The tech business week: €75m Development Capital Fund, Apple diverts AUD$8.9bn to Ireland?


10 Mar 2014

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Irish Govt rolls out second €75m Development Capital Fund

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A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with the news the Irish Government has launched its second €75m Development Capital Fund.

Irish Govt rolls out second €75m Development Capital Fund

The Irish Government has launched its second Development Capital Fund aimed at boosting mid-sized, high-growth potential businesses with annual turnover of €15m to €50m.

It is expected the majority of investments will come from the food and agri, life sciences and clean tech, ICT/software and industrial/engineering sectors.

The fund will invest between €2m and €10m in around 15 companies.

Apple reportedly diverted AUD$8.9bn in Australian sales income to Irish ‘tax haven’

An investigative report by the Australian Financial Review reveals how, over the course of a decade, Apple shifted AUD$8.9bn in untaxed profits from its Australian operations to Ireland-based Apple Sales International.

The ‘iTax’ report by Neil Chenoweth is based on 10 years worth of financial accounts for Apple Sales International, which hasn’t filed financial reports in Ireland since 2003 though it extracts the majority of Apple’s sales profits outside of the US, claiming this as payment for intellectual property and intangibles.

Last summer, a 40-page memo from US senators Carl Levin and John McCain noted how the California-headquartered tech giant side-stepped paying billions in US income tax through a complex web of offshore entities, including its three subsidiaries in Ireland.

Just 18pc of Irish businesses have a female board member

Fewer than one in five large Irish businesses have a female board member – below the EU average, new research by Grant Thornton for International Women’s Day tomorrow reveals.

Support for the use of quotas to boost the number of women on the boards of large listed companies has fallen in the past year, according to the research.

The data gathered for the report, entitled Women in Business: From Classroom to Boardroom, shows 31pc of Irish executives surveyed are in favour of quotas, compared to 37pc last year. Ireland’s increasingly negative view on quotas runs counter to global trends, where the EU average in favour of quotas has risen to 41pc (33pc in 2013), and globally to 45pc (37pc in 2013).

Just 18pc of Irish boards have a female member, according to the survey, up from 17pc last year, and below the EU average but in line with global norms. The European Commission has a set a target for listed companies to have 40pc female board representation by 2020.

First Irish bitcoin ATM to open in Dublin café

Indigenous bitcoin firm BitVendo is to install the first bitcoin ATM in Ireland at Hippetys Café in Temple Bar, Dublin.

The BitVendo team chose the café as its testing ground to judge public reaction and uptake of the service, though at first beta testers will put the ATM through its paces.

There are 170 bitcoin ATMs worldwide and BitVendo is looking to expand its ATMs to several locations in Ireland and the UK, with the next city being Waterford.

Now Intel wants some smartwatch action – buys Basis Science for US$100m

Chip-maker Intel has accelerated its activity in the wearable computing space with the acquisition of smartwatch maker Basis Science for around US$100m.

Basis Science, maker of the Basis Carbon Steel Activity Tracker, is a smaller player than Fitbit and Jawbone. The company specialises in sensors that track heart rate, skin temperature, perspiration and sleep patterns.

DCM, Intel Capital, Northwest Venture Partners and the Mayfield Fund had backed Basis Science to the tune of around US$30m.

Crowdfunding site Kickstarter surpasses US$1bn in pledges

Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform that has been key to the realisation of projects like the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, the Pebble smartwatch and the Veronica Mars movie, has surpassed US$1bn in pledges.

The five-year-old site, which allows entrepreneurs to call on public financial support for their projects, said more than half of the US$1bn had been pledged in the last 12 months.

In the past five years, Kickstarter has helped bankroll more than 57,000 creative projects.

Growth capital image via Shutterstock

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