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Lyon fuels Fire business with a fresh €3m cash injection


Colm Lyon

Colm Lyon

Colm Lyon

TECH entrepreneur Colm Lyon has injected another €3m into his Fire Financial Services business, according to new filings for the firm.

It brings the total invested by Mr Lyon in the firm to about €15m.

Mr Lyon grew the online payments company after selling his former business, Realex Payments, for €115m in 2015. He and his wife made an estimated €90m from that sale.

Fire had been part of Realex, but was bought out of the group by Mr Lyon before Realex was sold to US-based Global Payments.

Fire generates the majority of its turnover in the UK. It helps businesses to manage payments with digital accounts and debit cards, supporting a range of payment services.

In March this year, it launched its Fire Open Payments system. That enables its customers to distribute payment requests to customers, who can then make those payments from their own bank or payment accounts into a Fire business account.

Fire staff have been working from home since the end of March.

"In terms of our services, our business continuity plan is at the core of our decision making and it ensures that all services remain operational," the company said last month, adding that it did not foresee any impact on the use of Fire.com accounts and payment services.

Last year, Mr Lyon injected €3m into Fire to tide the company over as it geared up for Brexit.

The latest set of publicly available accounts for the firm show that it had retained losses of €10.9m at the end of April last year. It made a €2.1m loss in the 2019 financial year.

Mr Lyon established Realex in 2000 after working in IT management roles at Ulster Bank.

He has also recently invested in a venture capital fund operated by Frontline Ventures. The fund is backing tech firms looking to expand from Ireland into Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Mr Lyon has invested €1m in the fund.

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