Dublin-founded Lua acquired by firm building tech for frontline teams

23 Mar 2021

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Together, Lua and Beekeeper plan to digitise manual, paper-based processes in sectors such as retail, manufacturing and hospitality.

Irish-Danish start-up Lua has been acquired by Beekeeper in a bid to boost digitalisation in frontline work.

Lua, which was previously known as Whispr, has developed a mobile platform to coordinate and manage tasks across frontline teams. It operates in the hospitality sector, with customers including Marriott, DoubleTree by Hilton and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.

The start-up was founded in 2018 by Dubliner Hugh O’Flanagan along with Keith Saft. It is now headquartered in Copenhagen but also has offices in Dublin and the US.

Zurich-headquartered Beekeeper has developed its own mobile collaboration and chat platform designed specifically for frontline workers.

Together, the companies plan to use their combined expertise to digitise manual, paper-based processes in sectors such as manufacturing, retail, healthcare and hospitality. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Frontline workers are often the most public-facing employees,” said Cristian Grossmann, CEO and co-founder of Beekeeper.

“They are the forefront of our businesses, as well as the backbone of the economy, and deserve to be given the right tools to succeed.”

O’Flanagan, who is CEO of Lua, will now become director of global go-to market at Beekeeper and will split his time between Lua’s Copenhagen HQ and its Dublin office. He described the acquisition as an “incredible moment” for the Lua team.

“Today, customers in five continents around the world rely on our system to run their teams and to run their companies, enabling them to become more efficient and effective,” O’Flanagan said.

“We will continue to work, now as one team, to turn businesses from manual to magical and we cannot wait for what we will achieve together.”

Since it was founded, Lua has raised around $2m from backers including Seedcamp, Bose Ventures and a number of Irish angel investors. Beekeeper, which was founded in 2012, has raised nearly $90m to date, securing investment from Atomico, Energize Ventures and more.

Sarah Harford was sub-editor of Silicon Republic