Riverdeep founder invests in Cork digital TV venture


20 Apr 2005

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Riverdeep founder and serial technology investor, Pat McDonagh, has contributed to a €2.5m investment round in Cork-based digital TV and entertainment firm Digisoft.

4th Level Ventures, the venture capital arm of Dolmen Securities, and the state enterprise body, Enterprise Ireland, have also invested in the firm.

Digisoft specialises in developing software for interactive television and hopes to capitalise on the roll-out of digital television in Europe and the US.

Digisoft’s products enable broadcasters and content providers to deliver interactive services including text and email messaging, via digital TV. The company also provides application support software to enable broadcasters to monitor and control interactive services provided over their digital networks.

The company has won several contracts with TV stations in Italy and Eastern European countries. The €2.5m in funds will support Digisoft’s move into the US.

“We think Digisoft is an exceptional Irish company with genuine international potential in a very exciting field. We are delighted to have the opportunity to support them at this stage in their development,” said Paul McGuinness of Dolmen Securities.

Digisoft CEO John Allen said the funding and the contract wins in Europe had “created a springboard for our company to enter the US, a TV market of enormous scale”.

In 2003, Digisoft was selected by Ericsson Mobility World UK & Ireland to provide mobile operators around the world with the ability to enable TV viewers to send images from digital TV to friends via multimedia messaging service (MMS).

Digisoft’s DigiMMS product allows TV viewers to send and receive MMS messages from their TV set, enabling users to try the new technology before upgrading to the latest MMS-enabled handsets. Users can simply select an image using their remote control and send it to a friend’s phone or TV.

Under the terms of the agreement Ericsson Mobility World would promote Digisoft’s technology to mobile operators wishing to work with TV companies in the process of launching interactive services and hoping to increase traffic and subscription services.

By John Kennedy

Picture courtesy of Sony