Wednesday 21 March 2018

Iain MacDonald


'Serial entrepreneur' is an oft-used phrase when former Perlico founder and CEO Iain MacDonald comes up in conversation -- and it's not an unfair description given the Dun Laoghaire resident's track record.

MacDonald was just 26 when he founded home phone and broadband supplier Perlico in 2003. The company grew to become one of the leading alternative providers of fixed-line telecom and broadband services in the country, thriving in the consumer market where a number of high-profile competitors crashed and burned.

Perlico was sold to Vodafone in 2007 in a deal which valued the company at €70m and MacDonald is reported to have pocketed €12m for his shares in the company.

Not one to rest on his laurels, despite being a multi-millionaire at just 30 years of age, in 2008 MacDonald co-founded Weedle, a technology-based social-media company. The company has attracted some high-profile investors, including Michael Smurfit and Enterprise Ireland.

MacDonald describes Weedle as "a large scale way of connecting people who have skills with people who need those skills" and the site has already garnered praise for its simple, intuitive layout and ease of use.

The company has offices in Blackrock in Dublin and Palo Alto in the heart of California's Silicon Valley. In June, the company, which already employs 19 at its Dublin base, announced that it would create 50 Irish jobs over the next three years.

While the social-media sphere is a lucrative one (Facebook was valued at $11.5bn earlier this year) it's a far bigger pond than the Irish telecoms market and MacDonald and his team will have their work cut out in carving a successful niche.

However, given MacDonald's track record of capitalising on good ideas, it's unsurprising that there's excitement about his latest venture at home and abroad.

Sunday Independent

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business