Boston-based and Irish-backed tech company signs Intel deal

Speed-reading technology start-up links with chip giant in eight Asian countries and Australia

Denis O’Brien:  investor in Spritz.   Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Denis O’Brien: investor in Spritz. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

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An Irish- and American- backed speed-reading technology start-up has signed a major advertising deal with chip giant Intel in eight Asian countries and Australia.

The Boston-headquartered Spritz, whose investors include telecoms billionaire Denis O’Brien, also says it expects to close a $10 million (€7.7 million) fundraising round by the end of the year as it prepares to expand as more and more smartwatches come on the market.

Spritz co-founder Frank Waldman said: “We are very excited about this deal with Intel. I can’t disclose how much it is worth to us but they are using us our product to promote how fast their new chips are in stores right across Asia [and Australia].”

Intel uses Spritz to stream words quickly at potential customers about fast its new products are.

“Being featured as a top innovator at the Web Summit is helpful as the company builds strategic partnerships like those closed with Samsung and the FT,” Mr Waldman said.

“It adds momentum as Spritz enters the next funding round.”

Mr Waldman said Spritz had been used over 10 million times since it launched earlier this year.

“We estimate about 100,000 pieces of content are read using Spritz every day but that number is going to grow rapidly as we sign more deals with publishers,” he added.

Spritz, Mr Waldman, said had signed deals with Thompson Reuters, Engadget, a technology website and Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany’s largest subscription national daily, as well as the FT, to deliver their content on Samsung’s smartwatch called the Galaxy Gear S.

Spritz has raised $4.5 million to date in two funding rounds backed by Mr O’Brien and other angel investors. Tom Hunersen, a former director of IBRC, is an investor and an adviser.

“This next round of funding will be about helping us scale,” Mr Waldman said.

He added that Spritz had earned revenues from doing advertising deals with firms like Intel but its real business would be including advertising alongside streaming content.

“We will carry our first ads in the first quarter of next year,” Mr Waldman said. “That is what media groups are very interested in as we start to read more on our watches.”

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