Cork start-up Altada goes into receivership amid financial difficulties

14 Nov 2022

Altada co-founders Allan Beechinor and Niamh Parker. Image: Keogh

Altada is reportedly set to be sold in the coming weeks after a receiver was appointed by four investors.

A receiver has been appointed to AI start-up Altada after months of financial difficulties for the Cork company.

Last week, Nicholas O’Dwyer of Grant Thornton was appointed as the receiver to Altada. This receiver was appointed by Grattan Boylan, Alan Bruce, Lynn Bruce and Noreen Gallagher, four investors of the company, The Business Post reports.

Following this appointment, sources close to the start-up told The Business Post that Altada is set to be sold in the coming weeks. The publication also reports that Altada co-founders Allan Beechinor and Niamh Parker are no longer in control of the company.

Cork-based Altada had been facing financial difficulties in recent months. In August, it announced that it had temporarily furloughed multiple Irish staff due to “unforeseen market conditions”.

It also said it had to postpone its planned Series A funding round due to these market conditions. The co-founders hoped this round would raise between €50m and €100m, reports.

The company employed more than 70 staff in offices across Europe and the US, but said it had to fire its US team due to financial issues. Altada added that it was working with “shareholders and advisers to secure funding and stabilise the company”.

Founded in 2018, Altada offers clients deep domain knowledge on AI and deep learning, with the aim of bringing AI expertise to drive efficiencies for its clients’ businesses.

The company had been recognised many times as an Irish start-up to watch, including being named Emerging Company of the Year 2021 by Cork Chamber and listed among Enterprise Ireland’s high-potential Irish start-ups for the same year. It was also spotlighted as a Start-up of the Week.

In September 2021, Altada announced it had raised $11.5m in funding led by Rocktop Partners, with Elkstone Partners and Enterprise Ireland also participating. It said it would use this financing to create 100 jobs across Ireland, the US and beyond.

Rocktop and Enterprise Ireland had also backed the Cork company’s €1.3m seed funding round in 2020.

To help drive AI advancement in Ireland, Altada partnered with Tangent at Trinity College Dublin to run an AI start-up accelerator.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic