Thursday 20 June 2019

Communication software firm Poppulo lands €30m in funding

Engagement: CEO and Founder Andrew O’Shaughnessy says the firm’s aim is to deliver a personalised, relevant dialogue
Engagement: CEO and Founder Andrew O’Shaughnessy says the firm’s aim is to deliver a personalised, relevant dialogue
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

A home-grown communications software company that employs 163 people in Cork has announced a €30m funding round from a US-based investment firm.

Poppulo, formerly known as Newsweaver, will still be majority-owned by its current shareholders, including founder and CEO Andrew O'Shaughnessy. He said the investment is being taken to accelerate the firm's international expansion.

The funding is being provided by Susquehanna Growth Equity, a Pennsylvania-based investment firm which has previously bet more than $1bn on companies such as Payoneer and Outbrain. Poppulo's software specialises in communications systems including email, 'pulse surveys' and analytics. Its market is primarily large enterprises including multinationals such as Unilever, Telefonica, Bank of America and Nestlé. Irish firms using the products include CRH and AIB.

Cork-based communications software company Poppulo has announced a €30m funding round from a US-based investment firm.

Poppulo, formerly known as Newsweaver, will still be majority-owned by its current shareholders, including founder and CEO Andrew O’Shaughnessy.

Poppulo’s software specialises in communications systems including email, ‘pulse surveys’ and analytics within large companies.

Its market is primarily large enterprises, including multinationals such as Unilever, Telefonica, Bank of America and Nestlé. A company spokesman said that “almost half the world’s top pharma companies” are also customers, while Irish companies using the products include CRH, Kerry, AIB and the Ardagh Group.

The company employs 163 staff in Cork and 37 at an office in Boston.

Mr O’Shaughnessy said the investment is being taken to accelerate the firm’s international expansion.

The funding is being supplied by Susquehanna Growth Equity, a Pennsylvania based investment firm which has previously bet more than $1bn in companies such as Payoneer and Outbrain. The fund is financed by Susquehanna International Group, one the world’s largest privately-held financial services firms.

“In 2012 I clearly saw this was where we needed to be as a company, so I bet our future on a sector that was in early-stage development,” said Mr O’Shaughnessy. “We were acutely aware that people need to feel a sense of purpose in their workplace, of being involved and being valued and having their views heard and acted on.”

The company’s specialist software was originally focused on internal email management, performance measurement and analytics. Its stated aim, said Mr O’Shaughnessy, was allow large organisations to communicate effectively with their workforces for greater levels of engagement and enhanced employee experience. It recently launched a mobile app.

“We already dominate corporate internal communications email globally and now with our mobile app organisations can reach all their employees wherever they are, at their desks, at remote locations or on the road,” said Mr O’Shaughnessy.

“Internal communication has to be able to deliver a dialogue that is personalised and relevant to people who are used to filtering out irrelevant content in their lives outside of work. That’s where Poppulo comes in.

“Technology has completely changed the way we consume information and organisations have to ensure the digital experience of their employees in the workplace matches what they have grown to expect in their personal lives.”

SGE managing director Jonathan Klahr said that it was investing in Poppulo to access a market “with enormous potential”. “Employee communications and engagement is tremendously important for business success,” said Mr Klahr.

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