Start-ups gaining from technology recovery


Irish firms have benefited from the upturn in global technology spending, writes JOHN COLLINS

THE INTERNATIONAL recovery in the technology sector, as shown by strong corporate results from Intel, Google and Apple, is reflected in the latest update to The Irish Times Tech50.

The constituents of our ranking of Irish technology firms are largely export focused and so have benefited from the upturn in global technology spending, even if the local economy remains in the doldrums.

NewBay, a maker of software that enables telecoms companies to provide access to social media services, remains Ireland’s strongest technology company on our index. NewBay increased its score from 81 to 83 since the Tech50 was introduced last December.

The increase is on the back of a deal with Deutsche Telekom, which is using Newbay’s software to allow subscribers to instantly upload content from their handsets to the operator’s Media Centre.

As well as that deal, which was announced at the Mobile World Congress in February, NewBay made some senior appointments at its US headquarters, introduced new products and launched a new developer programme.

Globoforce, which operates employee reward schemes for large corporations, moved from third to second place by increasing its score from 74 to 75.

Openmind Networks, a provider of high-end messaging software for mobile operators, did not feature in our initial rankings but has come straight in at third spot with a score of 73. The company has built up an impressive list of clients, primarily in Europe and the Middle East, with a number of Vodafone subsidiaries using its system to manage SMS traffic on their networks.

Intune Networks, the maker of telecoms equipment for high-bandwidth transmission, enjoyed one of the largest increases in its score on the index, rising from 63 last December to 72 this week. That score does not include yesterday’s announcement that a number of telecoms firms are seeking to carry out tests of its Government-backed Exemplar Network.

Intune reached several milestones in the past few months. It is part of an EU consortium, including Telefónica, which is researching the design of a telecoms network for cloud computing.

Also making it into the top five is CarTrawler, the operator of a car-hire affiliate programme and white-label booking engine which allows third parties to provide an online car-hire booking service.

Reflecting the growth it has been enjoying, CarTrawler moved to new offices this month to accommodate its expanding team.

The Irish Times Tech 50 is open to Irish-registered companies in the technology and web sector which have been in operation for less than 10 years and have not been acquired or floated on a stock exchange.

Since December a number of firms dropped off the index following their acquisition. Web Reservations International (WRI), ranked second in December, was acquired by a US private equity firm in a deal valued at more than $200 million (€150 million). However, WRI co-founder Ray Nolan is back on the index with his latest web venture, Worky, which has increased its score from 22 to 24.

Also leaving the index following a sale are dotMobi, the mobile internet registry acquired by Afilias in February, and cloud computing and data centre services provider Hosting365, which was sold to US firm SunGard.

The Tech50 list is drawn up in association with YouNoodle, a Silicon Valley-based company that tracks the progress of start-ups around the world. YouNoodle draws information from a range of sources on key indicators such as employment numbers, customer wins, website traffic and funding.

It then applies its algorithms to this information to come up with a score which equates to the valuation of the company.

As a rule of thumb, companies with a score of 15 or less are starting out, those that score 30 to 60 are experiencing strong growth in revenues, traffic and employee numbers, while those with a score of 70 or above would be attractive takeover targets.

Since December, 10 firms have been added to the index. If you represent a company that you think should be included, please register at

The index is updated on a daily basis at Qualifying companies will be added when they achieve a score that ranks in the top 50.

Irish Times Tech Top 50

Current score and Dec. 2009 score

Newbay 83 (81)

Globoforce 75 (74)

Openmind Networks 73 (NA)

Intune Networks 72 (63)

CarTrawler 66 (61)

Realex Payments 65 (64)

eRepublik 64 (58)

Equiendo 63 (63)

Ammado 62 (68)

Cibenix 62 (NA)

RedMere 62 (NA)

StatCounter 58 (56)

Powervation 56 (56)

Babelgum 54 (66)

Newsweaver 52 (52)

Opsona 51(52)

AirSpeed Telecom 48 (48)

Weedle 47(NA) 47(47)

Firecomms 44 (43)

Lincor Solutions Ltd 43 (44)

Corvil 43 (43) 42 (38)

Advanced Manufacturing 42 (43)

Control Systems 42 (NA)

Cubic Telecom 41 (39)

iSite 41 (40)

AccountsIQ 39 (NA)

muzu tv 39 (41) 39 (32)

Arekibo Communications 34 (36)

WorldTV 34 (32)

Blacknight 34 (NA)

iQ Content 34 (35) 33 (31)

Eventovate 32 (33)

MXSweep 28 (NA)

Worky 24 (22)

Supplierforce 21 (22) 19 (23)

InishTech 18 (NA)

Clavis Technology 18 (18)

Infacta 18 (18)

Luzern Solutions 18 (18) 16 (NA)

Contrast.14 (15)

Dial2Do 13 (15)

IGOpeople 13 (10)

paybymobile13 (13) 12 (14)

Rankings are based on a variety of data including employment numbers, funding, traffic to website and media coverage. The data is collected and analysed by YouNoodle to produce a score out of 100.

All Irish registered technology-focused companies which are less than 10 years old and have not been acquired or floated on a recognised stock exchange are eligible for inclusion. To get your company included register at and also contact us at