The Irish Tech 100 (Part One)

Powered by Cpl Recruitment: Last month, Business & Finance Magazine published their definitive guide to the top 100 performing tech companies across the island of Ireland. Over the next few days, we’ll be presenting the list in full.

Viewed as a whole, this list perfectly illustrates the concept of the ‘3 forces’ that converge to make Ireland a magnet for innovation and investment: a strong ecosystem, world leading multinationals and exciting startups.

Established in Ireland: 2004
Head of Irish operations: John Moore, CEO/Founder

Medical education has come a long way from dissecting cadavers and lugging around enormous anatomy books, and Dublin-based 3D4 is at the cutting edge of new technology in the field. They develop hugely popular 3D anatomy apps such as Essential Anatomy, and its products have been downloaded over 9m times, topped the App Store charts for months on end and appeared in iPad commercials. Founded by CEO John Moore and Director of BusinessDevelopment Niall Johnston, the company is headquartered in Dublin’s Ballsbridge, and announced 50 new jobs in 2014. This is another big year for the 3D4 Medical, with investment firm Malin Corporation buying a 38% stake for $16.4m, with an option to take its holding up to 50%. @3D4Medical


Established in Ireland: 2006

US giant ACI supports electronic payments for over 1,750 financial institutions around the globe, with a reported $13tn being processed every day. The company’s Irish footprint comes in the form of its Software Development Centre in Castletroy, Co. Limerick, a facility that expanded two years ago with the announcement of 60 new jobs. “Ireland offers a pro-business environment and a strong calibre of technology professionals to enable us to grow our business,” said EVP of Development Tony Scotto, making the announcement. The company’s clients include over 250 of the world’s leading retailers, and 21 of the 25 biggest banks in the world. @ACI_Worldwide


Employees: 2,000+
Established in Ireland: 1997
Head of Irish operations: Michael Fitzgerald, CEO

Irish business process management company Abtran is on the way up this year, announcing 100 jobs at its IFSC offices. The new positions add to a roster of 50 already in place in Dublin’s Docklands, and the company employs over 2,000 nationally, with headquarters in Mahon, on the outskirts of Cork city. The company is preparing for international growth and boasts a vast array of public and private-sector clients in fields such as customer engagement, identity and validation, and consultancy. “Abtran is a great example of the type of Irish company we are trying to support in this area: a highly innovative, fast-growing company which is taking advantage of the base of multinational companies we have here in Ireland in order to grow its sales,” said Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton this summer. @abtranglobal


Established in Ireland: 2000
Head of Irish operations: Eileen O’Sullivan, Chief Financial and Operating Officer

With its international headquarters in Dublin’s IFSC, Afilias is the world’s second-largest domain name registry. Boasting over 20m names under management, it also has sales offices in London and Vancouver as well as footprints in Toronto, Philadelphia and New Delhi. Having launched the hugely successful .info TLD in 2001, a vast range of domain options are now available, including the very topical .vote and .lgbt. The company acquired Registry Services Corporation in 2012 and helped to found the dotMobi company; Afilias also offers device intelligence (DeviceAtlas) and web publishing (goMobi) solutions.@Afilias


Employees: 30+
Established in Ireland: 2011
Head of Irish operations: Darragh Richardson, Managing Director

Agile Networks is Ireland’s largest independent network integrator. The firm works with over 100 of the best-known companies in Ireland across 1,500 sites: every day over 1.5m people use networks supported by Agile Networks. “Our mission is to set new standards in IT networks, offering a unique ‘focal engineer’ model,” explained Managing Director Darragh Richardson. “We have seen a significant move away from the traditional ‘break/fix’ model of support, to a much more proactive managed service.” The integrator has certainly disrupted the marketplace in its short history and has been recognised with 15 national and international awards in the past three years. @agilenetworksIE


Employees: c.500
Established in Ireland: 2013
Head of Irish operations: Aisling Hassell, Global Head of CX

One of the highest-profile and quickest-growing high-tech multinationals in Ireland today, Airbnb has become so topical that even the taxman is taking an interest in its users. A fiendishly simple system that allows people to rent out their spare room or their house if they’re not in use, millions of holidaymakers have been paired up with over a million listed premises, 4,500 of which are in Ireland. This year the company announced 200 new Dublin jobs and a lease at The Warehouse, a 19th-century Dublin Docklands landmark that is being restored, in addition to expansion at its nearby Watermarque Building setup.@Airbnb


Established in Ireland: 2007
Head of Irish operations: David Finn, CEO

Founded by David Finn in 2007, Amatech’s setup is divided between its Spiddal, Co. Galway inlay manufacturing facility, and a machine engineering factory in FŸssen, Bavaria. The company designs and builds manufacturing systems for smartcards, with numerous applications for banking, transport, security and identification. Radio frequency identification devices (RFIDs) are now becoming increasingly familiar, cropping up in the likes of credit, debit and Leap cards, but in fact contactless payment systems were invented by Finn in 1996. The company has continued to innovate by making the technology within the cards stronger and more reliable, an undeniable advantage when it comes to growth areas such as payment cards and passports.


Established in Ireland: 2008
Employees worldwide: 22,000
Head of Irish operations: Eli Tuson, Managing Director, Europe

Israeli multinational customer experience systems firm Amdocs provides software and services for the communications, media and entertainment industry. With $3.6bn in revenue last year, there are customers in over 80 countries and the company employs over 22,000. Business support systems, operational support systems and big data are among the offerings, with a client base that includes players such as AT&T, Vodafone Ireland and eir. It acquired Sandyford-based UCD spin-out ChangingWorlds, a mobile data, search and advertising personalisation firm, for $60m in 2008. @Amdocs


Established in Ireland: 2003
Head of Irish operations: Jimmy Martin, CEO

Providing software and vehicle technology solutions for the waste, recycling and resource industry, AMCS software underpins €4bn in revenue, 14,000 vehicles and over 3,000 sites. Headquartered in Limerick, last year the firm raised €23.5m, announced plans to double its 130-strong workforce and acquired Pennsylvania firm PC Scale Technologies. With Highland Capital Partners Europe, Investec, the Ulster Bank Diageo Venture Fund and Enterprise Ireland on board, Jimmy Martin and Austin Ryan seem to be in an enviable position within a growing market Ð and in typical Irish fashion, the two co-founders met playing hurling. @AMCSGroup


Employees in Ireland: 160+
Established in Ireland: 1997
Head of Irish operations: Aengus McClean, Head of Global Operations

One of the world’s most recognisable technology firms, the web services company has expanded in recent years to encompass media brands The Huffington Post, Engadget and TechCrunch, as well as a slew of advertising businesses. Based here for nearly 20 years, the company’s Dublin Development Centre is set up in the Heuston South Quarter development, and works in tandem with other development sites in New York, Dulles, Palo Alto and Frankfurt. AOL Networks’ Irish arm expanded two years ago with the announcement of 40 new jobs in the software engineering sector, a move that Angus McClean noted would “expand our current suite of market-leading products in display advertising into a comprehensive, world-class offering that extends across the whole digital ad ecosystem and will set a benchmark for others to follow.” @aolireland


Employees in Ireland: 4,000+
Established in Ireland: 1980
Head of Irish operations: Cathy Kearney, Vice President, European Operations

Apple has long been a key player on Ireland’s FDI scene, setting up on these shores with IDA backing in 1980. The company’s Hollyhill base was the first outside of the US and has evolved through manufacturing and services phases. It now hosts a number of divisions including Apple Sales International, through which all non-US sales are handled, and Apple Distribution International. It’s headed up by the low-profile Cathy Kearney, and Apple’s European structure directly employs 18,300 people across 19 European companies.

This year the company announced an enormous new investment in Ireland: an €850m data centre to be built in Athenry, Co. Galway, the company’s largest in Europe. 300 jobs will be created throughout construction and operation, with State forestry agency Coillte involved in providing the site at Derrydonnell. “This is an important strategic investment by Apple in a regional location, with significant local economic benefits,” explained Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland. “Ireland has for several years successfully attracted data centre investments from major corporates, but this latest investment enhances Ireland’s track record in this area further. It is particularly noteworthy that the west region, and Co. Galway in particular, has been chosen as the location for a project with a pan-European dimension.” The 166,000 sqm site will be powered by renewable energy and was described as “Apple’s biggest project in Europe to date” by Apple CEO Tim Cook. @APPLEOFFIClAL


Employees in Ireland: 400+
Established in Ireland: 2004
Head of Irish operations: Jason Flynn, Country Manager, Ireland

A world leader in next-generation business collaboration and communications, Avaya is active in unified communications, contact centre solutions, networking and SME solutions. The company operates a substantial R&D facility in Galway, as a global innovation centre, and recently announced 75 new jobs in fields such as research and development, engineering, finance, IT, and administrative support. The company’s entry into the Irish market came in 2004 with the acquisition of Irish technology firm Spectel for $103m. Five years later, Avaya acquired Nortel Enterprise Solutions, further expanding its Irish footprint. The California-headquartered multinational has a roster of nearly 6,000 patents and a regular place on Thomson Reuters’ World’s Top 100 Most Innovative Organisations. @Avaya


Head of Irish operations: Kevin Taylor, managing director

The Irish arm of the British defence and security giant was built up through the acquisition of Detica in 2008, as well as Irish financial software company Norkom for a reported €217m in 2011. The Dundrum-based operation dropped the Detica monicker last year. The company serves up solutions to protect and enhance their business operations in a networked world, using big data, intelligence-grade security and services/solutions integration. It operates in four key areas: cyber security, financial crime, communications intelligence and digital transformation. BAE Systems Applied Intelligence has over 4,000 staff in 40 offices serving Europe, North/South America, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. @BAESystemsplc


Employees in Ireland: 3,000
Head of Irish operations: Colm O’Neill, CEO

A major player in the Irish communications scene, BT has headquarters in Belfast and Dublin, employing around 3,000 people. South of the Border, it is a leader in networked IT services for government and large businesses, and provides wholesale services for clients such as mobile operator 3, Carphone Warehouse and Sky Ireland. Other new business includes Kerry Group, Icon and Skillsoft, with new services delivered to existing customers Bank of Ireland and Elavon. “In the past year we’ve invested heavily in rolling out fibre broadband infrastructure in rural areas across Northern Ireland and in launching the first 100G core network in the Republic of Ireland,” Colm O’Neill told Business & Finance recently. “We’ve also invested significantly in our data centre facilities to make them even more power-efficient so that they equip us to meet the ever-increasing need for business cloud services. BT Ireland is an €800m business and is therefore a significant and successful part of the BT Group operation. In addition, we continue to see great potential in the business market here that we have the resources and global network capability to capitalise on.”

The company’s 2014 results have seen revenue boosted by 2% year-on year, with profit up by 4%. It grew its share of the fixed-line market to over 17%, making it the second-largest fixed-line operator in the country according to a Comreg report. Meanwhile, Q1 results are also positive, with revenue up by 6%, O’Neill particularly flagging growth in business sales as multinationals expand in Ireland. The company’s customer base includes six of Forbes’ 10 most innovative companies in the world, and eight of the Irish Stock Exchange’s top 10 companies. @btinireland


Established in Ireland: 2011
Head of Irish operations: Kealan Lennon, CEO

Bringing greetings cards into the 21st century at long last, the CleverCards app harnesses social media to create and send highly personalised greetings cards anywhere in the world. Based in Dublin’s Ranelagh, Cleverbug has an office in Silicon Valley and a printing and distribution network around the world, helping to cut down on delivery time. Headed up by seasoned media entrepreneur Kealan Lennon, funding drawn from Delta Partners, angel investors and Lennon himself has led to it being tipped as one of the highest-potential Irish start-ups in the tech space. The app has been featured on The Late Late Show, Newstalk and TV3, as well as tech giants CNET and Techcrunch. @Cleverbug


Established in Ireland: 2000
Head of Irish operations: Paul Eyre, Regional Sales Manager, Northern Europe

With its headquarters in Massachusetts and offices in over 20 countries, Cognex designs, develops, manufactures and markets machine vision and industrial ID systems: devices that can ‘see’. Cognex barcode readers, machine vision sensors and machine vision systems are used in factories, warehouses and distribution centres around the world. They are important tools on production lines and in the supply chain, where they can detect defects, monitor production, guide assembly robots and track components. The company has sold over 900,000 vision-based products, worth over $3.5bn, since its foundation in 1981. Cognex’s Irish operations are based in Cork, a new facility that opened in 2008. @Cognex_Corp


Established in Ireland: 2002
Head of Irish operations: Colin Meagle, Founder

A full-service digital media agency based in Dublin 3, the company specialises in web design, web development, digital marketing and digital strategy. Founded by Colin Meagle, its modus operandi is to ‘velcro’ itself onto its clients’ operations, a partnership approach to reaping the rewards of internet opportunities. Clients including Tesco Mobile, IBRC and the Aviva Stadium have all experienced the benefits. Meagle has also set up worldwide-reaching animation company Trilabyrinth, as well as serving on the eir Junior Spiders judging panel and operating as chief adviser to a host of e-commerce, financial and process-based organisations throughout Europe.@WeAreContinuum


Established in Ireland: 1999
Head of Irish operations: Adam Grennan, Country Manager

One of the biggest names in networking, Cisco technology underpins an enormous chunk of the technology and traffic that businesses and consumers use every day. The company’s Irish setup consists of two locations: East Point in Dublin, handling sales/marketing/finance, and Oranmore in Co. Galway, where its unified communications R&D centre is based. The latter opened in 2007 and operates in the communication and collaboration software technology space, including enterprise and cloud-enabled desktop, mobile applications, desktop virtualisation and real-time web communications. Irish operations are headed up by Dublin-based veteran Adam Grennan, former head of technical strategy, who was appointed country manager for Cisco in Ireland in March 2012. This year the company announced that it is to invest €200,000 in a Europe-wide deal with Irish data management company Asytec. @CiscoUKI


Established in Ireland: 1999
Head of Irish operations: Recently changed

Used by over 330,000 organisations and more than 100m users worldwide, Citrix offers a variety of workspace solutions, including application and desktop virtualisation, enterprise mobility management, file sync and sharing, cloud networking, collaboration and cloud services. The firm’s Dublin setup encompasses a number of business units including sales, global IT operations and a technical support team providing support to partners and users across the EMEA region. Their East Point premises has also diversified to cover software development, online content, customer self-help technology, and product and programme activities. “Citrix has been able to find the right sort of talent here in Ireland to expand its business in markets across Europe, Middle East and Africa,” said IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan, announcing new jobs last year. @CitrixUK


Founded in Ireland: 2001
Head of Irish operations: Dejan Cusic, Country Manager, Ireland and the UK

IT group Comtrade develops end-to-end technology products and solutions, with major bases in Slovenia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as eight other countries. Its Irish operations are based in Stillorgan, and the company offers data, systems and telecommunication solutions and services across a variety of sectors. The gaming industry is catered for through a suite of solutions for online, mobile and land-based operators, and the group also pushes its storage management software R&D labs and management packs. The firm was established in 1990 and is home to over 1,500 employees, including more than 1,000 software engineers. @comtrade


Established in Ireland: 2005
Head of Irish operations: Barry Napier, CEO

It’s a big year for Irish start-up Cubic Telecom, with news of an €18m investment from Audi and Qualcomm that will see 3G and 4G connectivity being installed in Audi vehicles. The IoT machine-to-machine connectivity developer has scored success with its cloud-based platform, and the investor list includes Sierra Wireless, ACT Venture Capital, TPS Investment and Enterprise Ireland. The company is based in Dublin and focuses on connectivity for IoT and enterprise customers, embedding its technology into devices at the manufacturing stage. “We appreciate the investment from Audi and Qualcomm as we continue to expand our market presence,” said CEO Barry Napier. “The automotive industry is changing faster than ever, and connectivity in the car is at the heart of it. With this new round of financing, Cubic Telecom, along with our strategic partners, will be at the core of this transformative new phase for the automotive industry.” @cubictelecom


Founded in Ireland: 1985
Head of Irish operations: Aidan Brogan, CEO

Voted the World’s Leading Travel Merchandising Solution Provider at the 2014 World Travel Awards, the Dublin-headquartered travel software company’s work underpins over a billion shoppers’ experiences. It works with some of the world’s biggest travel retailers, such as Delta Airlines, JetBlue, Frontier Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. Listed on the Irish Stock Exchange, the company’s annual report contained good news in terms of platform revenue (up 11% to $19.5m), EBITDA (up 12% to $8.5m) and cash (up 9% to $18.3m). “In 2014 we invested a further $5.1m in our product, which focused on digital commerce, pricing, payments and big data features. In 2015 we will invest in areas such as user experience, payments, data and mobility,” said CEO Aidan Brogan. “The new customers we brought live on our platform in 2014, and the signings that will go live during 2015, will continue to drive our performance through this year and beyond. We anticipate 20-25% growth in adjusted EBITDA in 2015 and further growth in cash reserves, after proposing an increase in our dividend.” @Datalex


Established in Ireland: 1982
Head of Irish operations: Patrick Kickham, Director

One of the country’s largest and most successful ICT solutions and service providers, Datapac has offices in Dublin, Wexford and Belfast. It provides nationwide coverage, supported by its Managed Services and Support Centre, and partners with leading names such as Cisco, Citrix, EMC, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Sophos and VMware. Clients include a cross-section of Irish business life, from Topaz to Glanbia, Smurfit Kappa to Harvey Norman, along with public and third-sector clients. It was recently awarded Sophos’ Irish Partner of the Year and became the first Irish company to achieve elite partner status with US data giant Datto. Meanwhile, Datapac upgraded the ICT infrastructure of much-loved charity Barretstown, bringing 50Mbps connectivity to an east Kildare site that had never previously achieved more than 5 Mbps. @Datapac_ICT


Employees in Ireland: 50+
Established in Ireland: 2010
Head of Irish operations: Connor Murphy and Ray Smith, Co-Founders

Datahug was founded in 2010 with the goal of breaking down barriers within businesses in order to better share and leverage business relationships. Launched at the Web Summit, Datahug won the Spark of Genius award for a networking tool based on email data. In the years since, the company made strides applying cutting-edge data science to the art of sales. Datahug’s mission from the start has been to help sales teams focus on building trust with customers. The company provides next-generation sales software that applies data science to a sales team’s existing workflow to increase efficiency, improve predictability and drive revenue. With offices in San Francisco and Dublin, Datahug continues to grow at pace. @Datahug


Employees in Ireland: 60
Established in Ireland: 2012
Head of Irish operations: Richard Barnwell, founder and CEO

In May this year, Ireland’s largest game developer, Digit Gaming, announced an international recruitment drive and the immediate creation of 40 jobs that will effectively triple the size of its international studio based in Dublin. Founded in 2012 in Dublin, Digit Gaming is a cross-platform development studio: an international team with collective experience working on some of the world’s most successful game franchises in browser, console, MMO, mobile and social games. “Content is the richest source of value in this industry and we are delighted to have significant opportunity to create a lot of it. We are adding to our team to help us do just that,” said Richard Barnwell, founder and CEO, DIGIT Game Studios. “In addition to Kings of the Realm, we are scaling up our studio to launch an all-new title with iconic, world-leading AAA IP, that has a chance to be huge.” @digitgaming




Originally published in Business & Finance Magazine.

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