Tech start-up of the week:

19 Jan 2014 director Deirdre Garvey and CEO Leonard Lloyd

Our tech start-up of the week is, a new daily deals website that is working with 32 Irish charities to use e-commerce as a way of supporting good causes. The start-up aims raise more than €2m for Irish causes within the next three years.

The site is the brainchild of the Irish charity sector and the 32 founding charities are all shareholders in the site.

The charities include Focus Ireland, Down Syndrome Centre, Educate Together, Fighting Blindness, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland, Order of Malta, National Youth Council, USI and UNICEF.

Future Human

Out of every deal purchased on the site, which launched on 11 November, 11pc of the transaction will go to the buyer’s chosen charity.

CEO Leonard Lloyd explained that last year daily deal sites in Ireland had revenues of €54m – if 11pc of those transactions went to charity it would mean a windfall of around €6m.

The site aims to offer discounts of greater than 50pc with 11pc of the final price going to the nominated charity.

“ was established to create a new paradigm in conscientious consumerism – specifically to enable fundraising for the good works and causes of Irish charities through e-commerce,” Lloyd explained.

“The founding team looked at how we could create an e-commerce environment where each of the selling merchants, the consumer and their preferred charity could benefit from a sales transaction.”

Lloyd said the daily deals market in Ireland is approaching a €60m market and aims to join the top 3 players within the next three years of growth.

The founders

Lloyd has a strong background in technology, specifically around business creation in global markets. He began his career as an electronics engineer with Philips, designing semiconductors before taking on business development and marketing roles with S3, ARM and Xilinx.

Prior to setting up he worked as managing director of IP licensing firm DTS Licensing Ltd.

Director Basil Good is an entrepreneur with several decades of successful and innovative business creation in Ireland and director Deirdre Garvey is CEO of The Wheel, an active leader in the charity sector.

The technology

Lloyd explained the service is opt-in and subscribers receive an email each day with a promotional offer for that day.

Merchants, charities and consumers can select, manage, measure and target their preferences to optimise their experience in the environment, Lloyd said.

“The technology has proven to be compelling from the perspective of the consumer, merchants and charities. Its performance has been robust and stable. Users are actively supporting the future road map with feature and function ideas,” he added.

“Merchants have found the concept compelling from a deals perspective and, after just two months trading, is already offering over 50 deals to its subscribers.

“Subscriptions are already up to 7,000 and judging by the purchase response, can expect to support the highest consumer conversion ratios. Consumers get and enjoy the concept of conscientious consumerism.”

Execute with excellence

Lloyd said the greatest challenge for is to scale its business fully and at the rate possible and desired by the market.

“This is really about getting the good news out there soon, often and widely enough to allow new merchants, new consumers and new charities to join the venture and enjoy the benefits.”

Having worked in both start-up and corporate scenes, Lloyd said he finds the Irish start-up scene to be energetic, enthusiastic, passionate and determined.

“A new internet revolution is under way connecting people, commerce, business, things. And Ireland is at the very heart of it. There is a critical need for the political and investment class to join the revolution and to commit to the development and growth of Irish start-ups.”

Having left the security of the multinational sector for the start-up world, Lloyd’s advice to fellow start-ups is to have the courage of their convictions.

“Dream big and bold, execute with excellence, be accountable and own the outcomes at each stage and the successful path forward. Surround yourself with positivity. Be an inspirational leader for your team. Always enjoy the journey.”

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