The tech business week: Irish firms achieve exports of €17.1bn, tech giants in IoT partnership

14 Jul 2014

Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon addresses the recent Female Founders Forum in Dublin. Photo by Conor McCabe Photography

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with the news Irish firms achieved exports of €17.1bn last year, their best performance in a decade.

Irish firms achieved exports of €17.1bn last year – 18,000 new jobs

Irish export companies put in their best performance in a decade, achieving exports of €17.1bn in 2013 and generating 18,000 new jobs in the same year, according to Enterprise Ireland’s annual report.

This translates into a net increase of 5,442 in the number of people employed by exporting firms, also the largest increase in a decade.

According to the report, Irish exporting companies spent €20.2bn in the local economy last year.

Total direct employment in Enterprise Ireland client companies stood at 175,750 and companies supported by Enterprise Ireland were employing and sustaining more than 300,000 jobs in the Irish economy.

For every 10 jobs created in an Irish exporting company it is estimated 13 additional jobs are created elsewhere in the economy in supply and service companies.

Dell, Intel and Samsung form internet of things partnership

Tech giants Dell, Intel and Samsung have formed a partnership to standardise the process of creating household products and devices capable of working through the internet of things.

Known as the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), the partnership is also supported by a number of other electronics and internet component manufacturers, such as Amtel, Broadcom, Qualcomm, and LG Electronics, Reuters reported.

The reason for this standardisation is to address the issue of an increase in the number of devices that will be incompatible with each other as more companies become involved in the internet of things.

Chip maker Atmel acquires Newport Media for US$140m

Atmel Corporation is to acquire Newport Media, a provider of low-power Wi-Fi and Bluetooth equipment, for US$140m in cash.

Atmel said the motivation behind the acquisition of Newport was to provide the industry’s most complete portfolio of smart devices for the internet of things.

The purchase price is subject to working capital adjustments, plus an additional earn-out of up to US$30m to be paid subject to achievement of future revenue thresholds over two years. 

Atmel is targeting a broad spectrum of applications, including industrial, home and building automation, and consumer products requiring smaller form factors and longer battery life.

Box raises US$150m ahead of looming IPO

Cloud storage player Box, headed by Aaron Levie, has raised US$150m in venture capital from TPG and Coatue Management, valuing the company at US$2.4bn ahead of an IPO expected later this year.

The company publicly filed for an IPO in March but delayed those plans because of weakening demand for tech stocks.

According to an update to Box’s S-1 SEC filing, the company’s sales rose by 94pc at the end of the last quarter while losses increased by 13pc on last year.

Box reported a US$38.5m loss on revenue of US$45.3m in the quarter ended 30 April.

The US$150m raised will buy Box time in order to pick the right moment to list publicly.

Oculus VR to hold its first VR conference this September

Oculus VR is attempting to establish itself as big a player via its first developer conference specifically for virtual reality (VR) tech this 19-20 September in Hollywood, California.

The maker of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, and now a subsidiary of Facebook, is by far the frontrunner when it comes to the future commercialisation of the technology. If Oculus VR is to develop the technology even further, it wants to establish itself as the leader of the future of VR technology as a whole.

The official blog post announcing the conference titled Oculus Connect said that the last two years have seen the biggest developments in terms of VR technology.

Online shoppers don’t like registering or signing up first – PayPal survey

Online retailers, don’t make potential customers register or sign up before they can make a purchase on your site, because they don’t like things that stand in the way of what they want, a global survey commissioned by PayPal suggests.

For instance, an online shop is apt to lose more than half of prospective sales if it requires consumers to register or sign up before they can buy an item.

Fifty-two per cent of survey respondents in Italy, 51pc of respondents in Canada, and 50pc of respondents in Spain will abandon an online shop if they are required to register or sign up before being able to buy anything, the survey findings reveal.

Financial results this week

A few high-profile technology companies are scheduled to release their second-quarter financial results this week. Intel and Yahoo! are scheduled to release their results on Tuesday, eBay is to report its earnings on Wednesday, and IBM and Google are to reveal their results on Thursday.

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