Daft owner makes a shrewd investment in Boards.ie

15 Aug 2008

The owner of property website Daft.ie, Daft Media, has acquired a minority stake in Ireland’s largest community websites, Boards.ie, for an undisclosed sum.

Established by John Breslin 10 years ago as a community notice board for Quake gamers – with the expectant words “The first of many messages, I hope” – Boards.ie has evolved into a major Irish brand and online destination with a monthly audience of one million unique visitors.

Now members post on everything from personal problems to cars, property, music and movies.

“This investment will give us the ability to invest further in infrastructure, to add more features to the website and ultimately provide an improved service to our community of users,” explained Gerry Shanahan, managing director of Boards.ie

The shrewd move by Daft.ie will create an online powerhouse with a combined audience of over 2.1 million unique viewers, exceeding that of even established TV channels.

The new management team said its immediate focus is to maintain growth of its respective sites but also seek out new audiences.

“We strongly believe the future of media is online and Boards.ie is well positioned to be a leading player in Irish online media,” said Eamon Fallon, chief executive of Daft.ie, a major Irish destination for property buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants. In 2007, at the peak of the Irish property boom over €60m worth of Irish property was listed on the site, which boasts 974,595 unique users.

“Our combined audience is over 2.1 million unique viewers every month, which is larger than most TV stations in Ireland. We are very happy to be working with the Boards.ie guys and look forward to helping them grow their business,” Fallon added.

To give an insight into the potential direction of the evolving franchise, last year Boards.ie acquired the Boards Group, an international chain of domains, from founder John Breslin.

The Boards Group comprises several domains: boards.us, a site for discussing all things related to the US; boards.jp, a Japanese animation fan site; and smaller discussion sites for New Zealand and China.

The acquisition also included Journals.ie and Planet Journals, a popular blog hosting and aggregation service that Breslin started three years ago.

By John Kennedy

Pictured: screenshot of Boards.ie website

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years