Fintech firm Fexco has opened a new R&D hub in Kerry, which will be shared with the digital innovation accelerator RDI Hub.
A new research and development hub has opened in the town of Killorglin, Co Kerry, to develop technologies and services for fintech firm Fexco. The company invested more than €21m in the site, which was opened this morning (5 February) by Minister of State for Transport and Sport Brendan Griffin, TD, and Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon.
More than 125 Fexco staff will move into the 37,000 sq ft building that will house its innovation and IT activities. The company said that the west wing of the building has been donated to RDI Hub, a not-for-profit, public-private digital innovation hub.
Backed by Fexco, IT Tralee and Kerry County Council, RDI Hub plans to create more than 305 jobs by 2024 as well as initially supporting more than 35 tech start-ups.
The hub will provide training to more than 1,300 participants and support 140 apprentices on its programmes in its first five years. The building is on the former Simpson Manufacturing site, which closed in 2012 with the loss of 30 jobs.
Fexco was founded by Brian McCarthy in Killorglin in 1981, where its global HQ remains and employs around 1,000 of its total 2,500 staff. The Irish fintech company, which now has operations across 29 countries, serves some of the world’s biggest brands across multiple industries, predominantly in the payments and financial transaction sectors.
In July 2018, Fexco announced plans to hire 175 new staff by the end of 2021, with roles in ICT engineering, software and sales.
In honour of John McCarthy
Fexco CEO Denis McCarthy said at the launch: “This new building signals our commitment to providing world-class innovative fintech solutions to a global audience as well as supporting our local community through job creation and local investment.”
Sinnamon added that the new building is a “symbol of the diversification of the economy of the region from its past to a new high-tech future”.
“Fexco and RDI Hub will help strengthen the south-west’s position as a globally connected financial services and ICT skills hotspot, providing high quality jobs and supporting innovation and entrepreneurship,” she said.
The building has been dedicated to John McCarthy, a Stanford University computer scientist whose father was born in Cromane, near Killorglin. In the late 1950s, McCarthy invented Lisp, which became one of the major programming languages for AI applications.
His daughter, Susan McCarthy, said at the launch: “It is an honour to be here today and we are very proud to have my father’s work recognised here in Ireland, a country that is very much part of our family’s heritage.
“It is remarkable to think that ideas he had about AI in the late 1950s are now part of a rapidly expanding part of the digital economy.”