Start-ups Conker and Trustev enter Wayra accelerator, gleaning €40k each

5 Mar 2013

The Conker team. (From left) Russell Banks, Jeff Harte, Eoin Hurrell and Daniel Kersten

Two new Irish ventures – Conker and Trustev – have been chosen to join the Wayra academy in Dublin that’s run by Telefónica. The two companies will each get an investment injection worth €40,000, as well as workspace in Wayra.

Telefónica’s global start-up accelerator Wayra opened its Dublin hub last September. It is based in O2’s headquarters in the Dublin docklands.

Conker and Trustev will be joining nine start-ups that are already based in Wayra until the end of June – Whittl, Popdeem, Paymins, SuperQuest, Glass Robot, Woopie, BragBet, Numerosity and OptiWi-fi.

A judging panel selected Trustev and Conker after a day of pitches to an independent jury that included Paddy Holahan, founder of NewBay Software, and Dermot Berkery, partner at Delta Partners.

Conker is developing player experience management software for games companies.

The company was co-founded by Russell Banks, Jeff Harte and Daniel Kersten and is aiming to disrupt the freemium game development space by providing predictive behavioural analytics for game developers.

Conker also won the Lift-Off competition at the NDRC last December after completing the LaunchPad programme.

Members of Trustev. From left: Chris Kennedy, Pat Phelan and John Peavoy

Members of Trustev. (From left) Chris Kennedy, Pat Phelan and John Peavoy

Meanwhile, Trustev is a new Cork-based start-up that provides real-time, online identity verification using social fingerprinting to help online retailers detect and prevent online retail fraud.

Chris Kenney is the founder of Trustev, which is being headed up by entrepreneur Pat Phelan. John Peavoy, Donal Cahalane and Kestutis Igaris are also involved in the new venture.

Trustev claims to be the first company of its kind to use social data as the primary data source when online businesses are making identity determinations. It adds new social verification layers to the checkout process which pre-qualifies customers by analysing social data from sources including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Both Conker and Trustev will receive an investment worth €40,000 from Wayra. It will provide funding to the start-ups in the form of a loan that will then be converted to equity when the companies secure their next significant investor.

The two companies will also gain access to other entrepreneurs and commercial opportunities across the network of Wayra academies in Europe and Latin America, as well as access to Telefónica’s global customer base.

Wayra’s Dublin director Karl Aherne, said Trustev and Conker are examples of Irish start-ups that have real global potential.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic