Cloud player Phorest plots global expansion after raising €20m

18 Jun 2018

Phorest CEO Ronan Perceval. Image: Phorest

Increased investment from US equity firms as Europe continues to flounder.

SaaS player Phorest has raised €20m from US investment firm Susquehanna Growth Equity (SGE) in a move that has spurred talk of a potential IPO by the company.

Dublin-based Phorest was co-founded by Ronan Perceval, Dylan Collins and Sean Blanchfield while students at Trinity College Dublin in 2003.

The company has grown to become one of the biggest cloud-based scheduling platforms for beauty salons in Europe, with large shares of the UK and Irish salon markets.

Looking good

Collins and Blanchfield went on to create Demonware, a multiplayer games platform bought by Activision for $17m. Collins is now active in venture capital and runs kid-safe digital ads business SuperAwesome while Blanchfield runs PageFair, a platform for countering the effects of ad-blocking on media companies.

It is understood that the €20m investment will buy out existing investors including Enterprise Equity and angel investors.

SGE is a venture capital subsidiary of Susquehanna International Group, one of the world’s largest privately held financial services firms, with more than 1,800 employees.

As well as Phorest, SGE has made investments in OrderMyGear, XebiaLabs, Evive Health, Graduway and HighRadius, to name a few.

The investment in Phorest signals continued interest in Irish tech companies from US investment firms. However, a warning was recently made by the Irish Venture Capital Association that while a significant chunk of the investment raised by Irish firms in the first quarter of 2018 came from US sources, funding from European sources is on the wane.

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