Management buyout at Digisoft as Pat McDonagh sells stake

Chief executive Fearghal Kelly leads takeover of Cork-based video software company

Serial tech investor and Riverdeep founder Pat McDonagh has sold his shares in Cork-based video software company Digisoft as part of a management buyout.

No financial details relating to the buyout have been disclosed. Mr McDonagh previously had a 40 per cent stake in the company, which sells software services for set-top boxes and on-demand streaming services to telcos.

In recent years, Digisoft has also increasingly focused on developing solutions using technologies such as VR/AR (virtual and augmented reality) to produce "visitor engagement" products in areas such as retail and tourism. Clients include Vodafone, Accesso, Pfizer and the Epic museum.

Bluetooth dongle

In a more unusual move, the company recently developed a Bluetooth dongle for Covid exposure monitoring that is being deployed by the Irish defence forces.


The management buyout was led by Digisoft chief executive Fearghal Kelly, a former deputy head of technology for the BBC, who has been with the company since 2012.

“We have grown the business over the last few years to the pivot point that it is at today. We are very excited about what the future will bring and the potential in our industry. We will be investing in the business with a focus on growing it in the years ahead,” he said.

Staff of 30

Digisoft had revenues of €2.7 million and pretax profits of €382,000 for 2019. Accumulated losses totalled €26.9 million. The company employs 30 people.

Mr Kelly said Digisoft has worked for and with some of the leading global brands in the media, tourism and life sciences industries. He said Digisoft has built up a sizeable global client base, which is growing at a rate of over 20 per cent annually.

Mr McDonagh is a former schoolteacher turned serial tech investor who has built up a multimillion-euro fortune from companies that include CBT Systems, Skillsoft and Riverdeep, as well as property deals.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist