Marrakech launches commerce network


A global commerce network which facilitates commercial transactions between member organisations was launched by Marrakech, the Dublin-based business-to-business company, yesterday.

The Marrakech commerce network provides a set of commerce services via a global network, which requires no up-front investment in software and systems integration, unlike many existing business-to-business products.

Mr Kelly Murphy, chief executive of Marrakech, said the new product was "fundamentally different" to competing systems because it involved rolling out a network in a similar manner to telecoms companies.

He said the company worked closely with partner organisations to integrate their systems to an advanced network which enabled commercial transactions between buyers and suppliers. He said Marrakech completed its first commercial transaction in January 2000 and had some 30 companies signed up to the product including Tesco and the Carphone Warehouse.

The network works on a similar principle to other business-to-business models by enabling companies to achieve cost reductions by buying in bulk. Marrakech generates revenue from the network through a small percentage taken on each transaction.

The launch of the commerce network is one of the first major announcements by the company, which has kept an extremely low profile since it was formed in December 1998 with backing from Mr Denis O'Brien and Mr Leslie Buckley.

Mr Murphy said the company had taken a long-term approach. But he said the company was well funded by investors such as Island Capital, Cross Atlantic Capital Partners and Doughty Hanson & Co. It has been funded with $30 million to date.

The company employs some 140 people in software development in Dublin and has offices in London, Paris, Mexico City, Singapore and Dallas.