Wednesday 17 January 2018

Boxfish raises €5m funding for expansion in capital

Screens in a news TV channel stage-managing room.
Screens in a news TV channel stage-managing room.
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

An Irish technology analytics firm being courted by Samsung and other electronics giants has raised $7m (€5m) in fresh funding to help it expand its range of services and its reach among large customers.

Boxfish, founded by Eoin Dowling and Kevin Burkitt, plans to increase its Dublin office from three to 15 people over the next 12 months.

It employs 14 people in its Silicon Valley office in Palo Alto, California.

The company develops technology that captures data from television shows, movies and other live video broadcasts to allow searches, alerts and other uses. It is increasingly used by broadcasters and manufacturers of televisions and set-top boxes.

The funding comes from Dublin-based venture capital firm Atlantic Bridge Partners and electronics giant Samsung. Boxfish previously raised $3m (€2.2m) in 2011 in 'Series A' funding.

"What we're working on is very interesting to data scientists," said Eoin Dowling, co-founder of Boxfish. "Because it affects people in the living room, it's not just about making some banking process slightly more efficient. Right now, a large part of the business is effectively licensing our data to manufacturers such as Samsung, broadcasters and others."

Mr Dowling said that although the company's Silicon Valley office has grown to keep up with demand, most of its US staff are involved in data, sales and marketing. He said that the firm is now about to build up a research and development office in Dublin.

"We're doing it in Dublin because there's an incredible talent pool in Dublin right now," said Mr Dowling. "There's massive talent coming out of Dublin universities. We're looking for development, operations and data science people. We've already made a few good inroads in getting things sorted."

He said that the company will use the fresh round of funding to continue scaling the company into English-speaking broadcast territories.

"We've established the business now and licensed the discovery side," he said. "Not it's time to grow and capture new markets, including Ireland, the UK, Canada and Australia."

This year has seen several significant funding announcements for Irish tech start-ups. In January, Dublin-based business software firm Intercom announced €17m in funding, while online communications start-up Cleverbug announced €4m in funding. Online messaging technology start-up Kwikdesk said that it is currently closing a €15m funding round.

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