7 Irish startups to watch in 2018

One of my favourite things about Dublin’s startup scene is that it’s constantly expanding. This year we watched as some awesome companies made a big splash.

2018, too, will certainly be amazing! Here are some of the companies we are really excited to watch in the coming year.

We are especially excited because many of these companies were founded or co-founded by women. We are also excited because these companies come from all over Ireland: Dublin, Galway, Cork, and County Westmeath!


The growing appetite (and understanding) of cryptocurrencies will likely come front and centre in 2018. Meanwhile our phones and social networks will become even more engrained in our lives. Westmeath-based Mingo combines both of those together.

Mingo essentially wants to make cryptocurrencies easier for all of us to use. Their messaging app is already live. They also held a pre-sale of their currency last fall.

Starting next year however, things get really exciting. The Mingo Wallet (a transaction service with a rewards-based tutor built in) will launch as a beta early next year. Then in the spring, Mingo will hold its initial coin offering. The company say they will be the first cryptocurrency to offer their ICO on their own app.

Sex Positive

Oscar Wilde once wrote, “Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.”

So you could say, this Cork-founded and San Francisco-based startup hopes to disrupt everything in the world including power. Sex Positive hopes to create a sexually transmitted infection test that’s as easy as a home pregnancy test.

Essentially: swab, wait 30 minutes, and you will know if you’re positive for two of the most common STIs, Chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

The company hopes to take STI testing out of the hospital, which can be time consuming and potentially embarrassing. Instead, this $40 home test could encourage more people to know their status.


They just launched last year and are still in development phase, but we know this is a company to watch. Piprate uses blockchain technology to store and share data. They could have an impact on both consumers and businesses.

For consumers, this means intelligent ways to take a home inventory. Listing out the objects is imperative for insurance purposes if a home is destroyed by fire or natural disaster. That sort of inventory is also helpful for estate sales and even collections.

Piprate also wants to focus on companies, which is why we included them in this list. With a specific effort on managing customer data with security and transparency, Piprate could be a helpful tool as the General Data Protection Regulations take effect next year.

Blockchain will make it much easier to know who has a customer’s data, for how long, and why. That level of security is imperative for GDPR compliance in addition to the bottom line in 2018.


Dublin-based Stride made great… strides (sorry for the pun) in 2017. We’ll keep a close watch on them for 2018. The company is developing a mobile app that uses machine learning in the career discovery process.

The platform, which is built on social networking systems, is aimed at helping students choose college and career paths. The app should launch sometime soon


Buying a car or truck is never “easy” for consumers. It’s even more difficult for dealerships, which must handle everything from the sales paperwork to figuring out the trade-in value of your current car. Galway-based Appraisee aims to make that second piece of the puzzle a little easier.

Their software lessens the time used to appraise automobiles and eliminates errors from paper methods. Salespeople at the dealership can photograph the trade-in vehicle and enter all the details (a scratch on the side, leather seats, etc.) to get an approximate value. That seems simple enough, but if an employee appraises slowly or inaccurately it could cost dealerships a lot of money.

Appraisee recently won the NDRC’s PorterShed investor day in Galway. We’ll be excited to see how they roll off the lot in 2018,


When it comes to the challenges of our times, startups are often on the front lines. Dublin-based Trezeo is one of those startups working to solve a big problem that wasn’t so big a few years ago. The company provides income smoothing, a critical asset in the “gig economy.”

When people work part-time or full-time as drivers, gardeners, dog walkers, and such, they don’t have a stable income. An Uber drive, for example, may make a lot of money in December but almost none in January. Either way, that driver still has rent and bills that don’t fluctuate like his work. Trezeo partners with a user’s bank to add stability providing a consistent income throughout the year.

The lean months can be a little easier, and the good months can lead to extra saving.

We will keep a close watch on Trezeo in 2018. They won the NDRC Autumn Investor Day and plan to launch the full product next year.

Khonsu Therapeutics

After years of research, the Khonsu team out of Cork hope to help millions of people globally who suffer from chronic inflammation. As they say on their website, “we are a group of scientists, turned entrepreneurs.”

The biologic developed by Khonsu Therapeutics will tackle a variety of inflammation diseases. Speaking at the RebelBio pitch in London, CEO Emer O’Shea says current drugs on the market (a $30 billion market, mind you) target one symptom at a time. Khonsu impacts the root of inflammation using a protein that develops naturally in women during pregnancy.

Oddly enough, Khonsu will not start by treating people since it could take two to three years to reach market. Instead, they’ll focus on the horse breeding industry, where thoroughbred foals often face inflammation issues that can lead to lameness. O’Shea says the revenue from treating the equine market will help finance the necessary human clinical trials.

O’Shea tells us they are talking with investors and hope to progress in the next year.

What companies are you watching out for in 2018? Let us know!