International enterprise direct debit software and service provider Sentenial has secured €1m seed funding from Enterprise Ireland and an undisclosed large financial institution. The company plans to raise a further €2m to €3m in the coming year.
The Dublin company’s EuroDebit solution is used across a range of companies, from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to corporates and financial institutions. The technology, by automating the entire scheduling and exception-handling process for direct debits, reduces the cost of ownership and increases efficiencies in the organisation.
Sentenial has in excess of 240 customers in Ireland and the UK, employs 16 employees and intends to increase overall headcount to 20 by the end of the second quarter.
The company enjoyed turnover in excess of €1m for 2005, is cash positive and recorded a profit during its last financial year.
This year Sentenial chief executive Sean Fitzgerald expects to at least double that figure as the company’s product moves up the value chain. “Sentenial was only formed in 2003 and naturally targeted SMEs initially. As we move forward we are targeting and wining multinational companies and financial institutions,” he said.
Sentenial hopes to be in a position to announce a number of significant new customer wins within the next six months.
Fitzgerald continued: “We shall use this initial round of funding to concentrate on our expansion into Europe as well as to develop our sales and marketing capabilities. As part of this process we have just appointed a regional manager for the UK.”
Sentenial has also appointed business advisers to assist in the raising of further funding targeted for 2006. Fitzgerald says: “We aim to raise between €2m and €3m and negotiations are already under way with a number of potential backers. We intend to complete this second round of funding before the end of the year.”
By John Kennedy