Irish entertainment and sports tech sectors employ nearly 2,000

Almost half of 148 such software companies have raised significant funding

Nearly 2,000 people are working at entertainment and sport-focused tech firms in Ireland, with Brown Bag Films the largest employer at 325 staff.

New figures supplied by Tech Ireland also show that almost 50 per cent of firms working in the area have received funding. This is the largest number of funded companies by sector covered by the organisation.

Collectively, the 148 companies working in the sectors, which include those focused on gaming, audience engagement, audio/video technology, ticketing, event management, fitness/health and content, have raised €95 million.

Acive Mind Technology, a software development company founded in Galway by John McGuire, has raised the largest amount of funding at €9 million. The firm, whose headquarters are now in San Francisco, are behind Game Golf, a wearable GPS and motion-sensing tracking system.


A further five companies – Boxfish, Digit Game Studios, Hitman Labs, CleverBug and Youdio – have raised in excess of €5 million each.

The average funding amount received by firms in the sector is €656,000.

Indigenous companies

Commenting on Tech Ireland's latest snapshot, Elaine Reynolds, game developer, founder and chief executive of Simteractive, said the number of indigenous companies working in the entertainment space was impressive.

“The gaming sector in particular has grown significantly in recent years with everything from middleware firms such as Havok to a rising number of game development studios and VR and AR also well represented,” Ms Reynolds said.

Rob Hartnett, founder of Sports for Business and another Tech Ireland advisor, said that, while there are only a small number of sports tech firms in Ireland, the impact that start-ups such as Kitman Labs have had, is exceptional.

“Our sports tech firms are having a major impact globally and are creating a reputation for Ireland as being a place where technology is a comfortable fit with sport,” he said.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist