Thursday 23 November 2017

Kelly Murphy

ROISIN BURKE

UNDETERRED by one dotcom mishap, the Canadian computer engineer soon set about starting up a Silicon Valley tech venture.

Kelly Murphy "studied computer science while spending most of my time travelling and playing ice hockey with the Huskies" at Michigan Tech in the US in the mid-Eighties. He moved to Ireland in the 1990s, and worked for several years at Dublin-based software firm Vision Consulting.

Backed by Denis O'Brien and private equity firm Doughty Hanson among others, Murphy founded an Irish e-commerce company called Marrakech in 1998. It provided online procurement and supply chain services to some big clients, including Tesco, Smurfit and Carphone Warehouse.

Marrakech rapidly grew, raising €70m in funds and employing 250 people on three continents. However, it lost money heavily after the dotcom bubble fallout and never made a profit. Murphy took six months off, then started again.

He is the founder and CEO of Gridstore, which sells a server-free data storage technology aimed at SMEs. It has offices in Dublin and San Francisco, and is backed by Ulster Bank and NCB funds, as well as Enterprise Ireland.

Murphy moved to Silicon Valley last year to commercialise Gridstore, which has started selling outside the US. Married with a son, he lives in the Los Altos hills, but keeps a home in Malahide in Dublin.

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