Mapping software firm raises US$5.1m

2 Mar 2007

Dublin mapping software company Mapflow has raised US$5.1m in a new investment round with the potential to raise a further US$6.6m if it reaches future business milestones.

The company, which sells software to the insurance, transport and location-based services market, raised the finance in a round led by prominent Irish-American software veteran Sean O’Sullivan, who has also founded or invested in 20 other technology firms.

The deal effectively buys out original investors Trinity Venture Capital and sees founder Simon Dick and chairman Stephen Cloonan sell shares and step down from the board.

O’Sullivan is a founder and former president and chairman of Nasdaq-listed company MapInfo Corporation, a pioneer in the GIS (geographic information system) market.

O’Sullivan will sit on the board of Mapflow as chairman. The funding is being made by his investment company SOSventures, which manages investments of over US$100m. O’Sullivan himself divides his time between Ireland, Spain and the Middle East where he is involved in humanitarian and developmental activities.

“One of the biggest challenges facing software companies is how to achieve scale on a global basis,” explained Mapflow chief executive Richard Bryce.

“By tapping into Sean’s experience as a successful entrepreneur who has created multiple organisations that have employed hundreds to thousands of employees, we are accessing unparalleled global growth experience in our sector.

“This, combined with a significant uplift in our R&D activity, positions us excellently to meet the scale challenge,” Bryce explained.

Mapflow was set up in 1997 by Simon Dick and Harvey Applebe, who will remain with the company as chief technology officer.

Commenting on his investment methodology, O’Sullivan said: “When investing in software companies I am always concerned with the quality of the management team, the relationship it has with its customer base and the company’s track record of innovation.

“As I looked at Mapflow, I saw all three of these enablers in place. It is truly a gem of the Irish software industry and the challenge is now to make it a global leader, number one or number two, in its markets worldwide.”

By John Kennedy