Business Irish

Friday 22 August 2014

McColgan's Worldirish aims to raise funds as growth rockets

Nick Webb

Published 16/12/2012 | 05:00

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Riverdance maestro John McColgan's fast growing social media firm Worldirish.com has inked a deal with Leinster Rugby to map all the province's worldwide fans online. The firm is also in discussions with the GAA and FAI over similar projects.

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As it moves out of start-up phase Worldirish.com is also set to embark on a second round of "multi-million euro" fundraising to fuel further growth. Apart from McColgan, Worldirish.com is backed by investors including Denis O'Brien and Taxback.com's Terry Clune. The company already employs 14 staff at its Dublin base.

Wordirish.com, serves as a social media hub for the 70 million Irish diaspora, of which an estimated 50 million are online. From a standing start, the company has doubled the number of subscribers in just six weeks, with close to 50,000 signing up.

A major marketing campaign is set to kick off this weekend, with former President Mary McAleese, comedian Mario Rosenstock and poet Theo Dorgan calling on the diaspora to get involved.

WorldIrish.com is essentially the world's first online parish pump, where the global Irish community can swap stories, ideas and engage with other content online. The idea for WorldIrish was first floated by McColgan at the Farmleigh global economic forum in 2009.

"Imagine if... the Irish came together from all the disparate corners of the world, with their stories, their wisdom and inventions, their hopes and dreams, their music and songs. What would we do? What could be achieved?" notes McColgan on the Worldirish.com website.

Worldirish.com backers are examining proposals to franchise out the technology to other countries, including Australia.

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