The technology business week: EI-backed firms created 18,033 jobs in 2013, NDRC ventures raised €40m last year

20 Jan 2014

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with the news that Enterprise Ireland-supported companies created 18,033 jobs in 2013.

Enterprise Ireland-backed firms created 18,033 jobs in 2013

Companies backed by Enterprise Ireland created a total of 18,033 jobs in 2013, a net increase of 5,442 jobs – the highest net gain for Irish companies in more than a decade, the agency revealed in its end-of-year statement.

Total direct employment in Enterprise Ireland client companies stood at 175,750 in 2013, out of which 149,718 were full-time jobs and 26,032 were part-time positions.

Directly and indirectly, Enterprise Ireland-backed companies account for more than 300,000 jobs in the Irish economy – 16pc of the country’s workforce.

NDRC ventures raised €40m in 2013

The National Digital Research Centre (NDRC) in Dublin has exceeded targets by raising €40m in commercial follow-on investment for Irish digital start-ups, the centre recently announced.

With a combined market capitalisation of about €120m, the investment group has recently been ranked as the top university business incubator for IT in the world by UBI Index. The index is the world’s first global index to benchmark performance and best practices of university business incubators worldwide.

In the bumper year for Irish start-ups, some of the NDRC’s portfolio has included Soundwave, a music-discovery app which secured an investment totalling US$700,000 in 2013; NewsWhip, whose technology highlights breaking and trending news stories, closed an investment of around US$1.1m; and LogEntries, a company specialising in log data, closed an investment round of US$10m.

Stripe on cusp of breakthrough deal to bring e-commerce to Twitter

Stripe, the e-payments technology company started in Silicon Valley by Limerick brothers Patrick and John Collison, is close to signing a deal with Twitter that will make it easier to sell products and services directly on the social network.

Twitter is understood to be planning an e-commerce platform that will enable it to partner with major retailers, manufacturers and media companies and allow users to dynamically buy goods on the fly.
According to re/code, the partnership with Stripe will allow Twitter to accept credit-card payments from its users.

Version 1 makes second UK acquisition in three months

Irish IT company Version 1 has made its second UK acquisition of the past three months: IT consultancy Rocela Group, for an undisclosed sum.

“We expect this deal to benefit all our customers bringing consolidated expertise in Oracle & Microsoft Enterprise Application Consultancy and Licence Management and establishing us as the go-to IT service provider for enterprise-scale organisations in Western Europe,” said Justin Keatinge, chief executive of Version 1.

In November, Version 1 acquired the UK business operations of Northern European IT services company Tieto Corporation.

Irish cloud firm in €3.75m deal to teach English to 1m people across China

Onwards Learning has signed a commercial deal worth €3.75m with China Computer Correspondence College to roll out its (LOE) cloud to 400 vocational colleges across China.
China Computer Correspondence College will promote LOE as an internet portal within its own websites to 1m students in China.

The LOE platform, which makes language-learning resources available as web apps, is rolling out as an online portal service via a series of large-scale organisations in China in earlier deals valued at €4.4m.

Google buys home appliances revolutionary Nest Labs for US$3.2bn

Internet giant Google has acquired home gadget maker Nest Labs for US$3.2bn in cash.

Nest’s mission is to reinvent important devices in the home, such as thermostats and smoke alarms.

“We’re thrilled to join Google,” said Tony Fadell, who will continue to lead Nest Labs with its own distinct brand identity. “With their support, Nest will be even better placed to build simple, thoughtful devices that make life easier at home, and that have a positive impact on the world.”

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