys CarTrawler for €450m

Online car rental company CarTrawler has been acquired by private equity firms BC Partners and Insight Ventures for €450m.

BC Partners is to take a majority stake in the Dublin-based business, and Insight Venture Partners will acquire a minority stake in the company.

CarTrawler has more than 1,000 partners, connecting end customers to more than 1,200 suppliers across 30,000 pickup locations. It also operates online car rental sites under the Holiday Autos and Argus Car Hire brands.

Facebook acquires Oculus Rift for US$2bn

Social networking giant Facebook reached a definitive agreement this past week to buy virtual reality headset creator Oculus Rift for about US$2bn.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, said the acquisition is in keeping with Facebook’s stated mission to make the world more open and connected, and that gaming is just one facet of Oculus Rift’s potential.

“After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court-side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world, or consulting with a doctor face-to-face – just by putting on goggles in your home.”

Disney agrees to US$500m deal to buy YouTube network Maker Studios

Mass media corporation Disney has agreed to acquire the Maker Studios network on YouTube for US$500m.

The deal is part of Disney’s growing demand to move and distribute more of its content online, and it is understood the deal could reach as high as US$950m if certain performances by Maker Studios are met.

According to Disney’s statement on the acquisition, by purchasing Maker Studios, Disney will “gain advanced technology and business intelligence capability regarding consumers’ discovery and interaction with short-form online videos, including Disney content”.

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