Geektime spoke with 20 awesome Irish startups to give you a sense of the great emerging technology coming out of Ireland
Did you know that Forbes ranked Ireland as the best country for doing business in 2013? This is largely due to its access to international corporates, a highly skilled workforce, labor productivity, and investment incentives, all measures it scored highly within IMD’s World Competitiveness Report.
While Ireland is not known for any particular sector, such as Finland’s penchant for gaming or Israel’s strength in security, its startups represent a wider array of fields, including software as a service (SaaS), team collaboration platforms, health and wellness, marketing, security, and big data. Geektime is proud to list the 20 startups we think are the most promising from Ireland, from big names like Trustev all the way to seed-stage enterprises originally from Iran. Let us know if there are any startups you think we should have included in the comments below.
Sectors: E-commerce, fraud detection, software, security.
Overview: Trustev is one of the most famous, up-and-coming startups from Ireland. Its fraud prevention technology blocks counterfeiting while enabling real customers to continue purchasing, ensuring that the grand majority of customers is not accidentally blocked.
Funding: $7.8 million in four rounds from 10 investors (in reverse chronological order):
1. Convertible Note: €3.2M, 2014. Investors: Wayra, ACT Venture Capital, Mangrove Capital Partners,Greycroft Partners.
2. Seed: $500,000, 2013. Investor: Notion Capital.
3. Seed: $3 million, 2013. Investors: Notion Capital, Shane Naughton, David Coallier, Kevin Abosch, ACT Venture Capital, Enterprise Ireland, Greycroft Partners, Mangrove Capital Partners, Wayra, David Coallier.
4. Angel: $300,000, 2013. Investor: Wayra.
Founders: Pat Phelan, Chris Kennedy.
Locations: Cork, New York.
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.
What makes it unique? Rurik Bradbury, CMO, replied, “Trustev takes a unique approach to stopping e-commerce fraud. Rather than creating ‘rules’ about which transactions to block (e.g. whole countries, or anonymous visitors), the software looks at all data points simultaneously, so it can make an intelligent determination, without red-flagging customers by mistake. This approach can virtually eliminate fraud and increase sales by 2% by no longer blocking real customers accidentally.
The team comes from many leading technology companies including Facebook, Telefonica, Symantec and Paypal.”
Sectors: E-commerce, SaaS, consumer goods, enterprise software.
Overview: Clavis Insight provides consumer packaged goods companies analytics about their online stores, identifying ways they can increase growth, protect their reputation, and compete effectively in the e-commerce marketplace.
Founded: 2008. At first, they addressed data quality. In 2012, they pivoted towards online channel data analytics solutions.
Funding: Three funding rounds in 2009, 2011, 2013. Investors: SEP, Delta, Enterprise Ireland. Total funds raised: Approximately €10 million.
Founders: Garry Moroney, Chris McCauley.
Locations: Dublin, Boston, London, Shanghai.
What makes it unique? Tom Golden, VP Marketing, answered, “Clavis Insight employs over 100 people from at least 15 different nationalities. This diversity has been helpful in developing products and services that focus on multiple markets from Asia, to Europe and the Americas – it’s not just the language capability but culture and general knowledge that really helps.”
What do you bring to your market? “E-commerce has already completely transformed the retail landscape in categories such as books, electronics and fashion, but until recently, however, with the exception of a few markets such as the UK, France and China, CPG and the grocery segment in particular had been left relatively unscathed by the internet juggernaut. That situation is changing as CPG e-commerce, in the U.S. and elsewhere, has finally reached the tipping point.”
“Clavis Insight provides an advanced cloud technology solution that delivers ongoing monitoring and analysis of the e-commerce channel across all platforms – desktop, mobile web and mobile app – based on internationally standardized key performance indicators (KPIs), providing global CPGs with a single standard for measuring, setting goals and improving their e-commerce channel presence and performance around the world.”
Sectors: E-commerce, logistics, SaaS.
Overview: Xpreso increases the accuracy of delivery systems and decreases failed delivery attempts. It does this by providing real-time data the consumer, e-retailer, delivery driver and delivery company.
Funding: $1.1 million in three rounds (in reverse chronological order):
1. Seed: €850,000, 2014. Investor: ACT Venture Capital.
2. Seed: €15,000, 2014. Investor: MasterCard Start Path.
3. Seed: €50,000, 2013. Investor: NDRC.
Founders: Simon Pleass, Eamon Keane, Paulo Tubbert, Fabiano Pallonetto.
What makes it unique? Izabela Szumierz, Xpreso’s Marketing and Operations Executive, explained, “Xpreso solves the ‘last mile’ problem in e-commerce by delivering to people, not places. Xpreso’s SaaS solution allows delivery companies to increase first-time delivery success rate by offering online shoppers dynamic tracking and accurate parcel delivery times. This is complemented by re-direction options and an easy to use returns process, to fit parcel delivery and returns around consumers’ busy lives. The solution also facilities cash-on-delivery, VAT and customs payments at point of delivery.”
What do you bring to your market? “In 2019, the United Kingdom online retail sector is forecast to have a value of $121.3 billion, an increase of 81.3% since 2014. This statistic indicates a significant innovation potential in the area of parcel delivery in the upcoming years. At present parcel delivery process does not reach its maximum efficiency and there are a number of challenges faced by the various stakeholders in the delivery value chain, those being the online shopper, the e-retailers and the delivery operators.”
Sectors: Software, Mobile, SaaS, CRM, Help Desk, Marketing Automation.
Overview: Intercom helps businesses connect to their customers through live chats and targeted messages and emails, combining their software platform and smart technology.
Funding: $30.8 million in four rounds from 21 investors (in reverse chronological order):
1. Series B: $23 million, 2014. Investors: The Social+Capital Partnership, Bessemer Venture Partners.
2. Series A: $6 million, 2013. Investors: Freestyle Capital, The Social+Capital Partnership, David Sacks.
3. Seed: $750,000, 2012. Investors: 500 Startups, Freestyle Capital.
4. Seed: $1 million, 2012. Investors: Andy McLoughlin, Biz Stone, Dan Martell, David Coallier, Stuart Coulson, Conor Stanley, David Hauser, 500 Startups, Digital Garage, Jonathan Siegel, Eamon Leonard, Paddy Holahan, DG Incubation, Caelen King, Jonathan Strauss, Roham Gharegozlou, Oyster Technology Investments.
Founders: Eoghan McCabe, Des Traynor, Ciaran Lee, David Barrett.
Locations: Dublin, San Francisco.
What makes it unique? Aaron Forman, Intercom’s Manager of Communications, answered, “Intercom is a one stop shop with which entire businesses can see and talk to customers. Intercom’s customers use it to communicate with their users in a simple way for sales/growth, marketing, and support, as well as to understand feature usage and get feedback to improve their products. By handling all of these functions on one communication platform, their customers get a single view of their users that lets them provide the best and most personalized interactions, which leads to happier users.”
Sector: Software, Mobile, Internet Marketing, Advertising, Big Data.
Overview: Pulsate helps apps target their users more effectively by sending personalized messages based on users’ geography, time of day, history of actions, and ultimately, context.
Funding: $1.2 million in one round from four investors. Seed: $1.2 million, 2015. Investors: Delta Partners (UK), Enterprise Ireland, dunnhumby, PayPal.
Founder: Patrick Leddy.
What makes it unique? Product Manager Phelim O’Brien responded, “Pulsate is an end-to-end context marketing platform for mobile that drives new revenue for brands by changing the way they interact with customers both inside their apps and within brick and mortar locations. Pulsate is passionate about helping brands to connect with their customers by sending them the right information and offers based on the customer’s current context, location and in-app actions. Our lightweight SDK can be easily integrated with new or existing iOS or Android mobile applications to provide a range of context based tools. These include deep customer segmentation, a rich-campaign builder, automation of in-app messages based on user actions as well as geofences and beacons that bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds.”
What do you bring to your market? “Pulsate has already helped major brands as erse as Heineken and Selfridges to better engage and target their customers with context based information and offers delivered at the right time to the right customer. We are also working with major stadiums to improve the match day experience for fans as well as major companies such as Henkel and Hewlett Packard who want to improve their customer experience.”
Sectors: Software, Developer Tools, Development Platforms, Developer APIs, App Stores, Video.
Overview: Evercam solves the pain point of cameras not being integrated with the cloud by making something useful: apps for cameras.
Funding: $1.1 million in three rounds from two investors (in reverse chronological order):
1. Venture: €250,000, 2014. Investor: Wayra.
2. Convertible Note: €80,000, 2014. Investor: Wayra.
3. Seed: €500,000, 2013. Investor: Enterprise Ireland.
Founders: Vinnie Quinn, Marco Herbst.
What makes it unique? CEO Marco Herbst said, “Evercam is the only hardware independent, hosted, open source camera management software in the world. These are several aspects that are very important in order to bring real innovation to the camera world. Firstly, in a world strangled by proprietary systems and poorly implemented standards, Evercam undertakes to work with more makes and models than any other application. Furthermore, because they are 100% open source, it is possible for people to add their own camera makes and models.”
What do you bring to your market? “The ability to easily have live and recorded footage with camera sharing that works for any IP camera on any device (HTML, iOS, Android). Evercam’s purpose is to get more out of cameras than just security by connecting them to the Internet and to apps. This is a rapidly emerging space with over 100 million networked cameras in the world and a huge opportunity to use them for social media, marketing and supply chain purposes.”
Sectors: Public Relations, Web Development, Internet, Collaboration, Industrial, Public Safety, Enterprise Software, SaaS, Mobile Emergency & Health, Software.
Overview: It is an emergency response team management software. It includes alerts when equipment is about to expire, ways to notify team members efficiently when their services are needed, and advanced reporting methods.
Funding: One round from one investor. Seed: $50,000, 2010. Investor: Enterprise Ireland.
Founder: Robin Blandford.
What makes it unique? CEO Robin Blandford exclaimed, “D4H Technologies operates from a lighthouse! We’re just 25 minutes from Dublin City Centre, yet our crew enjoys 360 degree panoramic views of both incredible storms, and flat calm sunny summer days. On the technology side, we are experts in ‘the right data for when things go wrong.’ D4H Technologies designs, builds, and operates response management solutions that comprehensively record incidents, members, equipment, and training. Our real-time operations platform collects all information during a large or unexpected event, producing defensible decisions and litigation defense data.”
What do you bring to your market? “D4H sells enterprise SaaS Software to oil and gas, pharmaceutical, salvage and pollution response, hospitals, and many more dangerous environments, trying to improve their incident response and reduce accidents.”
8. Kitman Labs
Sectors: Software, Analytics, Sports Medicine and Science.
Overview: Its predictive software helps elite sports teams track the risk of injury among its players, enabling managers to prevent injuries ahead of time.
Funding: $4.7 million in three rounds from two investors (in reverse chronological order):
1. Series A: $4 million, 2014. Investor: BlueRun Ventures.
2. Angel: €475,000, 2013. Investor: Enterprise Ireland.
3. Seed: €55,000, 2012. Investor: Enterprise Ireland.
Founders: Stephen Smith, Iarfhlaith Kelly, Jason Cowman.
Locations: Dublin, Menlo Park.
What makes it unique? Marketing Executive Kevin Mould said, “Injuries are a huge factor in professional sports, costing teams billions of dollars every year all while ending careers and keeping athletes away from the games that they love. Kitman Labs’s athlete management platform seeks to help alleviate this issue by utilizing key data collected in sports and turning it into actionable insights and alerts that help to highlight risk for injury and empower decision making. It is backed by science and research, allowing the company to take a unique, data-driven approach to preventative medicine in sports and performance analytics.”
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned as a startup? “We have learned that for our company to be successful we need to be laser focused on our goals and our strengths. Sports and health technology is an up and coming industry and has attracted a lot of interest. There are a variety of fantastic companies out there developing technology to deliver more accurate testing and insights into how athletes feel, how they move, how they sleep, and so on. This innovation is critical to drive the world of sports medicine and science forward.
“For us, understanding that these companies are not rivals and in fact are all potential partners is the key. We want to be able to bring any and all collectable information together and allow it to talk with other data, allowing practitioners to get the whole picture when it comes to health and performance.”
Sectors: Mobile, Surplus Food Redistribution, Social Enterprise.
Overview: Foodcloud addresses inner city hunger by connecting businesses with extra food to local nonprofits and community groups that can disperse food to those that need it.
Founded: October 2013.
Funding: Seed: 2013. Investors: TCD Launchbox, NDRC. Awards and Grants: Arthur Guinness Project, EPA, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland.
Founders: Iseult Ward, Aoibheann O’Brien.
What makes it unique? Co-Founder Aoibheann O’Brien replied, “Within communities across Ireland, food businesses frequently experience food surpluses as a consequence of the modern food system, while charities struggle to provide food for those who need it most. Foodcloud’s low-cost local solution makes the surplus food redistribution process at a retail or community level fast and efficient, especially necessary considering the perishable nature of most food products. Foodcloud is unique in that it is one of a very few startups across the world that is trying to tackle the problem of food waste using technology. This restores some of that old Irish community spirit based on shared food.”
10. Element Wave
Sectors: Mobile, Gaming.
Overview: Element Wave helps mobile apps retain customers.
Funding: Bootstrapped and self-funded. Enterprise Ireland Investment in 2013. Currently raising seed round.
Founders: Dorothy Creaven, James Harkin.
What makes it unique? Co-Founder and CEO Dorothy Creaven asserted, “The main challenge any brand or app publisher faces is that, after the initial app install on their device, usage declines dramatically. Low mobile user retention rates are a significant challenge for every mobile focused company, resulting in lost revenues each year. Element Wave is focused on solving this problem of mobile customer churn within the app market. We’ve created highly-automated mobile engagement technology that delivers personalized, real-time reactive marketing based on how mobile users interact with their apps.”
What do you bring to your market? “Element Wave customer base spreads across many different industries, from media to entertainment to utilities. However, with our new Mobile Moments product, it has been specifically designed and developed for the gaming industry, where mobile player churn and retention of regular users is a significant pain point.”
Most important lesson learned as a startup? “Keep tight control on your cash flow – use a daily/weekly/monthly cash management tool like Pulse to keep an eye on your in/out goings. This will help you to deal with unexpected expenses and keep your monthly burn down, which will greatly stand to you in the long run.”
Sectors: Mobile, Location Based Services, Social Media, Analytics, Apps, Music.
Overview: Soundwave tracks what songs are trending on smartphones in real-time, allowing users to discover new and upcoming music instantaneously from around the world.
Funding: $2.9 million in four rounds from 13 investors (in reverse chronological order):
1. Venture: $1 million, 2014. Investors: ACT Venture Capital, SparkLabs Global Ventures.
2. Venture: $900,000, 2013. Investors: ACT Venture Capital, Mike Ryan, Trevor Bowen, Iain MacDonald, Colin Wiel, Xandex Investments LLP, Paddy Holahan, Spark Labs Global.
3. Seed: $1 million, 2012. Investors: Radical Investments, Matthew Le Merle, Enterprise Ireland, ACT Venture Capital.
4. Seed: Undisclosed, 2012. Investor: NDRC.
Founders: Brendan O’Driscoll, Aidan Sliney, and Craig Watson.
Locations: Dublin, San Francisco.
What makes it unique? Leanne Fitzgerald, Community and Digital Coordinator, responded, “Soundwave has taken the simple idea of easily sharing music with your friends and turned it into a fully-fledged company with over 1.3 million users worldwide! Soundwave was awarded Editor’s Choice on the Google Play Store and voted Best Innovation Music 2013 by Apple, two hugely significant achievements for an app in its primary years of production!”
What do you bring to your market? “The first streaming services were essentially indexable music databases with basic search and save functionality. Services competed through differentiation by trying to have the largest catalogues, however now, complete catalogues are no longer a unique differentiator. Now, unlimited access to unlimited content creates a content discovery problem. Users are faced with ‘search bar paralysis’ having access to 20M+ songs instead of hundreds. That’s where Soundwave comes in. We can surface the signal from the noise and help users figure out what to listen to.”
Most important lesson learned as a startup? “Never underestimate the power of a cold email.”
Sectors: Travel, Software.
Overview: Boxever provides airlines big data on customers’ habits so they can market more effectively, including picking up on consumer habits in real-time.
Funding details: $7 million in three rounds from seven investors.
1. Series A: $6 million, 2014. Investors: Polaris Partners, Frontline Ventures.
2. Angel: $1 million, 2012. Investors: Tadhg O’Toole, Conor Stanley, Delta Partners (UK), Bloom Equity.
3. Seed: Undisclosed, 2011. Investor: NDRC.
Founders: Dave O’Flanagan, Alan Giles, Dermot O’Connor.
Locations: Dublin, Boston.
What makes it unique? CEO Dave O’Flanagan explained, “Boxever solved one of the hard problems in travel and retail: gathering customer data in one profile to create a 360-degree view. Boxever then layers on intelligence and decision making to craft personalized communications and experiences across digital (e.g., web, email, mobile) and in-person, offline (e.g., in cabin, call center, etc.).”
What do you bring to your market? “Travel is one of the largest industries in the world, yet in many cases lags behind other retail/e-commerce businesses for tailoring recommendations and content specifically to each customer. Boxever helps address the continuity by enabling travel retailers to create a rich profile of every traveler, and use predictive analytics and a travel-specific decision engine to recommend the right products, offers, content and channel to each traveler at the right time.”
Sectors: Travel, Hotels, Business Travelers.
Overview: It helps users book meetings or events across the world, with a selection of more than 70,000 venues to choose from.
Funding details: $1.3 million in three rounds from four investors.
1. Venture: $1.3 million, 2014. Investors:Paddy Holahan, Tom Kennedy, ACT Venture Capital, Delta Partners (UK).
2. Angel: Undisclosed, 2012.
3. Seed: Undisclosed, 2011.
Founder: Ciaran Delaney.
What makes it unique? Janet Newenham, MeetingsBooker’s Community Manager, noted, “MeetingsBooker takes the hassle out of booking a conference or meeting space. Users can either book a meeting room in minutes online with us or spend hours making phone calls and sending emails trying to find the perfect venue. MeetingsBooker is also currently the market leader in Europe and growing rapidly in other markets. It offers 70,000 conference and meeting rooms in over 134 countries around the world.”
Most important lesson learned as a startup? “It’s really important to keep costs down and try to test your model quickly and start driving revenue. If you are not revenue generating, then you’re relying on strong investment to survey and that’s not always easy if you’re pre-revenue. So test your model, make changes and try to get some revenue traction. Then raising investment will follow.”
14. Pocket Anatomy
Sectors: Health and Wellness, Mobile.
Overview: Pocket Anatomy makes healthcare communication and education engaging by providing a 3D visual software solution for doctors and patients.
Funding: Bootstrapped via over half a million dollars in sales from 300,000 consumers, over 50 educational institutions and three private hospitals. Currently raising a Seed Round.
Founders: Mark Campbell, Dave Maher.
Locations: Galway, New York.
What makes it unique? CEO Mark Campbell asked, “Imagine a software tool for patient understanding that was as easy to use as Google Earth? This 3D app redeﬁnes what engaging patient education content truly is with its elegant design, interactive content (1,000+ animations), clinical cases and over 100,000 words of learning material.
“With average patient consultation times of seven minutes, doctors simply do not have enough time to thoroughly explain a diagnosis to their patients. This conversation is predominantly verbal, and because two thirds of us are visual learners, it’s no surprise that patients only recall 14% of what the doctors says.”
Sectors: Productivity Software, Task Management, SaaS, Project Management, Collaboration, Software.
Overview: Teamwork is a team collaboration and project-based platform that aids clients, staff, and managers to work together in the cloud.
Funding: Entirely bootstrapped and massively profitable, with multi-million dollar per month revenues.
Founders: Peter Coppinger, Daniel Mackey.
What makes it unique? DC Cahalane, Teamwork’s VP Growth & Marketing, said, “Teamwork.com brings a very productivity agnostic approach to getting stuff done. We don’t force or limit costumers to using a particular methodology of how to get stuff done. We just provide costumers a toolkit for keeping their business organized in the way that makes best sense for them.”
What does it bring to your market? “Teamwork.com brings a solution to our market that is easy to use, customer focused and most importantly, something that constantly evolves like people’s work evolves.”
Most important lesson learned so far: “Raising money is a massive distraction from the business of building product. Avoiding it can give you a huge commercial advantage over competitors. Also with no investors or shareholders to worry about, your entire organization becomes totally focused on the one stakeholder that matters: the customer.”
Sectors: SaaS, Analytics, Customer Insights, Marketing.
Overview: Birdleaf turns the data from customers’ email addresses, including demographical information, into meaningful insights customers can implement.
Funding: Undisclosed, early stage.
Founders: Cian Brassil, Scott Kennedy.
What makes it unique? CEO and Co-Founder Cian Brassil asserted, “Birdleaf solves the problem of not understanding who your customers are, which leads to ineffective marketing spending. Birdleaf turns customer email addresses into rich, actionable insights. Birdleaf provides analytics and insights on large customer bases using nothing but email addresses, giving their costumers a clear picture on different user profiles.”
Most important lesson learned as a startup? “Move quickly. Speed is important for everything from product development to market research. We moved too slowly with our last product, and for Birdleaf moving quickly has been a focus from the beginning.”
Sectors: SaaS, Cloud, Internet, E-commerce Platforms, Blogging Platforms, Web CMS.
Overview: It develops websites in the cloud and is a CMS platform.
Funding: Seed: 2012. Investors: Keith Killilea and undisclosed angel.
Founder: Keith Killilea.
What makes it unique? Founder and CEO Keith Killilea exclaimed, “BuilderEngine Cloud V3 in Summer 2015 will offer not just the ability to create stunning standard websites, but will also contain hundreds of features to create advanced e-commerce websites, social networks, booking websites, event websites, portfolio websites, classified websites, and much more. While it is easy to use for new users as well for experienced designers, the unique ability to take every single feature of any module into any page allows people to completely redefine website structures, pages and designs like never before with the powerful visual builders. Creating cloud websites can be as powerful and feature tense as any major website on the market, without knowing any coding, and allows a wide range of skills involved to get amazing results.”
Most important lesson learned as a startup? “Your team can overcome any failure, any problem and getting the right people behind you is more important in the early days than the most feature packed product you can deliver. Keep your team moral up during the long days and nights, as it’s not an easy life being in the startup, but worth it with the right people around you and that special day when you release your product to customers and users.”
Sectors: SaaS, Security, Vulnerability Management, Cloud.
Overview: BCC Risk Advisory’s edgescan is a SaaS (Security-as-a-Service) solution that combines automized, continuous checking of security risks with human validation, giving a fuller, false-positive free picture of one’s internet security vulnerabilities.
Founded: BCC Risk Advisory was found in 2011. The edgescan SaaS vulnerability solution was launched in 2013.
Funding: R&D grant from Enterprise Ireland (€200,000). To date they have self-funded edgescan via their professional services and consultancy business. They also started a funding round recently.
Founder: Eoin Keary.
What makes it unique? Founder and CTO Eoin Keary said, “Edgescan is unique as the only hybrid cloud-based, managed penetration testing solution in Europe which covers both web and server security (full-stack) according to Gartner. Their blending of sensible metrics, ease of use and filtering within the client’s portal makes it easy for a client even with a large amount of data to view the most important cyber risks facing them. This dashboard is updated upon the completion of every assessment on an ongoing basis.
“The edgescan solution creates cyber security for all sizes of companies, not only companies with large budgets. We have developed significant intellectual property which is Irish owned, based in Ireland and employs staff in Ireland. We have also recently been selected as a finalist for the 2015 Blacknight SME Awards in Ireland.”
What do you bring to your market? “edgescan competes with security solutions from many older and larger vendors but we have outperformed and displaced incumbent global vendors with some very large clients. The business analysis community also sees edgescan as an interesting solution because it delivered ‘full-stack’ security; many solutions are focused on either the web-app layer or the network layer, while edgescan does both well.”
Sectors: Big Data, Natural Language Processing, Artificial Intelligence, Blogging Platforms, News, Semantic Web, Software.
Overview: It helps machines understand human languages better, aiding developers to build better applications. AYLIEN also uses artificial intelligence techniques to help those analyzing large amounts of text and images, such as news organizations, corporates, and academics, gain summaries, insights, and sentiments quickly.
Funding: $650,000 in one round from two investors. Seed: 2014, 2011. Investors: SOS Ventures, Parsa Ghaffari.
Founder: Parsa Ghaffari.
What makes it unique? CEO and Founder Parsa Ghaffari explained, “AYLIEN created technologies that enable machines to understand human languages better, and are solving this problem for thousands of developers, allowing them to build smart applications without having to deal with the gory details of AI and Machine Learning techniques. AYLIEN relocated from Iran to Ireland with the help of a Startup Entrepreneur Visa.”
What do you bring to your market? “The general space we’re in – unstructured content and user analytics – is very ‘hot’ at the moment, due to the importance of understanding users and content as two key elements for making smart business decisions, and it’s only now that processing power, algorithms and data have reached a point where AI, machine learning and NLP (natural language processing) can be feasibly leveraged for creating intelligent business applications that are capable of disrupting the old, ‘dumb’ generation of business apps. AYLIEN is the leading provider of NLP services in Europe, and has the richest feature-set among competition.
Most important lesson learned as a startup? “Traction trumps everything. You get a lot just by asking. Generate revenue early on. Start with an idea, not a company. Find out what’s unique about you and do all you can to leverage that in your startup – expand this to your team. Startups are hard. Be prepared to work really hard for 10 years.”
Sectors: Big Data, Biotechnology, Data Mining, Bioinformatics.
Overview: Nuritas uses big data in food to discover and scientifically prove new therapeutic functional ingredients. It uses its computational platform to find components within food called bioactive peptides (the building blocks of proteins), which can be used in many industries including personal care, supplements and functional foods to provide added health benefits.
Funding: $128,700 in one round from one investor. Seed: $128,700, 2014. Investor: NDRC.
Founder: Dr. Nora Khaldi.
Locations: Dún Laoghaire, Dublin.
What makes it unique? Business Development Executive Vincent Monahan replied, “Nuritas uses big data in food to quickly and affordably discover therapeutic ingredients. Nuritas technology enables them to identify new and patentable life changing ingredients, in the form of bioactive peptides, 10 times faster, with 380 times more predictability of therapeutic discovery and for a miniscule fraction of the cost versus the prohibitive norm. We are tapping into nature in a sophisticated way in order to derive natural components from food protein (bioactive peptides) that when isolated in a specific way can have significant health benefits in the body. These health-benefiting proteins can be used in a range of areas including personal care, human and animal health, and supplements. In essence, we are unlocking the secrets of nature, hidden within food, in a way that has never been done before.
“We currently utilize our platforms to screen and deliver ingredients with current significant focus on anti-aging, anti-inflammation, antimicrobials and muscle recovery/sports nutrition. In the future we will add Alzheimer’s, cognition, mood, and satiety to the search list to uncover even more life changing ingredients and thus deliver a hugely significant therapeutic benefit to the human and animal worlds.”
What do you bring to your market? “The Nuritas platform can be brought to multiple areas. Their first and current market is in the ingredients space, specifically within the food, supplement and personal care industries. Our next ports of call will be animal/plant health and, ultimately, pharmaceuticals where their natural ingredients present a significant and phenomenally interesting opportunity.
“Functional foods make up 5% of the global food market and is forecast to explode to 15% of the overall food market by 2020, creating a phenomenal need for new, novel and scientifically proven ingredients.”
Most important lesson learned as a startup? “The most important lesson we have learned as a startup is to simply keep believing in what we are doing. As the application of this technology is the first of its kind, many people along the way have told us that what we are doing is simply impossible. To be honest, being at the forefront of something new is very exciting but also nerve-wracking as there is no one to show you the way and such disparagement can be quite disheartening. However, we knew that there were so many incredible ingredients to be discovered with this technology and our curiosity and drive to understand and discover these new innovations that will help people live healthier lives kept pushing us.”
Laura Rosbrow edited this article.
Feature image credit: Xpresso’s team / PR.
H/t to Julie Sinnamon from Enterprise Ireland for tips to some of the facts we included in this article.