Ergo has built up a multi-million euro business in the IT services space and now the established IT firm has raised €3m in venture capital and will create 33 new jobs as its Fenergo financial software business goes global.
Fenergo – derived from the Latin ‘to lend’ – has raised €2m in funding from Enterprise Ireland and the European Investment Bank to internationalise the product that helps financial operators like banks and building societies to reduce their exposure to risk.
The Fenergo software, which spun out of an IT implementation Ergo made in recent years in Ireland, manages the end-to-end processing of a bank’s exposure to customer in terms of pre-approval, collateral, loan origination, arrears, time line and portfolio.
“The technology spun out of a services engagement we had in Ireland where banks were discovering they didn’t always know how much money had been loaned out to an individual or entity," said John Purdy, managing director, Ergo.
“It is very much a product of now. We’ve already sold the product in Ireland to a number of key clients. We conducted research with Enterprise Ireland and were satisfied that it is a unique application that fills a significant gap in the global financial marketplace.”
Purdy said that the Ergo IT services business has successfully maintained profitability in recent years focusing on alliances with HP and Microsoft to deliver solutions to the business market.
The company was last night recognised as Microsoft Partner of the Year. Microsoft country manager Paul Rellis commented: “By winning this award, Ergo highlights how Irish companies are innovating and are great examples of the smart economy in action. We are delighted at Ergo’s continued success, in Ireland, and now internationally.”
Purdy explained that 15 of the 33 new jobs have already been filled and that the company has embraced constant change as part of its business model.
“Our internal culture is geared around change. Over the last seven years we have undergone several significant shifts. Change is now part of the planning process. The key is to stay fresh – your chances of survival are greater. We’re here for the long haul, trading for 17 years. Our strategies from the service front are aligned with Microsoft and HP. Our move into international exports with Fenergo demonstrates our appetite, passion and hunger for growth or change.”
Reflecting on the recession Purdy said that every business has a choice: “You either come out fighting or you lay down and die – we came out fighting!”
The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation Batt O’Keeffe TD commented: ““Ergo is a fine example of what research and development can do for an Irish company – starting out manufacturing printer components, moving on to delivering information technology infrastructure services, and using Enterprise Ireland’s Research and Development Fund to become a specialist provider of software solutions in the financial services market.
“Ergo’s story is an exemplar of how Irish firms can grow by adopting an export-led growth strategy underpinned by a strong focus on innovation. Ergo is the kind of innovation-intensive firm the Government is eager to support, employing high-tech specialists focused on research and development and turning ideas into commercialised products,” O’Keeffe said.