Dublin-based Brite:Bill secures new equity funding of €1.25m

 

DUBLIN-BASED communications software firm Brite:Bill has secured €1.25 million in new equity funding from the Ulster Bank Diageo Venture Fund.

The firm provides its platform directly to companies, allowing them to provide customised billing, invoices and statements to customers. This is the second major investment Brite:Bill has received from the fund, which is managed by NCB Ventures.

In 2010 it secured €1.2 million, which was earmarked for its expansion into London and Europe. “It is a statement of confidence in what we have achieved and what we are planning to achieve,” said Alan Coleman, Brite:Bill’s chief executive.

The latest round of funding will be used to boost its customer base, with the focus firmly on Europe for most of the rest of the year. After that, Mr Coleman said, the plan was to look further afield, with the US firmly in its sights.

Alongside the rise in customers is an expected increase in staff, from which the Irish operation is expected to benefit. The company currently employs 27 people, with the majority based in Ireland.

“We expect there will be an increase in the Irish headcount as we grow,” Mr Coleman said, adding that it was also likely to generate some global offices.

The company is considered by NCB Ventures to have “significant”international potential, allowing companies to strengthen their relationship with customers and change how they engage with them online, offering a new level of interactivity and personalisation. “A lot of companies recognise the need to keep customers close and deliver an excellent level of customer service,” said Mr Coleman. “The bill is probably the most ignored customer touch point.”

Customers who felt they were not anonymous were less inclined to want to leave or feel frustrated with their service providers, Mr Coleman added.

It will be 2013 before the US expansion begins in any earnest, but Brite:Bill has already begun expanding abroad.

Aside from its office in London, it has made inroads into the Chinese market, with a base in Shanghai opening about 18 months ago. However, any future growth would be “prudent”, Mr Coleman said.