An Irish technology company that enables hands-free communications, including email and SMS, has raised €1 million to develop its voice-activated messaging system.
The new venture-capital funding will enable Dial2Do to continue to enhance its service offering and develop additional partnerships in the hands-free, voice-activation market, with a specific focus on the US market, which is the largest developed handset market in the world.
Dial2Do lets people remain completely connected while driving or at other times where device users may be unable to use their hands.
Fund raising participants
Powerscourt Capital Partners, a Dublin-based private equity and venture-capital firm and Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Government agency focused on the development and promotion of the indigenous business sector, participated in the fund raising. Powerscourt invested through its Powerscourt ITC BES fund, which invests in early stage high-potential companies.
“Across the globe, the problem of distracted driving continues to grow and we are seeing an increased demand for hands-free communications both for productivity and for safety,” said Ivan MacDonald, CEO of Dial2Do.
“Powerscourt Capital Partners and Enterprise Ireland recognise the potential inherent value in our service and we are pleased that they have placed such a great deal of confidence in Dial2Do.”
Dial2Do’s technology enables users to send emails, SMS (text messages) and perform other tasks primarily through voice activation. Users simply dial a number and speak the action and message.
The message is converted by Dial2Do and sent to the recipient in text form. Users can also access more than 30 of the most popular social-networking and web destinations using Dial2Do, such as Twitter, Facebook and Google Calendar.
“Dial2Do’s offering addresses a real need in global communications marketplace – the need to remain safely connected in a hands-free environment," said Sean Melly, chairman, Powerscourt Capital Partners. Melly will also join the board of Dial2Do.
“The Dial2Do technology is proven and they have a strong management team to deliver on their growth objectives,” he said.
In the works
Dial2Do is currently engaged with a number of headset manufacturers with a view to embedding the Dial2Do offering within the headset devices.
This market presents a significant opportunity for Dial2Do, as there will be more than 100 million such devices sold in 2009 alone.
Additionally, legislation is being introduced around the world which prohibits the use of mobile phones and other devices for text and other data services while driving, creating additional significant opportunity for a proven, robust, voice-activated communications capability.
Dial2Do expects to expand its management team while continuing to invest in product development.
By John Kennedy
Photo: Sean Melly, chairman, Powerscourt Capital Partners, Sean O’Sullivan, CTO of Dial2Do and Ivan MacDonald, CEO of Dial2Do announcing the successful completion of a €1-million venture-capital deal.