Niall Harbison and Emma Jane Power’s new venture PR Slides – which aims to challenge the conventional business of spin – has raised €500,000 in seed funding from a number of investors.
Enterprise Ireland and Kernel Capital are joining forces with Harbison, Eamon Leonard, Johnny Walker and Julian Kulkarni to invest in the venture.
Having grown from a team of one to a team of seven over the last year, the company now has 20 new positions in the pipeline for 2014, as well as plans to open offices internationally as the service moves into new markets.
“This round of investment will help us expand our Irish employee base and bring PR Slides to an international level,” said Power.
The venture is Harbison’s first since departing Simply Zesty, which UTV plc acquired last year for about stg£1.7m. Harbison and Lauren Fisher set up Simply Zesty in a spare bedroom in Dublin. In January, UTV revealed it was merging its web design agency Tibus with Simply Zesty.
“I invested in and joined PR Slides because I saw huge global potential for a truly disruptive platform that could change an entire industry. I’ve been blown away by just how quickly people are adopting our technology and the blue-chip clients we have been able to attract,” Power said.
PR Slides aims to bring public relations into the digital arena and the company is working with brands like Philips, Harvey Norman and Littlewoods Ireland to make content more accessible for media.
So far, more than 800 images from PR Slides are being used in the press each month. Kernel Capital’s Orla Rimmington said the online portal has also attracted PR agencies themselves to use the service to increase broad media exposure for brands
“PR Slides is exactly the type of innovative export-oriented company that Enterprise Ireland is keen to support,” said Michael Moriarty, head of HPSU (high-potential start-ups) financial and enterprise software at Enterprise Ireland.
“A key element of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy is to grow a strong base of competitive, indigenous companies who can become ‘best in class’ in their target global markets and thereby drive jobs at home. Enterprise Ireland is working closely with PR Slides and is happy to continue to support the company in its future growth,” Moriarty said.