Business Irish

Wednesday 26 June 2019

Eventbrite's impressive IPO the toast of Cork city

Broadcaster Pat Kenny
Broadcaster Pat Kenny
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

It was a fantastic week for Eventbrite, the global online ticketing and event technology company, which saw its shares soar as much as 70pc on its stock market debut last Thursday.Founded 12 years ago, more than 203 million tickets were issued through the platform last year.

Closer to home, Eventbrite opened a new Irish HQ in a landmark former banking hall in Cork city. Built in 1865, 97 South Mall is on the most prestigious business strip in the city, with its occupants reflecting the prominence of various sectors over the decades. It once housed AIB and, in the previous decade, was bought by media company Thomas Crosbie Holdings (TCH), publisher of the Irish Examiner, for several million euro.

As the economy boomed and advertising with it, TCH further upgraded and enhanced the building at great expense, with the Crosbies hosting high-profile visitors such as Henry Kissinger, former British PM John Major, Jeffrey Archer, John Cleese and Bob Geldof, according to the Examiner. It was put up for sales some years later and was reportedly sold for around €1.7m to developer John Cleary's company, JCD, last year.

Now Eventbrite has taken a long lease. It employs 35 people, but the building has space for up to 100. Eventbrite may be a global tech company but, as the saying goes, all business is local. One of the more unusual events on the Eventbrite site at the moment is a private guided nude tour of The Naked Truth Exhibition in the Crawford Gallery, Cork, a five-minute walk away from its plush new HQ.

Kenny and radio veterans to enter IMRO hall of fame

Four Irish radio veterans will be inducted into the IMRO radio Hall of Fame next week and are being honoured for work both on air and behind the scenes.

Pat Kenny - one of the country's best-known broadcasters - leads the pack, but a number of well-known industry insiders will also be honoured. Former RTE commercial director Willie O'Reilly will be inducted. Before he headed to Montrose, he held a senior roles in Denis O'Brien's Communicorp group and Emap. He recently joined the board of iRadio.

Radio executive Margaret (Mags) Nelson will also be honoured this Tuesday. She runs FM104 and has recently been appointed station director of Q102, where she has already made dramatic changes to the structure of the station. The fourth person to be inducted will be Ian Wilson, a founding music producer of RTE Radio 2.

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