The technology business week: Irish firms raise €1.7bn from VC sector; Facebook plans Irish move?

29 Oct 2013

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

Since credit crunch began Irish firms raised €1.7bn from venture capital sector

Venture capital is now the main source of funding for innovative SMEs in Ireland, with €1.7bn raised by 800 firms since the credit crunch began in 2008.

According to the Irish Venture Capital Association’s VenturePulse survey, SMEs raised €113m in the second quarter of this year, up 74pc on last year.

Total funds raised in the first half of 2013 were €164.9m compared to €116.7m in the same period last year, an increase of 41pc.

Is Facebook plotting to take on new hires in Dublin, Ireland?

Facebook, which currently has its European headquarters in Dublin City, is about to double its office space in the South Docklands area of the city, where it currently employs up to 500 people, according to The Irish Times.

The paper reported that the social-networking giant has agreed to the legal terms to rent double the amount of office space it currently occupies in the ‘Silicon Docks’ quarter of Dublin. It would appear Facebook is planning a move from Hanover Quay, where it is currently based, to No 4 Grand Canal Square.

The report in The Irish Times said Facebook had completed the necessary “legal contracts to rent almost twice the volume of office space that it currently occupies in the South Docklands”.

Twitter reveals latest IPO details: 70m shares, at US$17 to US$20 price range

Twitter has sent an amended S-1 filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding its upcoming initial public offering (IPO) sometime this November.

Twitter’s latest filing suggests it could be planning to raise in the region of US$1.4bn and perhaps even US$1.6bn in its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) when it goes public.

In all, 70m shares will be on offer, with Twitter estimating that the IPO per share will come in between US$17 and US$20. Twitter filed its latest S-1 filing on 24 October 2013.

Apple knocks Samsung from No 1 position in US smartphone market

Consumer tech titan Apple snatched the No 1 position from Samsung in the US smartphone market in September, new data from Counterpoint suggests.

Apple doubled its share from August, which may well be down to the release of its iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c on 11 September. The company grabbed 39pc of the smartphone market and 34pc of the overall mobile phones market in September, according to Counterpoint.

Counterpoint also reported that these shares represent a record high for Apple for September.

Samsung, in the No 2 spot in the smartphone market, caught 29pc share in September and 32pc of the US mobile phone market.

Microsoft reaps record first-quarter revenue of US$18.53bn

Strong enterprise sales and an increase in consumer demand helped push tech titan Microsoft’s revenue to a record US$18.53bn in its first quarter.

For its first quarter, Microsoft also reported net income of US$5.24bn, operating income of US$6.33bn, gross margin of US$13.42bn, and diluted earnings per share of US$0.62.

Microsoft’s Devices and Consumer revenue increased by 4pc, to US$7.46bn. Commercial revenue also rose, by 10pc, to US$11.20bn.

Netflix quadruples third-quarter profit

Online entertainment streaming service Netflix quadrupled its profit in the third quarter, with a 1.3m gain in customers in the US, and net income of US$32m, up from US$8m in the year-ago quarter.

The company’s third-quarter revenue amounted to US$1.1bn, reflecting an increase from US$905m in the same period last year. Earnings per share totalled US$0.52.

Netflix reported it now has 40m members, up from less than 30m a year ago. It also counted 31.3m US streaming users from July to September, and 1.4m customers in international markets. That brings Netflix’s reach in foreign territories to 9.2m.

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