Immedis boss joins EU start-up leaders on ‘ambitious’ innovation plan

8 Apr 2021

Ruairi Kelleher (centre) with Mark Graham and Terry Clune from Immedis. Image: Robbie Reynolds

Ruairi Kelleher of Dublin-based Immedis is part of a group hoping to shape a European innovation ecosystem.

The CEO of Irish tech company Immedis has joined a group of start-up leaders helping to build a new EU policy for innovation.

Ruairi Kelleher is one of 35 founders and CEOs coming together to share their experiences, as well as visions and ideas for the rise of a European innovation ecosystem.

The group includes representatives from top start-ups including BlaBlaCar, Bolt, Cabify, Klarna, Zalando and

“I am proud to be part of such an exciting project with so many talented people and companies across Europe,” Kelleher said.

“Innovation is at the heart of what we do at Immedis so I hope to be able to offer some insights that can support the next innovation EU plans and to make a meaningful difference to EU policy.”

The group comprises 35 European companies that are either unicorns or on the path to become unicorns. It includes at least one start-up from each EU member state.

While Immedis is not a unicorn, it is certainly on its way. The Dublin-headquartered company, which develops payroll software, raised $50m in investment at the end of last year, bringing its valuation to more than $575m.

It was one of the biggest funding deals in Ireland in 2020 and the company said it would use the fresh funding to support global growth.

Unicorns paving the way forward

The first meeting of this EU start-up group was held at the end of last month. At the virtual gathering, Mariya Gabriel, commissioner for innovation, research, education, culture and media, said the group would meet two or three times a year.

“My idea is not to have a one-off meeting, but to ensure that the voice of leading innovators is heard all along the process of building an ambitious European innovation policy,” she said.

“We need European unicorns to pave the way towards Europe’s sustainable and resilient recovery, accelerate the green and digital transitions, and ensure Europe’s technological sovereignty.”

The aim of the group is to provide thought leadership in areas such as hardware, fintech, deep-tech and green-tech.

The start-up leaders will also look at innovation’s contribution to the green transition, tech sovereignty in Europe, deep-tech leadership, and how innovation can be part of growth in all areas of the EU.

The start-up selection was made by based on the assessment of technology, capital raised, current and prospective company valuation, patents and other assets, and existing market leadership.

Sarah Harford was sub-editor of Silicon Republic