The tech business week: PhoneWatch expansion to create 230 jobs, Flashpoint eyes €2m in funding

28 Apr 2014

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, TD, with Eoin Dunne, managing director of PhoneWatch

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with the news home security company PhoneWatch is to create 230 jobs on the back of an expansion in Ireland.

PhoneWatch expands operations in Ireland with creation of 230 jobs

Home security company PhoneWatch is to expand its operations in Ireland with the creation of 230 new jobs in engineering, sales and operations.

With recruitment already under way, the company, which currently employs 150 people in Ireland, is looking to set up new offices in Dublin, Cork and up to 10 other regional centres.

“We are establishing a regional office network to bring us even closer to our customers and to enable us to deliver an enhanced and superior service to our customers,” said Eoin Dunne, managing director of PhoneWatch.

Flashpoint aiming to raise more than €2m in Series A funding round

Irish ad technology company Flashpoint is in the process of raising more than €2m in a Series A funding round to support the global roll out of its proprietary technology that offers advertisers a social media campaign management and optimisation platform.

Flashpoint is being advised by Mediaventura, a specialist corporate finance adviser for the technology, internet, media and entertainment sector.

Flashpoint has also received a commitment from Enterprise Ireland to participate in the funding round.

AdRoll secures US$70m in venture funding, revenues soar to US$150m

Advertising retargeting platform AdRoll has closed a US$70m funding round led by Foundation Capital. New investors include Glenmede, Northgate Capital, Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), and Performance Equity Management.

The new investors join existing investors Merus Capital, Accel Partners and Peter Thiel.

The investment brings to US$89m the total amount raised by AdRoll so far, and coincides with a US$150m annualised revenue run rate for AdRoll, which now serves 15,000 customers in more than 100 countries.

Bitcoin ATM and safety deposit box firms join forces to protect bitcoin certificates

Bitcoin ATM provider BitVendo and Merrion Vaults, a provider of safety deposit boxes, have formed a partnership to provide cold storage for bitcoin certificates.

At least two Irish banks have been reluctant to engage with the cryptocurrency, and the Central Bank has said bitcoin accounts and transactions are not protected in the same way as dealings in hard currency.

“As banks decide not to store bitcoin certificates, we will meet the need to make a secure safety deposit box facility available to BitVendo’s unique client base,” said Seamus Fahy, founder of Merrion Vaults, which provides safety deposit box facilities for €199 per year.

Apple Q2 revenues increase to US$45.6bn, reports US$10.2bn profit

Technology giant Apple reported second-quarter revenues of US$45.6bn, up from US$43.6bn a year ago. The company sold almost 44m iPhone devices and more than 16m iPads during the quarter.

The strong sales contributed to a quarterly net profit of US$10.2bn, up from US$9.2bn a year ago.

Gross margin was 39.3pc compared to 37.5pc a year ago.

International sales accounted for 66pc of the quarter’s revenue.

Netflix plans US$1 to US$2 price increase for new users

Reed Hastings, CEO of streaming-video company Netflix, intends to implement a US$1 or US$2 monthly price increase “depending on the country” later this quarter for new subscribers.

The price change will enable Netflix to acquire more content and deliver a better streaming experience, Hastings wrote in a letter to shareholders.

“As expected, we saw limited impact from our January price increase for new members in Ireland (from €6.99 to €7.99), which included grandfathering all existing members at €6.99 for two years,” Hastings wrote.

Financial results this week

Three high-profile tech companies are among those scheduled to release their financial results this week. Online auction giant eBay and microblogging site Twitter are to reveal their results on 29 April, and business social network LinkedIn is to release its results on 1 May.

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