Ulster Bank and Dogpatch Labs break into Vaults
Ulster Bank and Dogpatch Labs are to partner in a project which will see the Ulster Bank Innovations team base itself in the technology start-up hub, which will expand by 8,000 square feet into the vaults of the historic CHQ building in Dublin.
The move will involve Ulster Bank staff working side-by-side in open plan office space with some of Ireland's most innovative and potentially lucrative technology start-ups in Dogpatch's open-plan offices. The deal will also allow Dogpatch Labs expand significantly, providing new office space, meeting rooms and a dedicated event space into the vaults of the CHQ building.
Dogpatch Labs is home to the likes of Irish company Intercom, which raised $23 million in funding earlier this year, and IDA backed Udemy, which raised $65 million of funding in June.
Maeve McMahon, director of customer experience and innovation at Ulster Bank, said the partnership is "a really exciting and interesting collaboration", and is as much about the bank learning from start-ups that are disrupting the traditional financial services market as it is cornering the potentially lucrative financial technology (FinTech) start-up market.
"There is also an obvious commerciality to this venture for us, and we have a very good high potential start-up package in Ulster Bank that we can make available to these companies. By being based here and working side by side with them we can understand better what they do and can potentially back them as companies with expansion capital", she said.
Patrick Walsh, co-owner of Dogpatch Labs says that Ulster Bank was the right bank for the co-working space to partner with because it "understood the vision and is open to innovation", but also because the bank is part of the International Bank One Solution (IBOS) group.
"The whole point of FinTech start-ups is to scale outside of Ireland. The ability to plug into an international banking network through RBS in the UK, but also through their IBOS partners like Silicon Valley Bank in the US, is invaluable. We couldn't get with another bank in Ireland", he said.
Hugo Mahony, Business Development lead with Dogpatch, added that in the coming months Ulster Bank will launch " the 'FinTech Fireside Chat Series', featuring some of the leading names in Irish tech today".
Sunday Indo Business