Archive for April, 2009

Jolt Online Gaming proudly announces the release of Utopia Kingdoms, the successor to the legendary Utopia online game.

admin 30th of April 2009 by admin

Jolt

Jolt Online Gaming announced the release of Utopia Kingdoms, the successor to the legendary Utopia online game. In Utopia Kingdoms, players compete within the Utopia universe to establish and expand their kingdoms across the land.

Check out the press release

You can play Utopia Kingdoms for free in any Internet browser on PC, Mac or any other operating system. There’s nothing to download and there are thousands of players already there. Why not join in and see how well you would rule?

Irish VC backs early stage technology company

admin 30th of April 2009 by admin

Delta has invested €1.5m [from its €100m fund] in Branded Payment Solutions Limited – which is a MBO from Payzone of its Open Loop Gift business.

According to this disclosure – In September 2008 Payzone entered into an agreement to dispose of its Open Loop Gift business. The business was sold to Branded Payment Solutions Limited, a company controlled by Tim Murphy, the group’s outgoing COO for €420,000 payable in 2010 – 2013 with a further contingent elements. The terms of the sale provide that the group commit to payment of certain expenses related to the business up to 31 January 2009.

Irish Investment Activity – 2008 – Short Analysis

admin 24th of April 2009 by admin

Mike Butcher has a piece on TC UK in relation to Number of European tech investment deals drops by a quarter

Based on information provided by Calibre One – Ireland is ranked well down the table

TC CalibreOne VC

Irish Investments listed in documents provided by Calibre One

Q4
3-Oct Cúram Software 2,699,520 Enterprise Ireland
17-Oct Movidia 14,307,138 Celtic House Venture Partners, Capital-E, Emertec Gestion,
AIB Seed Capital Fund, Enterprise Ireland
30-Nov RedMere Technology 7,000,000 Enterprise Ireland
Total Invested – 24,006,658

Q3
9-Jul Corvil 12,000,000 Vesbridge Partners, ACT Ventures, APAX Partners
15-Jul MUZU TV 8,000,000 Oyster Technology Investments
8-Aug MobileAware Ltd Undisclosed Nauta Capital and Cross Atlantic Capital Partners
10-Aug EpiSensor 1,429,400 AIB Seed Capital Fund, Enterprise Equity Venture Capital Group,
Enterprise Ireland, executive chairman Gary Carroll and his family
12-Aug CommProve Undisclosed Endeavour Vision
17-Aug Chip Sensors Ltd. 1,429,400 Enterprise Ireland and the Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Partners Fund
21-Aug Luzern Solutions 3,573,500 Delta Partners
26-Aug Boards.ie Undisclosed Daft Media
30-Aug decaWave 2,287,040 Enterprise Ireland, private investors
1-Sep EpiSensor 1,429,400 AIB Seed Capital Fund, Enterprise Ireland, Gary Carroll, Brendan O’Malley
15-Sep CommProve 14,000,000 TVM Capital and Endeavour, TLcom Capital
17-Sep Percana Group Undisclosed International Financial Data Services
18-Sep PCH International 21,155,120 Lightspeed Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Focus Ventures
Total invested 65,303,860

But I go to The Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) website to check their Venture Pulse we get a different set of data.

Q4 2008 – 24 Investments – € 68,611,000.00
Q3 2008 – 11 Investments – € 70,810,000.00
Q2 2008 – 24 Investments – € 60,162,000.00
Q1 2008 – 20 Investments – € 43,330,000.00

Total – 79 Investments – € 242,913,000.00

[compare to €226m in 2007]

Check

2008 TechPulse
2007 TechPulse

Web2Ireland has also obtained some information on early stage investing via the Seed Capital Scheme and Business Expansion Schemes.

2008 – BES/SCS Investments – €53m
2007 – BES/SCS Investments – €111m

============================

Summary is that Irish VC investment focus appears to be on non-internet, capital intensive industries [medical, etc] and later stage.

Given that Ireland has only 6 funds who participated in EI €175m Programme – which raised in total €275m – the 2008 Investment of €243m has no doubt forced the Irish VCs to lobby some of the €500m promised by Government.

From a Web2Ireland perspective the situation remains the same – a total lack of early stage funding in the 250k to 2m range. Related to this is an open letter from one of the main Angel investors in the internet space in the UK/Europe – Robin Klein to the UK Govt.

Despite it been April 1st – we’re serious in our attempts to get a Seed Fund in Ireland.

eircom innovation fund 2009 – reminder to community

admin 23rd of April 2009 by admin

eircom

We blogged on before onEircom Innovation Fund – but Quick reminder on eircom innovation fund 2009 – Get your idea in before April 30th [tip to Damien]

Full details on the eircom Labs page.

Areas to consider for a pitch:

* Content (e.g. video, short films, animations, UGC)
* Movies and TV (e.g. programme recommendations, listings application, information aggregation, content search, fan communities, recommender systems, discovery tools e.g. data visualisations))
* Games (e.g. Flash games, game communities, platforms, multiplayer games, persistent worlds, avatar-based social networks, game creation tools, ratings, reviews, gambling)
* News (e.g. personalised news gathering, news aggregation, news submission tools, communities of interest, domain-specific news services)
* Music (e.g. Internet radio, streaming / OD services, search / recommendations / personalisation, community tools)
* Sport (e.g. communities, results aggregation, fan communities, results prediction, betting, games)
* Widgets (e.g. any widget(s) based on the above or additional categories)

Muzu strikes deal with Universal

admin 23rd of April 2009 by admin

muzu

Irish-headquartered music video site Muzu has struck a major video and ads deal with U2’s music label Universal – as per report from SiliconRepublic

Muzu TV allows fans to create, watch and share music-video playlists. Users can create video playlists from thousands of videos and embed them on their social- networking sites.

Sentry Wireless Win At Mini-Seedcamp London

admin 21st of April 2009 by admin

Congrats to Irish sim card protection, usage notification, and tracking company Sentry Wireless who are a winner at Mini-Seedcamp London.

Mini-Seedcamps are held in addition to the main Seedcamp Week event, and provide an opportunity to connect with advisors and fellow entrepreneurs within your region.

The list of winners was…

CityOdds Ltd
GymFu
Patients Know Best
Sentry Wireless
Timetric (Inkling Software)

5 Steps to Successful Remote Management

admin 20th of April 2009 by admin

At RevaHealth.com, we depend on teams at remote locations to gather a lot of our information for us. The challenges presented by both the time differences and the geographical distance have led us to put together a fool-proof, 5 point plan to help us successfully manage our remote workers.

Before remote workers can start doing their job, it’s up to us to have everything well prepared for them. We have to create, gather and distribute all the initial data that they will need, and make sure whatever software they’re going to be using works. Processes need to be documented and explained so that we can communicate clearly and quickly with our remote workers.

We have to provide very explicit training based on our documentation; including screen shots of a step-by-step process helps a lot. The workers will often print out and read the instructions while we explain the task over the phone or via email, making notes as they go along. Providing every bit of detail, down to the smallest part of the task, is essential. We have to remember that something that is obvious to us may be completely foreign to someone else. So, by explaining each part of the task step-by-step in a logical order, we are more likely to get positive results.

It is vital to give remote workers the chance to ask questions. Communication is the key factor when it comes to managing remote teams. Take all questions seriously and answer them as quickly as possible. Providing feedback every day lets workers know that their job is important to us and that we appreciate their efforts, and, of course, this encourages them to work harder.

Scheduling is very important, both in terms of what times we can communicate with each other and also in terms of setting deadlines and goals. It may be necessary to have the person responsible for remote worker management come in earlier or later than other members of staff, so that communication lines are open for longer. We also have to set up realistic and deliverable goals and deadlines for the individual tasks that we set. Repeatedly asking your team to do the impossible will most likely result in not a lot getting done!

Technical problems will invariably arise, forcing us to change what our remote workers are doing. That’s another reason why communication is essential in every situation. Always have some back-up work ready to go so that if the project you’re focusing on has to suddenly stop, you’re not left paying for workers to sit idle. If we provide enough information about what is happening on our side, our remote workers understand and can move on to the next task.

LoopThing Business Social Network Launches

conor 16th of April 2009 by conor

Joseph Kelly let us know that LoopThing went live this week. It’s a business social network that starts with a simple directory and builds from there. You can register your company and enter all the relevant details about the business. Others can then be friends/fans and interact with you on the site. They also have a ratings system and the ability to share files and media.

loopthing

One particular aspect of the site which works very well is its openness. All of the information and interactions are there for all to see rather than requiring logins and rights management.

Whilst LinkedIn has become a huge site, I always feel it misses the mark. I go in to add or reply to connections and immediately leave. The groups feature has also become a quagmire of marketeers/spammers/recruiters. There is still lots of opportunity for other business social networks to grow and it’ll be interesting to see how LoopThing gets on.

PuddleDucks Customers Given a Louder Voice

admin 15th of April 2009 by admin

LouderVoice for Business has added PuddleDucks, Ireland’s leading online retailer of children’s and adults outdoor clothing, to its list of customers.

Customers can now read product reviews by previous purchasers and can also submit their own. These reviews appear on each product page along with highlights on the home page of the PuddleDucks website. Reviews empower customers to help each other find the right product for their needs. Recent surveys have shown that over a third of respondents rated peer opinions such as recommendations and reviews as the most useful aspect of an Internet-shopping site.

In addition to appearing on the PuddleDucks shopping site, the reviews are aggregated to the LouderVoice reviews website and its mobile phone applications. This doesn’t just make PuddleDucks more visible to search engines, it also enables a widely distributed conversation about its products.

DevDays 2009 – Dublin and Belfast

admin 14th of April 2009 by admin

On the 23rd and 24th of April, Digital Circle, in conjunction with the Digital Media Forum and Create Ireland, are holding Ireland’s first iPhone developers’ workshop in both Dublin and Belfast.

This free event gives you the chance of meeting iPhone developers and interacting with offical Apple engineers.

There will be sessions on iPhone development, user interface, marketing and business aspects, as well as a ‘Hack Room’ for you to go ahead and try out what you learn during the sessions.

This is the must-attend conference for anyone innovating with Apple technologies in Ireland.

Signup at DevDays 2009