Fintech start-up secures one of Ireland’s largest ever Series A rounds

7 Jun 2017

From left: Charles Dowd, Plynk; Lesley Tully, Bank of Ireland; and Clive Foley, Plynk. Image: Naoise Culhane

In one of Ireland’s largest ever Series A funding rounds, Plynk – a tool to allow users to send money via messages – has raised €25m.

“Today marks a significant milestone for Plynk,” said Plynk CEO Charles Dowd this morning (7 June), after his company secured what is one of the most successful opening funding rounds in Irish history, driven in part by Swiss Privée Ltd.

Plynk’s soft launch at the start of the year clearly did enough to convince people of the company’s potential.

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Plynk, Fintech, Funding

“From the beginning, it has been our aim to remove the complexities and awkwardness of person-to-person payments,” said Dowd.

“This funding brings us closer to fulfilling this goal, first within Ireland and across Europe before expanding worldwide.”

Plynk was established in 2015 with a Dublin HQ, just as ‘conversational commerce’ was becoming a popular term.

Linked to users’ Facebook accounts, Plynk lets people send money via message to a single contact or in group chats, instantly and with no fees.

Once a Plynk account is created, users receive a dedicated IBAN and virtual Mastercard for online payments. In future, the company wants to integrate Apple and Android Pay.

Following a path laid down by Google, Dowd claims he wants to use this investment to help Plynk “become a verb, in every European language”.

“Over 2017, we will use this secured funding to expand into new markets, as well as add GBP to our platform. Hiring will also be a priority, adding more team members to continue development on our core product and to build more features unique to the social payments industry.”

The expansion will see more than 20 engineering and support roles created across Europe over the next 18 months, with all development remaining in Dublin.

Dowd recently told that the company’s target was 18-24-year-olds on college campuses across Ireland.

Armed with such funding now, though, expect those aims to broaden significantly.

“Long-term, 17pc of all payments globally are person-to-person. We aim to capture this part of your spending, first in Ireland, then targeted EU countries and then into the US,” he said.

In April, Plynk featured as’s Start-up of the Week, and the company has secured €725,000 in funding in recent months.

This funding came from a number of sources, including Bank of Ireland’s Start-Up and Emerging Sectors Equity Fund, which is managed by Delta Partners. Additional funding was provided by Delta, Enterprise Ireland, NDRC and a number of angel investors.

“Plynk has positioned itself at the forefront of social payments and has created a service which eliminates the complexities when sharing expenses among family, friends and colleagues,” said NDRC CEO, Ben Hurley, about today’s Series A round.

“On behalf of everyone in NDRC, I want to congratulate Charles Dowd, Clive Foley and all the team in Plynk on today’s announcement and I wish them the very best for their future endeavors.”

“Today’s announcement is a fantastic achievement for an Irish start-up, and Bank of Ireland are delighted to have supported Plynk from the first day that they walked into our Workbench in Grand Canal Square through to their Series A raise today,” said David Tighe, head of innovation at Bank of Ireland.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic