Paveto plans stake in mobile firm

21 Nov 2002

Network365 co-founder, Patrick O’Callaghan’s new finance and software consulting firm, Paveto, is raising funding and is planning to take a stake in a Scandinavian mobile firm that will enable businesses and consumers to control electricity utilities remotely via their mobile phones.

O’Callaghan co-founded Network365 in 1998 with the company’s CEO, Raomal Perera and continues to work with the company on a consulting basis. His one-year-old company, Paveto is a specialist consulting and software firm, with bases in Wicklow and Norway. It focuses on helping firms increase revenues and reduce costs through improved business processes and software solutions and has undertaken projects ranging from the Olympic Games to defence, banking, travel and entertainment. The company is self-funded and expects to turn a small profit this year.

O’Callaghan has joined the board of Norwegian mobile software firm Plasus Technologies and intends to take a stake in the firm as part of an overall €1.2m second-stage funding round in the coming months. The company has scored a number of key deals in recent months and has been in discussions with Irish companies and local authorities for use of its GSM and short messaging service (SMS)-enabled remote control and telemetry technologies.

O’Callaghan explained: “Plasus’ technologies allow businesses and consumers to control automated systems using text messaging. They can control or measure heating systems, for example, reliably and cheaply.

“In Scandinavia the technology is being used to override the heating systems of holiday homes. Temperatures must be kept at a constant all year long, to prevent the house going damp or freezing. However, when you wish to arrive, you may want the heating to be on and the water hot. Simply send a text message, which overrides a timer in the house and switches the heating on. Similarly, if there is a sudden cold snap, the GSM transmitter in the house could text you the temperature and you can respond with an instruction to turn the heat up,” he said.

“We are working with Plasus as advisors and are helping them with their funding round in Ireland, the UK and Scandinavia and two of us now sit on the board. When we conclude the current investment round, we will be taking an investment in Plasus”, O’Callaghan said.

Plasus’ technologies are enjoying use in a wide variety of industrial applications, such as water purity measurement, motion detection and machine control. The company’s technology will be used by Norwegian heating firm Nobo Elektro, in which Glen Dimplex is an investor, to replace over 4,000 remote-controlled heating systems throughout Norway. Mobile operators in Scandinavia are about to phase out traditional paging systems altogether and Nobo Elektro intends to replace the paging units with GSM-enabled devices and will use Plasus Technologies’ systems as the remote control technology.

According to O’Callaghan, in light of the recent floods, the company has been in talks with local authorities in Ireland with a view to seeing how the Plasus technology could be used to pre-empt flood warnings. “By connecting the technology to a water measurement device, a county engineer or fire service could be warned if there has been any change to levels on the water table”, he said.

Currently a shareholder and consultant to Network365, O’Callaghan was previously general manager of the Welch Allyn data collection division in Ireland.

By John Kennedy