Thursday 19 April 2018

Butcher-turned-techie Phelan sells Trustev for €19m cash

Trustev's Pat Phelan
Trustev's Pat Phelan
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Cork-based online fraud fighter Trustev has been bought by New York-listed credit reporter TransUnion for just over €19m in cash.

The company, set up by Irish entrepreneur Pat Phelan, makes software that monitors e-commerce transactions to try and stop fraud.

It examines customer behaviour before and during transactions, and uses machine learning after the transaction to improve future results.

TransUnion is paying €19m in cash up front, with a further €21m payment to follow if certain revenue, retention, and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation) targets are met.

The deal closed on Wednesday.

"As fraud grows in volume and sophistication, TransUnion continues to invest in building our global capabilities to help companies manage their risk," said Jim Peck, TransUnion's president and chief executive.

TransUnion said it has already integrated Trustev technology into one of its products, with customers seeing a 60pc decrease in fraud losses as a result.

Mr Phelan, who founded and eventually sold out of internet-of-things company Cubic Telecom (initially a mobile roaming service), said the deal would create "a very powerful combination of software intelligence and rich data to stop online fraud".

"We will be able to help companies across many industries better spot bad actors online, and block their efforts, while letting good customers through.

"With TransUnion's large global reach and Trustev's online technology, this is a very positive move for all of our customers," he added.

Mr Phelan left school early, and trained as a butcher and a chef. By his mid-30s, an alcohol dependence rendered him virtually "unemployable" and threatened his marriage, he told the Irish Independent in a previous interview.

Following his recovery, he became an entrepreneur, sinking the proceeds from Cubic into Trustev, with Cork natives Liam Casey, the chief executive of PCH, and tech entrepreneur and investor David Coallier also putting money into the business.

Irish Independent

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