Saturday 20 July 2019

Irish tech firm eShopWorld appoints heavy-hitter to roll out expansion in the US

Cynthia Hollen and Tommy Kelly are ramping up eShopWorld’s operations in the United States. Photo: Larry Lettera/ Camera 1
Cynthia Hollen and Tommy Kelly are ramping up eShopWorld’s operations in the United States. Photo: Larry Lettera/ Camera 1
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

Fast-growing Irish tech company eShopWorld is ramping up its operations in the US with the appointment of leading ecommerce executive Cynthia Hollen as president of its business there.

The company, which is based in Swords, Dublin, is also upping its employment targets. Total employment at eShopWorld is expected to double to around 500 over the next two years, with turnover on target to top $1bn by 2020.

In March 2017, the company said it would grow staff numbers by 250 to 400 over three years. These latest targets increase that number by 100.

The company is also understood to be making an investment in new headquarters for the company's US business, which is seen in the industry as a mark of its ambitious expansion plans.

eShopWorld is headed by Dublin man Tommy Kelly and aims to allow premium brands to sell seamlessly online into international markets regardless of currency or local payment preferences.

Hollen will have overall responsibility for the company's US growth strategy.

She is the founder and former chief executive of Knowledge Strategies Group, a strategic ecommerce advisory business she founded in 1995 before selling to NASDAQ-listed 5B Technologies in 2001. Her experience covers technology startups, private equity and investor firms and many household names in the areas of fashion, finance, technology and healthcare.

eShopWorld operates in more than 200 markets and already has a significant presence in the US, Ireland, continental Europe, Asia and Australia.

Last year, the company was valued at €300m in a deal with French and Swiss postal service companies. Asendia, a joint venture with La Poste in France and Swiss Post, upped its stake in the company to 50pc from 40pc. Kelly owns the rest of the company along with staff who have stock options in the business.

In an interview with the Sunday Independent last year Kelly said that the business would also focus on opportunities in India and China.

"When we look at some of the markets like India and China, they're massive economies, typically some of them are dominated by a small number of players and I think they are areas we want to look at closely," said Kelly. The company has a sales office in Holland, a sales presence in the UK and some operations in Asia.

Sunday Indo Business

Also in Business