Bank of Ireland Seed Fund Leads Syndicated €1.8m Investment in InishTech
A MICROSOFT IP VENTURES PROGRAM START-UP
WITH CO-INVESTORS ENTERPRISE IRELAND, HALO BUSINESS ANGELS & FOUNDERS
DUBLIN, Ireland, 20 September 2010: Kernel Capital confirms that the Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund has led a €1.8m investment in Software Protection and Licensing Services specialist InishTech. InishTech’s leading-edge service enables Software Companies globally to protect their code and maximise their product sales through the innovative use of licensing.
The company is based on technology provided by Microsoft under the Microsoft IP Ventures program in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland. This program enabled InishTech to acquire and successfully build upon Microsoft’s IP in return for a providing Mircosoft with a significant minority stake in Inishtech. The syndicated investment consists of a €650k investment by the Bank of Ireland Seed Fund, a €400k investment by Enterprise Ireland, a €275k investment by the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) with the remainder of the funds provided by the Company founders.
Established in 2009 by entrepreneurs Aidan Gallagher, John O' Sullivan and David Smyth, Dublin-based InishTech has continued to enhance the original Microsoft technology, successfully launching a new release of the service and has built an impressive customer base throughout Europe, North America and the Far East.
“This capital injection from the Bank of Ireland Seed Fund underpins Bank of Ireland’s commitment to support dynamic, indigenous enterprise which will generate and sustain employment,” said Donal Duffy, Head of Enterprise Ireland Relations, Bank of Ireland.
Commenting on the announcement, Padraic White, the Chairman of the Bank of Ireland Seed Fund said: “The InishTech, Microsoft IP Ventures model is an excellent example of how Ireland can benefit through participation in international technology transfer. Irish companies have demonstrated their success in developing global markets for new innovative software products. Combining these skills with state of the art research and technology can provide a significant headstart for new Irish technology start-ups.”
CEO of InishTech, Aidan Gallagher added: “We are delighted to have Kernel Capital as our new investment partner. The investment will allow us to further invest in innovative product development, sales, marketing and employment. The value of our holistic approach to software protection, license management and compliance is becoming increasingly relevant in today’s fast changing marketplace. Innovation in supporting new sales models through advanced licensing is key to our clients’ success in seizing and exploiting new market opportunities.”
Software Companies globally are facing challenges in terms of changing sales and revenue models. New platforms such as Cloud Computing need a more dynamic approach to software licensing and also raise issues with IP protection. The move towards Software as a service (SaaS) and application marketplaces is changing the dynamics of how Software Companies bring their products to market. They need to be able to support “try and buy” models, multiple product feature configurations and options to provide customers with flexible commercial terms. This requires a state-of-the-art approach to product licensing.
"HBAN is delighted that the Technology Angel Investment Group, launched in June this year, has made its inaugural investment. This validates the syndication model of angel investment introduced by HBAN and, as we see in the completion of this deal, is a suitable vehicle for co-investment with the VC seed funds,” commented Diane Roberts, National Director, HBAN.
Paul Rellis, Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland, commented: “We are delighted with the continued growth and success of InishTech and to welcome investors of the caliber of Kernel Capital on board. This new investment together with the growing opportunities presented in the marketplace through the shift to Cloud Computing makes this a very exciting time for InishTech and positions it well to take advantage of the changing landscape in the market.”
InishTech have recently been appointed as Network Partners for the Microsoft BizSpark Program which is designed to support software start-ups worldwide.
About Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund
Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund, launched in November 2009, is a €26m Fund which will invest in start-up and early stage companies, with a focus on export orientated high potential start-up companies that operate in the technology (including green technology), food and financial services sectors, in addition to supporting patent and patent pending projects within Irish universities. It is managed on behalf of Bank of Ireland and the other partners by Kernel Capital. This new fund is the eighth new fund supported by Government through Enterprise Ireland’s Seed and Venture Capital Programme 2007-2012. It comprises an investment by Bank of Ireland of €17m, €8m from Enterprise Ireland, and €1m by University of Limerick Foundation.
About InishTech http://www.inishtech.com
Founded in 2009, InishTech provides Software Developers and Product Managers globally with code protection and license management solutions that protect their most valuable asset and enable their customers to deploy and use their products in the most flexible manner possible. InishTech’s Software Licensing and Protection (SLP) Services provides ISVs with a choice of either a managed or in-house service that is both easy to deploy and simple to incorporate in applications and products.
About Kernel Capital http://www.kernelcapital.ie
Kernel Capital and its associate Life Science investment firm Seroba Kernel have in excess of €190m under management in five separate Venture Capital funds, investing in ICT, Life Science and general seed and early stage investments. These funds are supported by Enterprise Ireland, Bank of Ireland, the University of Limerick Foundation and a range of other financial institutions. They have invested in Kernel Capital’s portfolio of 35 companies which collectively employ in excess of 600 people, had a 2009 turnover of €73m and have been granted 137 scientific patents. Kernel Capital and Seroba Kernel are committed to dynamic, innovative, knowledge based companies and have led almost €100m in investment over the past 12 months. These early stage intellectual property driven companies are located in Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Kerry, Galway, Wexford and the UK. Kernel Capital believe that it is an exceptional time for investment and anticipate a significant number of transactions for the remainder of the year.
About Halo Business Angels Network http://www.hban.org
Halo Business Angels Network (HBAN) is a joint initiative of InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland.
About Microsoft http://www.microsoft.com
Founded in 1975, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.
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