Saturday 17 August 2019

Wexford tech firm Taoglas acquires Dublin start-up Firmwave

Dermot O’Shea, company co-founder and president of Taoglas in the company’s remote frequency chamber
Dermot O’Shea, company co-founder and president of Taoglas in the company’s remote frequency chamber

Shawn Pogatchnik

Wexford tech firm Taoglas has acquired its frequent Dublin project partner Firmwave and says their combined expertise will help develop new technologies in the fast-growing field of the internet of things (IoT).

Taoglas, founded in 2004 and headquartered in Enniscorthy, develops next-generation technologies in IoT, satellite navigation and 5G networks. It employs more than 300 in Ireland, China, Germany, Taiwan and the US cities of Minneapolis, San Diego and Coconut Creek, Florida.

Firmwave, an Enterprise Ireland-backed high potential start-up based in DCU’s Alpha business incubator, was founded in 2015 and already has branch offices in San Diego and Gdansk, Poland. Its Edge platform of hardware and software provides IoT, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology for HealthBeacon, Vodafone, Glen Dimplex and many others.

“We are excited to integrate our next-generation IoT design expertise and products into Taoglas. They have a global reputation for high-quality products. Their scale and unparalleled sales channels will accelerate the deployment of our hardware and software solutions,” said Firmwave chief executive Adrian Burns. “Our customers will now benefit from access to the world-class Taoglas engineering team and their RF (radio frequency) solutions portfolio.”

Ronan Quinlan, co-chief executive of Taoglas, said Firmwave’s expertise would help more Taoglas clients get all their support from one company, and often would eliminate the need for Taoglas to hire design subcontractors.

“Customers have long been asking Taoglas for more engineering support for their IoT solution. They now want a one-stop shop for IoT engineering services. They don’t want to deal with multiple engineering teams, as they do today, to create each component of next generation IoT solutions. We are seeing increasingly complex IoT projects that are being delayed to market by this fundamental problem,” Mr Quinlan said.

Taoglas, which also has operations in DCU Alpha, has collaborated frequently with Firmwave, including for the past two years on developing Taoglas Shift, an AI beam-steering antenna system for 5G networks.

Taoglas previously acquired US multiple-frequency antenna designer ThinkWireless in January.

Its most recently filed financial statement for 2017 showed that Taoglas made pre-tax profits of €4.33m, up 8.6pc from 2016, driven by a 28.8pc increase in turnover to €44.6m. Payroll costs increased by 66.6pc to €10.4m.

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