Dublin digital start-up Huggity has secured a €600,000 investment, with the company now planning to create 16 new positions by the end of the year in addition to scaling up its international strategy.
Founded in 2011, Huggity has come up with technology to allow brands and sponsors to engage directly with an audience at sporting events and concerts through social media platforms.
Huggity secured the €600,000 funding from the AIB Seed Capital Fund and Enterprise Ireland. The company is planning to fast-track its international scaling strategy and to create 16 new positions at its Dublin base by the end of the year.
The new roles, which will bring Huggity’s headcount to 22, will be in the areas of business development, customer support, marketing and the development of new products.
The company’s core product is FanPic, a panoramic, high-resolution crowd image taken at a venue during an event.
Once a FanPic is posted online, users can zoom into the crowd photo, find themselves and friends, and then share a branded message with friends and family on Facebook, Twitter or via email.
The company has worked with events and brands such as the Euro 2016 qualifiers, English football clubs Liverpool and Manchester United, the FAI and the IRFU.
Huggity has also worked with MTV, Aviva, Royal Bank of Scotland, Swatch and the Qatar Foundation. The company sells through partners in the US, Brazil, Australia, Norway, Poland, Turkey and Belgium, and is also in discussions with a reseller in India.
CEO Mike Sikorski said the investment will allow Huggity to focus on increasing its international reach and building new products.
"The objective behind Huggity is to combine our photography, technology and marketing skills with our love of sport and music to create a positive experience for fans and a powerful engagement tool for brands, venues and artists," he said.