Wayflyer lands top spot in LinkedIn ranking of start-ups in Ireland

28 Sep 2022

Wayflyer founders Aidan Corbett and Jack Pierse. Image: Wayflyer

Other Irish start-ups to feature on this year’s LinkedIn list include Workvivo, Flipdish, Manna, Xocean, &Open and Tines.

LinkedIn is back with its list of the start-ups in Ireland to keep an eye out for – and Wayflyer has bagged the top spot.

Last year, the company ranked the top 10 Irish start-ups people most want to work for, with drone delivery start-up Manna landing the number one place.

This year, LinkedIn has focused on emerging companies that are “rising to the challenges of the moment”, and continuing to grow and attract attention.

Data was sourced internally from LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, and start-ups were assessed across four pillars: employee growth, jobseeker interest, member engagement, and how well the start-ups were able to pull talent from established companies.

“This year’s top Irish start-ups list is reflective of the disruptive forces that the pandemic brought about, combined with the innovative thinking that gave Ireland its reputation as the land of saints and scholars,” said Sandrine Chauvin, international executive editor of LinkedIn News.

“The diverse range of industries covered by the list, ranging from medical devices and cybersecurity to drone delivery and activewear, reflects how Irish entrepreneurs are making a global impact.”

Top three

Wayflyer, the revenue-based financing and growth platform that became a unicorn earlier this year, bagged the top spot in the LinkedIn list. It was followed by Cork-based workplace communications company Workvivo and Dublin-based food ordering start-up Flipdish.

Since flying past a $1bn valuation in January, Wayflyer has been raising funds and growing at warp speed. It has made a series of senior hires, signed a major sponsorship deal with Irish golfer Shane Lowry and snapped up creator funding provider Peblo in its first big acquisition.

Earlier this month, Wayflyer announced it had raised $253m in debt financing from Credit Suisse – just months after it secured a $300m debt line from JP Morgan.

Founded in 2019 by Aidan Corbett and Jack Pierse, Wayflyer also recently expanded its platform into four new European markets: Germany, Sweden, Belgium and Denmark. It now aims to deploy more than $200m across these markets over the next 12 months.

On a mission to humanise the workplace with its communications platform, Workvivo came in second place in LinkedIn’s ranking.

A €20.8m Series B funding round in June more than tripled the company’s valuation. Founded in 2017 by John Goulding and Joe Lennon, Workvivo said it has experienced more than 150pc year-on-year growth for the past three years.

The company’s platform, demand for which was boosted by the pandemic, is designed based on the way people interact outside of the workplace. Employees can share, post, comment, podcast or livestream on the communications hub, to replicate a social experience.

Flipdish, third on the list, became Ireland’s first unicorn of 2022 when it reached a $1.25bn valuation following a major investment led by Tencent.

The start-up, which provides restaurants and takeaways with online ordering systems, said at the time it is interested in finding new clients among cinemas, stadiums and airports. In April, it launched a free online directory of Irish restaurants to support local food businesses.

Following the fresh investment, Flipdish announced plans to hire 700 people this year – a third of which were to be based in Ireland. Headquartered in Dublin, the company also has offices across Europe and North America. It was described last year as one of Europe’s hottest scale-ups.


Irish athletic clothing start-up Gym+Coffee and cybersecurity company Tines bagged the remaining two spots in LinkedIn’s top five, while Xocean, Manna, &Open, Tegus and ICS Medical rounded out the top 10.

A previous SiliconRepublic.com Start-up of the Week, Tines develops tech for automating mundane security-related tasks that normally eat up time and resources for analysts and engineers, allowing for greater focus on more critical tasks. It raised $26m last year.

Meanwhile, Louth-based ocean data start-up Xocean develops uncrewed surface vessels – low-carbon vessels decked out with equipment for collecting ocean data without the need for people on board. In February, it announced plans to hire 100 staff after tripling its revenue last year.

Manna, which topped LinkedIn’s list last year, has also been on a high in recent months after it officially launched its pilot in Dublin’s Balbriggan. Led by Bobby Healy, Manna has been trialling its drone delivery tech in Ireland since 2019 and might land in the US as soon as this year.

“These start-ups are navigating uncertain economic times, optimising for long-term growth and offering employees opportunities to learn new skills and succeed,” added Chauvin.

“The goal of the LinkedIn Top Startups list is to help professionals navigate the changing landscape by being better informed about the current trends, emerging sectors and the job opportunities in the Irish market.”

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic