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Xunison may raise up to €5m in funding



Xunison chief executive Ryan O’Donovan

Xunison chief executive Ryan O’Donovan

Xunison chief executive Ryan O’Donovan

Xunison, a technology company based in Dublin, plans to raise up to €5m as it continues to grow internationally after agreeing on a strategic partnership with one of Saudi Arabia’s largest telecommunication companies.

Last week, the Enterprise Ireland-supported company, founded in 2016, announced a deal with Saudi Telecom Company (STC) to develop and supply it with software for smart home and consumer communication technology. STC recently reported a 3.5pc increase in its net profit for the first nine months of 2021 compared to the same period last year, reaching SR8.7bn (€1.97bn).

Speaking with the Sunday Independent, Xunison chief executive Ryan O’Donovan said the deal was a benchmark for its expansion into the Middle East.

“As soon as any other telecom sees that we are with STC, it's just a snowball effect,” he said. “For us as a company, it is the most valuable customer you could have.

“For me, I said if I get a big telecom on board, the rest would follow. I went to all the top telecom companies around the world, and the big companies want a reference point. That’s the hardest thing for any company.”

“STC just saw the way we were so agile and energetic,” he added. “We worked hard to get that business up and running.”

O’Donovan said Xunison had kicked off a funding round, employing Focus Capital to help with the raise. He hoped the business could raise anything between €3m to €5m.

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“First of all, the money will be used for patenting,” he said. “We have a lot of ideas that we want to get patented, and the reason we haven’t been to do it up to now is each patent can cost in the region of €40,000 to €60,000.

“The second thing would be on to UX design. We need to improve our UX look up to telecom standard. We are also investing in elderly care. We design products from the ground up and are working with technology that would detect people falling in their home.”

O’Donovan said Xunison also had an expansion plan for the US market and was also looking toward growth in other countries, including Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

The CEO added Xunison wanted to “take over” the Middle East market, with the company opening an office in Saudi Arabia over the next six months. He also said it was looking at bringing manufacturing to the country as well.

Commenting on the deal, Fahad AlShabib, the general manager of regional portfolios at STC, said Xunison’s solution would enable STC to deliver a “significant increase in not just customer acquisition but customer retention”.

AlShabib added that the deal with Xunison would create a “beachhead” from which STC could grow its services

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