Thursday 22 March 2018

Blackbee in VC venture as turnover hits €3.3m

Director Donal Lenihan
Director Donal Lenihan
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Turnover at Cork-based financial firm Blackbee Investments - of which rugby legend Donal Lenihan and ex-Ulster Bank chief economist Pat McArdle are directors - soared to €3.3m in its first full year of operation.

The company has also produced a small operating profit in its maiden year.

Founded in late 2014, the firm yesterday announced that it has teamed up with venture capital firm SOSV to establish a new fund that will invest in as many as 700 technology companies around the world.

SOSV, which was founded and is headed by New York-born entrepreneur Sean O'Sullivan, is contributing $100m to the new fund, which will be called the Accelerator Note 1 Fund.

Private investors will be invited to match that funding.

Blackbee Investments aims to secure that additional funding by the end of the year.

Mr O'Sullivan, who now lives in Cork, is the co-founder of MapInfo, which was listed on the stock market in 1994 and which made him millions. SOSV has invested in over 500 startup companies around the world, including Netflix and the Dublin-based media firm Storyful that was founded by former RTE journalist Mark Little and later sold to News Corporation.

SOSV currently funds over 150 startups every year through accelerator programmes focused on hardware and connected devices; synthetic biology; software; and food businesses.

The accounts for Blackbee Investments, whose chief executive is David O'Shea, show that it turned a €67,000 operating profit in 2015.

Irish Independent

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