Former Dragon’s start-up Altocloud raises US$2m in new funding round

16 Mar 2015

Barry O'Sullivan, chief executive and founder, Altocloud

Former Dragons’ Den star and ex-Cisco senior vice-president Barry O’Sullivan’s Galway and Silicon Valley start-up Altocloud has raised US$2m in seed funding.

The funding, led by Delta Partners, Digicel Group and ACT Venture Capital, brings Altocloud’s total funding so far to US$3m.

Cork native O’Sullivan, best known to the Irish public as one of the exacting investors on Dragons’ Den, in recent months retired from a successful career with networking equipment maker Cisco. As a senior vice-president at Cisco, he helped mastermind acquisitions of tech companies, such as WebEx, for US$3.2bn, and had been an active angel investor in start-ups in Ireland and California.

At Cisco, O’Sullivan served as senior vice-president in charge of voice products, a US$2bn a year business. He has also been a member of the Strategy Group of Padmasree Warrior, CTO of Cisco. O’Sullivan is also one of the earliest members of the Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG), established by Irish and Irish-American executives in Silicon Valley, Hollywood and on Wall Street, who decided to it was time Ireland tapped into its diaspora community to foster economic growth.

A better route to sales engagement

Altocloud’s technology combines machine learning with real-time communications in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for businesses.

The technology identifies the optimal online visitors and delivers tailored chat, voice, video and content so customers get the right information at the rightmoment, with a knock-on boost for potential sales.

The technology is already being used by companies like Smyths Toys, AppDynamics, ThinkHR and Moxi Works.

“There is a better route to digital customer engagement than yesterday’s 1-800 numbers, random chat popups and disjointed telephone conversations,” O’Sullivan said.

“Our platform enhances existing marketing and sales software so that companies doing business online can reach out to prospects at a time when they’re most interested, to drive increased sales.”

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