Friday 18 January 2019

Tech guru and Reebok founder back Irish golf app

In the swing: The VoxGolf app allows players to set up and join in games on courses, so they can compete with anyone playing there. Stock image
In the swing: The VoxGolf app allows players to set up and join in games on courses, so they can compete with anyone playing there. Stock image
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

REEBOK founder Paul Fireman and US tech entrepreneur Michael Walrath are among the investors in an Irish golf app, the Irish Independent has learned.

The app is expected to get a big promotional push this year after racking up about 30,000 users following a more than two-year development period.

The brainchild of former pro golfer Stephen Browne, Rory McIlroy's manager Sean O'Flaherty and entrepreneur Daniel Lewis, VoxGolf has undergone extensive evaluation with golf clubs and players.

The app enables players to set up and join games on courses, allowing them to compete with anyone else playing there.

Clubs can use the app to help boost revenue by initiating competitions at any time.

Mr Lewis said that the app has been showcased at events including the Irish Open, where it has received a strong reception.

A vehicle controlled by Mr Fireman has invested close to €100,000 in the company behind the VoxGolf app, while Mr Walrath has invested €50,000.

A billionaire, Mr Fireman acquired the distribution rights for a British company in 1979 and transformed Reebok into a global brand.

He stepped down from Reebok in the mid-nineties, but later returned to the group in 1999 and bolstered its performance and sold it to German sports giant Adidas in 2005 for $3.8bn (€3.3bn).

That sale earned Mr Fireman about $600m (€526m).

He chairs the Boston-based Fireman Capital Partners, which was founded by his son, Dan.

Mr Walrath is the founder of Right Media, a digital advertising firm that was sold outright in 2007 to Yahoo, valuing it at $850m.

Irish Independent

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