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The Hottest Startups in Dublin

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The Hottest Startups in Dublin

The shift to Remote working was good for Dublin’s tech scene: investors who wouldn’t normally travel to Ireland were suddenly available to make deals over Zoom. “I actually think Covid has helped from a fundraising perspective,” says Aidan Corbett, CEO of Ireland’s newest tech unicorn, Wayflyer. “Irish companies like FlipDish and Tines have raised money from international investors since the pandemic.”

The city’s strength lies in B2B, says Donnchadh Cullinan, head of tech startups at Enterprise Ireland, the government organization that helps Irish businesses grow and market them abroad. He adds that the city may be home to the European headquarters of consumer platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook, “but we don’t have big consumers or big social media activities.” Instead, Dublin excels at what Cullinan calls “pick and shovel” businesses, such as Stripe or Intercom, that help other companies get things done.


E-commerce is a tough business. For example, companies have to pay for stock before anyone has even shown interest in purchasing the product. When Jack Pierse realized this was a major hurdle for new ecommerce businesses trying to grow, he approached his friend Aidan Corbett, an expert in ecommerce analytics. “Jack came to me and said, maybe we should use that technology as an underwriting engine to provide financing,” Corbett recalls. Together, the duo launched Wayflyer in 2019, a fintech company that collects and analyzes daily social media activity, credit reporting and online reviews to predict a company’s future earnings. The company then offers short-term financing at a fixed fee, usually around 4 percent.

The growth has been explosive. The company signed $50 million in deals in its first year. In 2022, Waflyer raised $150 million in a round led by investors DST Global and QED. That funding round also made Wayfyler Ireland’s sixth tech unicorn. wayflyer.com


2023 was a big year for Manna and its founder, serial entrepreneur Bobby Healy. The app allows users to order groceries or hot coffee, which will be delivered by drone. Upon delivery, the drone lowers the goods with a rope, while the LiDAR technology checks that no one is underneath. Across Dublin, Manna’s drones have made more than 160,000 customer deliveries. The company has also expanded its operations into Texas, made its first UK delivery at the Founders Forum technology conference, and has also received investment from Coca-Cola, bringing the total amount raised to date to $50 million. Healy’s mission is to deploy drones as a green, fast and affordable delivery standard for suburban areas and to end the use of roads for short journeys. “This will increase trade and allow small businesses to compete with large companies,” says Healy. “And it will take cars off the road.” manna.aero

Protex AI

Just as Ciarán O’Mara was finishing his PhD on the subject of computer vision, his aunt told him a tragic story about how one of her factory colleagues died in an industrial accident. That story led to the launch of Protex AI. “We link to existing CCTV to identify danger before people get hurt,” explains CEO Dan Hobbs, who co-founded the company with O’Mara in 2021. Protex AI’s computer vision flags dangerous behavior to management, such as people inappropriately lifting heavy boxes or near misses between forklifts, so they understand how to introduce safer working conditions. Protex AI’s software, which is already used by supermarket Marks & Spencer and delivery company DHL, claims to reduce safety events by up to 80 percent. The company has raised $18 million to date from investors including Notion Capital. protectex.ai


When Kerri Sheeran lived in London, she started signing up for subscription services like meal kits, toilet paper and menstrual kits. But when she was planning a trip home to Ireland, she realized there was no easy way to interrupt them while she was leaving. After complaining to her sister Alex, the couple decided to launch TALY in 2021, as a subscription marketplace to help consumers not only manage their subscriptions, but also discover new ones. The site currently sells 100 food subscriptions from brands like Jimmy’s Iced Coffee and Riley, which sells heritage products; TALY charges a commission on every sale. The sisters plan to expand into digital subscriptions, such as those for online news and streaming services. “Most consumer industries today are powered by these incredible aggregators,” says Kerri. “But no one actually does that for subscriptions. So we are on a mission to innovate our industry.” To date, the company has raised $750,000 from angel investors, including Irish entrepreneurs Jack Pierse, co-founder of Wayflyer, and former CarTrawler CEO Mike McGearty. talysubscriptions.com


When Conor Sheridan tried to expand his free-range fried chicken restaurant across Ireland, his team struggled to find technology that could help them make sense of the unpredictable restaurant world. So in 2021, he founded Nory, an operating system for the hospitality industry that uses AI to analyze revenue, food orders and payroll to make recommendations from what supplies to order to what their chefs to cook in the kitchen . “We’re enabling these companies to be truly data-centric,” says Sheridan, who claims the platform can increase revenue by up to 100 percent. To date, Nory’s operating system has been deployed in nearly 300 restaurants in Europe and the UAE, including Mad Egg and Viva Italia. The company has raised a total of $9 million from investors such as Cavalry VC. nory.ai


For two years, Twitch streamer and OnlyFans model Amouranth used a law firm to remove 6,000 links to her copyrighted content that had leaked onto the internet. When she switched to using Ceartas for the same service, the company’s AI removed 50,000 links in just two weeks, according to the startup’s founder Dan Purcell. The piracy protection company uses an army of bots to find copyrighted content and then automatically asks Google to remove the links. So far, 800 customers – mostly female content creators – have used the service to remove copyrighted content or deepfake pornography from the internet. The company, which launched in 2021, also plans to expand and collaborate with book and movie publishers. So far, it has raised $500,000 from angel investors. cartas.io


Quantum computing promises to transform industries such as drug discovery, but these computers are still difficult to use: These car-sized machines require challenging electronics to control them and they must be kept at extremely low temperatures. That’s why University College Dublin spin-out Equal1 is on a mission to develop affordable quantum computers, about twice the size of a desktop computer, that plug into a regular wall socket. So far, the company has built four and plans to sell them to universities over the next year before marketing them to businesses. Founded in 2018 by Dirk Leipold, Mike Asker and Bogdan Staszewski, Equal1 has attracted $30 million in funding to date, including from Irish venture capital firm Atlantic Bridge and the European Innovation Council. equal1.com


While working at various startups in Dublin, Luke Mackey, Deepak Baliga and Patrick O’Boyle each encountered fast-growing companies that were not equipped to deliver benefits to their international teams. Because it was so legally difficult to offer pensions and life insurance to staff spread across different countries, some startups simply offered no benefits at all. This realization prompted the three friends to launch Kota (formerly Yonder), a platform that allows companies to easily offer employment benefits to employees, wherever they are. They describe themselves as Europe’s first fully digital benefits broker, and are able to set up and enroll staff in health insurance and pension schemes in more than 30 different countries. “We’re trying to expand access to core financial products that we think are essentially inaccessible to a new generation of businesses and workers,” said Mackey, the CEO. It has raised $8.2 million in funding from investors including Swedish venture capital firm EQT Ventures. kota.io

No Frixion

Multinationals operating across Europe typically have hundreds of bank accounts and need to employ a team of people to manage the complex process of paying suppliers. Fintech startup NoFrixion is on a mission to solve this. MoneyMoov technology combines companies’ accounting platform with current accounts, meaning these payments can be made autonomously. NoFrixion was founded in 2020 by serial entrepreneurs Feargal Brady and Aaron Clauson. They have raised $4 million from investors including Furthr VC and plan to expand into crypto payments. nofrixion.com


Evervault Data security company Evervault is best known for its “privacy cages,” which encrypt a user’s data and ensure that companies never have to process personal data in plaintext, protecting them if a security breach occurs. This summer, Evervault also launched its redaction feature, which allows companies to work with large language models built by third-party developers like OpenAI without also sharing sensitive data with them. Founded in 2019 by Shane Curran, Evervault has raised $19.4 million to date from angel investors such as Alex Stamos, former Chief Security Officer of Facebook. evervault.com

This article appears in the January/February 2024 issue of WIRED UK magazine. It was updated on December 21, 2023 to correct the name of a restaurant working with Nory.

This article was originally published by WIRED UK

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