Four more Irish tech start-ups to take a byte out of the Big Apple

19 May 2017

The Bank of Ireland StartLab in New York. Image: Luke Maxwell

New Irish start-ups set to join Bank of Ireland StartLab New York City programme.

Four Irish start-ups are making their way to Bank of Ireland’s (BOI) StartLab incubation space in New York City.

The second cohort, consisting of BriteBiz, Glofox, LogoGrab and Kong Digital will join Deposify, Pulsate and Axonista, who were the first start-ups to locate at the incubator when it opened in March.

‘We are approving credit for technology sector companies on a daily basis’

The collaborative space, located in Manhattan on the 41st floor of 2 Grand Central, is the first offering of its kind from an Irish bank outside of Ireland.

In addition to working and meeting space in this central New York location, the teams will receive expert mentoring from Bank of Ireland’s dedicated innovation and corporate banking teams in both Ireland and the US to help them develop, grow and scale their business.

BOI will work closely with the selected teams to help them get on their feet when they arrive, facilitating introductions to venture capitalists, state agencies and relevant intermediaries based in the city.

The business of technology, the technology of business

Four more Irish tech start-ups to take a byte out of the Big Apple

The view from the Bank of Ireland StartLab incubator on the 41st floor of 2 Grand Central. Image: Luke Maxwell

Tom Hayes, BOI CEO of corporate banking, said that the bank is focused on the tech sector like never before.

“We are approving credit for technology sector companies on a daily basis,” said Hayes.

“In January 2017 alone, our approvals ranged from €300k for a healthcare software company to €3.1m for an enterprise software company.

“On the equity side, Bank of Ireland has committed over €150m of own capital to venture capital funds such as Kernel Capital and Delta Partners. These funds have helped companies to scale their business.”

The tech start-ups that have been selected for the New York incubator are not short on ambition or momentum.

Axonista was recently selected for €1.7m grant from Phase 2 of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Innovation in SMEs programme.

Deposify has secured a banking partnership with People’s United Bank and raised €1.1m in funding.

Glofox recently raised €2m in a funding round with investors that include Enterprise Ireland. “Glofox has seen rapid growth in the US over the past 12 months, now accounting for over 50pc of all new clients,” said Conor O’Loughlin, CEO of Glofox.

“The US accounts for 50pc of the global software market, 40pc of the global fitness market and, given that it is a higher-converting, lower-cost acquisition channel than any other territory, it represents our primary market.”

Pulsate recently announced $1.5m in funding, with payments firm PayPal backing the round.

BriteBiz is currently based in the BOI StartLab in Galway, and has a pipeline of key clients in the US, which it is looking to expand over the coming year.

LogoGrab was awarded the Irish Software Association Emerging Company of the Year Award and has accumulated sales of €1m since it formally launched in March 2016.

Kong Digital has secured a number of large clients in the US such as Universal Music, with which it helps to manage more than 400 artists’ social media accounts.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD, said the New York incubator is an invaluable support for entrepreneurs seeking to crack the lucrative US market.

“The experienced team in Bank of Ireland, along with state bodies such as Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland in New York, will give these seven companies partaking in StartLab NYC all the support they need to scale their business, seek investment and, ultimately, grow and succeed Stateside. I wish them all the best of luck.”

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