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Top 10 companies to watch in 2019

These US-based companies have all announced major investments in Ireland, creating thousands of jobs

1. The Knot Worldwide

The global wedding industry is worth an estimated $300 billion, and The Knot Worldwide is at the heart of it. The largest global wedding planning company, it offers wedding marketplaces, wedding websites, planning tools, registry services and more – free – to more than 20 million monthly unique visitors in 15 countries across the globe. With offices throughout the US, as well as in Spain, India, and China, the company announced in April that it is to establish an operations centre in Galway. The move will create about 100 jobs over the next few years, and content writers, community forum support and customer support staff are among the new roles on offer.

2. Rent the Runway


Also in Galway, US fashion company Rent the Runway recently announced plans to open its first international technology hub in the city. Valued at $1 billion (€889 million) earlier this year, the New York-headquartered company will create 150 jobs, mainly engineers and developers, in the City of the Tribes.

The company, which offers women the opportunity to rent designer pieces for special occasions, was ranked by CNBC as the ninth most disruptive company in the world and has more than 11 million members globally.

It is envisioned that the Galway operation will work closely with the company’s US-based R&D teams to tackle core technology challenges that are critical to Rent the Runway’s operations; by undertaking in-house software development unique to the company as well as offering support for its mobile and desktop platform, the Irish team will be critical in shaping its next generation of services.

3. Salesforce

The well-known software group Salesforce already employs more than 1,400 people on these shores, but this is set to swell by a further 1,500 with the announcement of a major expansion at the beginning of 2019. The San Francisco-based tech giant unveiled plans for an impressive eight-storey Silicon Docks campus – located on North Wall Quay, it represents the largest ever single office letting in the State.

A software company that provides customer relationship management (CRM) solutions to clients including Accenture, Intel, Adidas, Merck and Sky, Salesforce launched its first international hub in Dublin just a year after it commenced operations. Core functions at the Dublin operation include sales, customer service, operations and engineering.

4. Edwards Life Sciences

A global leader in patient-focused innovations for structural heart disease and critical care monitoring, Edwards Life Sciences recently announced plans to increase its investment in Ireland by more than €80 million with the construction of a new and larger medical technology plant in the mid-west of Ireland. This was in addition to an initial investment of €80 million.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was on hand to help break ground at the new facility in Castletroy, Limerick, which is due to open in 2021. The company, headquartered in Irvine, California, established operations in Ireland last year. It is expected to employ about 600 people, as previously announced. The state-of-the-art facility will focus on manufacturing sophisticated medical technologies, such as delivery systems and other components for Edwards' market-leading therapies for structural heart disease.

5. LogMeIn

This Boston-based tech company is to more than double the head count at its Irish office over the next three to five years. The announcement was made back in April, when it officially opened its new international headquarters in the Reflector building on Grand Canal Dock in Dublin.

LogMeIn is a provider of software as a service (Saas) remote connectivity services for collaboration, IT management and customer engagement. It first opened an office in Dublin in 2012, and currently employs more than 180 people here. More than 200 roles will be created as it expands its operations here, including customer success managers, as well as positions in sales, marketing, legal, HR and IT.

6. Overstock

Ecommerce company Overstock has pledged allegiance to Sligo, announcing late last year it intends to add 100 research and development jobs at its European base in the county. The US firm already employs 40 people at its Irish operation, where the new roles will be in software development and testing, machine learning and data analytics. Founded in 1999, the Utah-based company has a $2 billion online shopping site selling designer brands and home goods, as well as a blockchain accelerator subsidiary, Medici Ventures. Overstock first came to Sligo in 2013 and the company was recently recognised as one of the best companies in the areas of work-life balance, perks and benefits.

7. Shutterstock

One of the world's biggest photography marketplaces, Shutterstock has more than one billion images and 1.8 million paying business customers. Last year, it zoomed in on Dublin, opening a new Dublin office that will employ 40 people and function as a hub for engineering and global R&D. The Irish team will initially focus on certain products including the company's Bigstock business and continued development of its editorial platform, Shutterstock Editorial.

The New York-headquartered company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and counts more than 100,000 contributors from around the world. Founder Jon Oringer said the Irish office would enable Shutterstock connect to key parts of the world to understand their customers better and drive business.

8. STATS Insights

This unique sports data and intelligence company opened its European office in Limerick last summer and is aiming high, with plans to employ more than 150 people by 2020.

STATS says Limerick was the ideal base as it allows the company to tap into collaborative education partnerships with a range of local third-level institutions. The company also brought in Irish sports technology pioneer Gráinne Barry to run the new Limerick office as Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regional operations director.

Hundreds of soccer, basketball, rugby and other sports teams rely on STATS’ products and solutions, using data to give them the edge.

9. Allstate Sales Group

Allstate Sales Group, a provider of turnkey engineering and construction services to the telecommunications industry, recently announced its plan to open its first operations outside the US. Waterford and Sligo will be the locations for two new software development and CAD support centres, with more than 200 jobs to be created as the company seeks to scale its operations outside the US.

Services provided by the company include planning, designing, mapping and building the pathways that telecom service providers require to connect new voice and data customers. The new roles will include a range of technical and office professionals, including software developers, CAD/ARC-GIS technicians, management, administrative support staff and HR staff. Allstate has offices in seven US cities, employing more than 700 people on that side of the Atlantic.

10. Indeed

The online recruiter will need to avail of its own services, with the announcement in recent weeks that it plans to add more than 600 jobs to its Irish operations. The US firm tied in the announcement with the official opening of its Capital Dock HQ in Dublin's docklands. Chief executive Chris Hyams commented at the announcement that the company had first come to Ireland in 2012 "with three employees and a pot plant". The new roles will be across marketing, finance, strategy, operations, sales, client services, HR and business development.

Danielle Barron

Danielle Barron is a contributor to The Irish Times