Our tech start-up of the week is Zinmobi, a new Irish venture that has developed mobile marketing software services to allow companies to send targeted data-driven marketing messages.
Set up in early 2010, Zinmobi was co-founded by Brian Stephenson and Conor McAleavey. The business is based at Kerry Technology Park, plus it also has a Dublin office. Stephenson is now managing director at Zinmobi, while McAleavey is IT director. Right now Zinmobi employs five people full time, but the plan is to scale up to take on up to 10 new hires next year.
McAleavey and Stephenson were previously involved in other start-ups, but they say they spotted a huge opportunity in mobile.
"Advertisers and marketers are only beginning to understand the potential of the mobile phone for reaching out to consumers," explains McAleavey.
He says that Zinmobi provides mobile marketing solutions to retailers, hospitality groups, food service chains and the fast-moving consumer goods space.
"This can be anything from highly targeted SMS campaigns, customer acquisition and retention campaigns, mobile coupons and redemptions or text-based competitions."
On the software side, McAleavey says the start-up has developed algorithms to help analyse consumer behaviour so that they can deliver targeted marketing messages.
"Our algorithms consider the consumer’s behaviour through techniques like latency and recency and combine this with demographics to ensure right message, right person and right time," he explains.
To date, 10 large multi-site retailers and food service companies are using Zinmobi’s mobile marketing software, while the start-up also has another brand, Text Republic, which works with the small-business sector.
So where is Zinmobi at right now? "We are just beginning to emerge from the start-up phase. We raised initial seed funding from private investors back in 2010 and are currently in the early stages of negotiating second round funding," explains McAleavey.
He says that the company will continue to develop its platform, with a major focus on data-capture and analytics. And the UK marketplace is next in Zinmobi’s sights
"We see big opportunities in the UK and we’ll be setting up an office there in early 2013."
Zinmobi has also recently been accepted onto the next Internet Growth Acceleration programme (iGAP) that has been developed by Enterprise Ireland and is run by the Internet Growth Alliance.
Finally, what’s McAleavey’s advice for other emerging start-ups out there?
"Keep your costs down, be prepared to evolve with market conditions and look for and accept good help and advice. I heard someone say recently that without pressure there is no creativity and that has certainly been true with us," he adds.