Moonshot to establish software development centre in Dublin

Irish co-founded company tackling online threats to hire 37 people over next two years

Moonshot founders Vidhya Ramalingam and Ross Frenett.

Moonshot founders Vidhya Ramalingam and Ross Frenett.

 

Moonshot, an Irish co-founded tech start-up that uses data analytics to tackle online threats, is to establish a software development centre in Dublin.

The company said it intended to hire 37 people over the next two years with recruitment starting immediately.

Founded in London in 2015 by Irishman Ross Frenett and Vidhya Ramalingam, the company was originally focused on countering violent extremism and terrorism. It has since evolved to develop technologies and methodologies to reach people both engaging in and affected by a range of online harms – including disinformation, human trafficking, gender-based violence and child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Among the areas it has monitored is the use by dissident Irish republican groups of online networks to recruit and spread propaganda, and the rise of the extreme right in Ireland.

“When I left Ireland during the great recession the thought of bringing so many jobs home would have sounded too good to be true. But this move for our company isn’t based on emotion. When we looked at talent and market access, Ireland was the obvious choice,” said Mr Frenett, Moonshot’s chief executive.

Moonshot aims to end online harms and provide vulnerable people with positive, supportive messages and services. The company has delivered threat monitoring and analysis, digital campaigns, tailored interventions, and a range of other services in more than 55 countries and 33 languages, for governments, tech companies and international organisations.

Its clients include the US department of homeland security, USAID, the US department of state, the UK home office, as well as tech giants such as Facebook and Google.

Moonshot earlier this month secured $7 million (€5.8 million) in an investment round led by transatlantic venture capital firm Beringea and Mercia Asset Management.

Mr Frenett previously served as director of the Against Violent Extremism network, a global network of former extremists, defectors and survivors of violent extremism.

Ms Ramalingam, his co-founder and co-chief executive, is recognised internationally for her role in leading global responses to extremism and terrorism. Following the 2011 attacks in Norway, she was appointed to lead the European Union’s first inter-governmental initiative on far-right terrorism and extremism.