Dublin tech firms to close €8m in venture capital


9 Jun 2003

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Two Dublin-based technology firms, MobileAware and Magnetic Solutions, both focusing on the burgeoning mobile technology market, are soon expected to close major funding deals worth €4m each.

The Denis O’Brien-backed MobileAware is expected to close between €3m and €4m in investment that will push the firm towards profitability. Intel, AIB Equity and Enterprise Ireland are also major investors in the company, which has raised up to €12m so far.

Established in 2000, MobileAware employs 32 people in Citywest in Dublin and overseas, down from 50 last year. In recent weeks the company a licensing deal with Djuice, the mobile wing of Telenor in Sweden.

Meanwhile, Dublin-based Magnetic Solutions, which manufactures electronic equipment, is in the process of raising €4m to fund the development of a new memory technology for mobile devices. The investment will help the company achieve its goal of increasing annual revenues from the present level of €5m to €150m within five years.

Magnetic Solutions is pinning its hopes on future demand for semiconductors driven by demand for mobile devices such as laptops, phones and PDAs. The company is focusing in particular on the magnetoresistative random access memory (MRAM) segment of the semiconductor industry, and believes it has discovered a solution that would streamline the manufacturing of MRAM chips, which are so far proving problematic for chip makers to produce.

So far, Magnetic Solutions has raised around €10m from a variety of investors, including Guinness Ireland, Ulster Bank Equity Fund, IIU, the AIB IT Fund, ICC Venture Capital and private investors.

It is understood that local venture capital firms ACT, Trinity and Delta have all expressed an interest in the forthcoming investment round, as well as international players such as Apax Partners and Singapore-based Vertex Group. Magnetic Solutions envisages staff numbers growing from 42 to 200 within four years.

By John Kennedy