Joe.ie owner Maximum Media on target for record revenues

Irish digital media company raises €1.15m to expand in UK market with Joe.co.uk brand

Maximum Media founder Niall McGarry: This is the third time the company has raised funds through the Employment and Investment Incentive scheme

Maximum Media founder Niall McGarry: This is the third time the company has raised funds through the Employment and Investment Incentive scheme

 

Maximum Media, the Irish digital media company behind the Joe, SportsJoe, Her and HerFamily websites, has raised €1.15 million from investors and said it is on target to achieve record revenues this year in both Ireland and the UK.

Speaking to The Irish Times, company founder Niall McGarry said the additional capital raised would be primarily used to help aid growth in the UK, add headcount locally and to invest in its technology offering.

Mr McGarry said the company was expecting to close off its financial year with record revenues of just under the €8 million mark for its Irish business and a net profit of about €1.7 million. This compares to a previous guidance of €6 million made earlier this year, and a reported turnover of €4.1 million and net profit of €552,000 before corporation tax two years ago.

“We are significantly up. Turnover has almost doubled in the last 18 months in Ireland and it is on the back of a lot of hard work. We will also have grown staff numbers here to about 120 by early next year,” he said.

The company was established by Mr McGarry, who remains the company’s biggest shareholder, in 2010. Former Irish rugby international Jerry Flannery also has a minority stake in the publisher.

‘British brother’

Maximum Media entered the UK market in 2015 with Joe.co.uk, the “British brother” to Joe.ie. Mr McGarry said the business was now “washing its face” after two years of losses.

“We have proper traction in the UK now. We’ve 55 staff and a big office in London and are busy building out a large commercial team in the North as well. Obviously we invested a fairly large amount of money in the UK but it has been worth it because we’ve really cracked the market there with a big trading deal with GroupM and partnerships with the likes of Fanta and Xbox,” he said.

“We’ll do about €2.2 to €2.3 million in turnover this year and are batting for turnover of between €12 million and €15 million in 2018, so we’re looking at six times growth overall. But that isn’t unusual for us as we had sales of €700,000 in our first year and we weren’t even really trading properly then,” added Mr McGarry.

Maximum Media has a social audience of about 12 million in the UK, which Mr McGarry said was important for that market.

“The sell now is slightly different. It isn’t just about unique visitors for us anymore. We’re building a distributed media business in which the social audience is incredibly important in terms of the big partnerships that we make a lot of money from. A lot of our big pulls, such as our podcasts and video series, don’t even sit on our website,” said Mr McGarry.

This is the third time Maximum Media has raised funds through the Employment and Investment Incentive scheme, which provides investors with a tax break and gives qualifying companies a low interest rate. Overall, the company has raised €3.15 million through the scheme.