10n2 gets US$2m investment to take on 20 new hires

22 May 2012

The BizProtect app to prevent people from texting while driving

10n2 Technologies, the Dublin start-up which has developed software to stop people using their mobile phones while driving, has secured a further US$2m investment to help it employ an extra 20 people, bringing its headcount to 30.

The company is also introducing its no-texting-while-driving mobile app technology for Android and BlackBerry to the Irish, European and US markets. The app will be initially available for businesses and will be known as BizProtect.

Back in February, 10n2 raised US$1.5m in an investment round that was led by Arunas Chesonis, CEO of the New York cellulosic sugar manufacturer Sweetwater Energy. Chesonis is also on the board of 10n2 Technologies. He is the founder and former CEO of Paetec, a Rochester, New York-based  communications company that he sold to Windstream for US2.3bn in late 2011.

Following the February investment, 10n2 had raised US$3m in funding.

Ciaran Hynes set up 10n2 with his founding partners in 2009 in Dublin. The company was formerly known as Drive Safe Europe.

Hynes, now CEO, said that the latest funding round from lead US investor Chesonis and other smaller investors will allow the company to employ a further 20 people across its four offices in Dublin, Boston, Dubai and New York.

10n2’s software has been configured to stop drivers from texting, tweeting or making calls without a hands-free device.

The consumer version of 10n2’s no-texting-while-driving mobile app will be called OneProtect. It will be available in June, with the iPhone version going live later in the summer.

According to Hynes, it’s the only technology of its kind that differentiates between being a passenger and a driver in the car.

“The application allows passengers to have free use of their smartphones, while at the same time preventing the driver from using a smartphone for browsing or texting,” he said.

Hynes said the company’s applications have been tested with a number of customers in Ireland, the US and across the globe and will be rolled out to various markets in the next few months.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic