Tech company Blikbook to relocate to Dublin
Move follows €1 million fundraising, mostly from Irish investors, including Enterprise Ireland
BlikBook co-founder Barnaby Voss said one of its reasons for relocating to Ireland was the “huge amount of technology and IT-related education talent here”. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien
Fledgling British technology company BlikBook has decided to relocate its business to Dublin and expects to create 10 jobs here by the end of this year.
This follows a €1 million fundraising by the business, mostly from Irish investors, including state agency Enterprise Ireland.
Blikbook provides an online “engagement” platform for higher education students and their lecturers to interact on issues relating to their courses.
The company’s funding round was led by Leaf Investments – an offshoot of Folens Publishers – alongside Delta Partners, investing from its Bank of Ireland Start-up and Emerging Sectors Fund, and Enterprise Ireland.
Existing investor Forward Investment Partners also participated and this takes the total funds raised by the company since launch to more than $2 million.
BlikBook plans to use the proceeds to invest across the business, establishing its headquarters in Dublin and strengthening its team in London.
BlikBook said it will invest in its business development, community management and tech development teams in Dublin and London.
Co-founder Barnaby Voss said the company had identified two main avenues to generate revenues from its website. It plans to offer study materials to students, and to sell some of the analytical data it generates from the interactions between students and lecturers, either to the universities or to companies looking to recruit graduates.
Mr Voss said its focus has largely been on UK universities to date but BlikBook is in discussions with a number of Irish universities about offering similar services to students and their tutors.
One of its reasons for relocating to Ireland, Mr Voss said, was the “huge amount of technology and IT-related education talent here. People here are also more used to throwing themselves into start-ups and Ireland will be a good stepping stone for other markets.”
Mr Voss said the company was looking at emerging markets for growth within 12 months and said his target was to have “millions” of students using its services by that point.
Since launching in 2010, BlikBook has seen its usage figures double with each semester.
In the recent summer term, it was used in courses at a third of UK and Irish universities, and at half of the top 30 universities in Britain, with students using the platform for one and a half to three hours per session on average two to three times a week.