Business Irish

Sunday 21 September 2014

€8m injection will help tech hotshot expand in Britain

Published 29/07/2014 | 02:30

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Version 1 founder Justin Keatinge with Minister Richard Bruton and Sinead Heaney, founding director of the BDO Development Capital Fund.

DUBLIN-based Version 1, the IT Services company founded by Irish entrepreneur Justin Keatinge, has raised €8m from a fund backed by Glen Dimplex and Glanbia.

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The money, given in exchange for equity in the company, is a first for Version 1. It has never before taken outside funding.

It will help it to expand in the UK and create up to 100 IT consultancy jobs in Ireland.

Version 1 was set up by Mr Keatinge in 1996 and has become one of the largest indigenous technology companies on the Irish market, competing with global giants such as Accenture. Sales now exceed €40m. It is one of Amazon.com's largest European partners for cloud-based computing services and has also secured significant State contracts in Ireland.

The investment is also a first for the BDO Development Capital Fund, a €75m pool of cash set up four months ago to target established, mid-sized companies with export-led growth plans. Investors include Enterprise Ireland, Bank of Ireland, Glen Dimplex, CRH and Glanbia. Investment decisions are made by a subsidiary of BDO called Development Capital.

The fund competed with private equity houses to invest in Version 1.

"They've achieved great success with limited funding," said fund founding director Sinead Heaney.

"We competed with private equity houses to invest in Version 1," added Glen Dimplex boss Sean O'Driscoll, whose firm has invested €5m in the fund. The expertise on offer made the BDO fund the most attractive choice, he said.

Irish Independent

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