Primer: Irish-Led Startups In Silicon Valley

10 Irish Startups Rocking Silicon Valley

We talk a lot about how American tech multinationals set up shop in Dublin, but the same applies vice-versa: for years, the test of an Irish startup has been relocation to the US.

And though New York has its own batch of Irish success stories, it’s Silicon Valley that still stands out as the main draw. In no particular order, we’ve rounded up ten of the Irish-led startups in Silicon Valley (or the greater San Francisco region, if we’re going to be geographically specific about it) that you need to know about – or maybe you already knew about them, but needed a gentle reminder that they’re as Irish as James Joyce and breakfast rolls…

The biggest story in Irish startups can hardly be called Irish anymore, but that won’t wear out their welcome at home. Prodigies John and Patrick Collison founded Stripe five short years ago, and since then have raised funding of $190 million. They offer a simple and effective solution to the ‘painful’ problem of online payments, letting users accept money minus the setup fees, minimum charges, failed payment charges and additional costs of traditional credit card processors. Stripe is currently valued at $3.5 billion – investors include Sequia, Peter Thiel and Elon Musk. @stripe

Local heroes gone global, Intercom created their CRM platform four years ago and already have over 4,000 web and mobile business users worldwide, Yahoo among them. Their system offers a single online platform through which to communicate with customers, tracking their behaviour and turning interest into engagement. They made headlines in January 2014 with the announcement of $23 million raised in Series B, led by Bessemer Venture Partners (bringing their total raised to $30 million), and have now set their sights on a $1 billion valuation@intercom

Swrve have offices in San Francisco and Dublin, securing a cool $21 million in funding since 2011 – the last round led by Atlantic Bridge. Their in-app marketing platform includes analytics, segmentation and AB testing, adding in-app communication to the list with their recent acquisition of Dublin-based startup Conversor. Processing more than three billion events per day, their current client list includes Sony, Sega, EA Games, Activision and Linden Labs. @Swrve_Inc

Named for an actual species of surreal box-shaped fish, Boxfish are helping to create the new and super-smart breed of TV. Founded in 2010 by Eoin Dowling and Kevin Burkitt, their products turn your television into a veritable on-screen nerve centre, complete with multiple screens, tags and updates. With offices in NYC, Palo Alto, Singapore and Dublin they’ve received $10 million in funding to date, with Atlantic Bridge again leading the charge, and Samsung providing additional cash. @bxfsh

Can software help reduce the risk of injury for athletes? Apparently yes, and Kitman Labs offer ‘the world’s most advanced athlete management system’ for sports organisations. Founded in Dublin in 2012, Kitman’s Profiler product employs a distinctly sci-fi combination of ‘machine learning, statistical analysis and computer vision’ to keep athletes safe from injury. In recent weeks, they’ve announced an expansion into the US, acquiring two Major League baseball clients, the LA Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays@KitmanLabs

Datahug applies data science to sales, automating the process of updating activity and contact and deal processes. The product draws on previous interactions with customers, retroactively building a profile and displaying 100% of the data in one place. Datahug currently have offices in Dublin and San Fran, announcing $4 million Series A funding in 2013. @Datahug

Since opening shop in 2011, Cleverbug has metamorphosed from a greeting cards app into a full-scale social gifting company. The original, widely successful product allowed users to create personalised cards with images taken straight from the recipient’s social media profile, with the results available in over 150 countries worldwide. This option has since become CleverCards, their flagship product, alongside a newly-developed ‘gifting graph’. The company secured an initial $2.5 million from Delta Partners in 2011, adding a further $4.5 million in 2013@Cleverbug

Headquartered in County Louth as well as Santa Clara, CA, MCor manufactures eco-friendly and affordable 3D printers. Their machines are full-colour but less expensive than standard 3D printers to run, due to their use of business-letter paper as a build material. The only printer of its kind in the world, Mcor’s product is more accessible to students and creatives as well as for business use. In 2014, Mcor announced funding of $31.3 million and a sales increase of 600%. @Mcor3DPrinting

Backed by Atlantic Bridge, Capital-E, DFJ Esprit and Robert Bosch, Movidius creates vision processing and computational imaging chips, software and development tools. They’ve raised $46.5 million in recent years and in 2014 announced the Myriad 2, a new chipset which improves upon their previous product with 20x more processing efficiency. @movidius

‘Launches are dead. Long live iteration.’ CircleCi’s tagline is ambitious, but they’re living up to it so far. A member of Heavybit Industries, CircleCi provides a cloud-based automated testing and continuous integration platform, one which can run multiple batches of code at the same time. Used by clients like Kickstarter, Cisco, Stripe and Intercom, CircleCi has raised $7.5 million since they were founded in 2011, with a 2014 round led by DFJ; past angel investors have included Heroku/Heavybit founder James Lindenbaum and lean startup guru Eric Ries. @circleci

Insofar as product endorsements go, an appearance on Barack Obama’s belt isn’t too shabby. John McGuire’s Game Golf, the world’s first automatic shot tracking system for golfers, has gone from strength to strength since receiving the presidential seal of approval in Martha’s Vinyard last August – it’s used in 79 countries, the PGA and The Golf Channel are on board as partners, and investors in Maguire’s Active Mind Technology outfit include Seagate, Crosslink Capital, AME Cloud Ventures and Venture51 – since 2010, he’s raised $15M in capital. @GAMEGOLF

*We actually included eleven, and could have gone eleven more – if we’ve left someone off the list, let us know – give us a shout on Twitter or Facebook.

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