It’s official Irish Tech News have closed a €12m investment round from a variety of the worlds top Venture Capital companies and several Irish corporates with drinks giant Guinness, snack manufacturer Tayto and sports apparel retailer O’Neills also participating in the round.
Irish Tech News was founded after a frustration at the neglect that European Tech news publications had at the time shown, in their lack of coverage of the Tech ecosystem in Ireland, whilst it is no secret that Ireland (driven by favourable corporate tax rates) is the European HQ go to for many of Silicon Valley’s top companies and naturally they tend to take a lot of the headlines, Ireland itself has a thriving homegrown tech ecosystem, with amazing startups, many kick ass entrepreneurs and operators not just in Dublin, but across the island of Ireland.
Irish Tech News now average around 650k monthly unique readers across all platforms and are Ireland’s number one tech news site as well as being renowned globally for having a finger on the pulse of all things innovation, startups and tech in Ireland, Europe and beyond.
As part of the deal Irish Tech News will be rebranded as Guinness Tech News, which many fans of ITN may find very controversial in a similar way to when Mike Ashley rebranded Newcastle United’s famous stadium St. James Park to the Sports Direct Arena, ITN founder John Armstrong brushes off the anger and controversy at the naming rights and comments “Look this makes sense, Guinness are forward thinking and want to stay close to the world of disruption/innovation and on our side, with us having Irish in our name, people think we only cover Ireland, which is not the case, we are truly global so this deal means we are not geographically misunderstood and most of the ITN team drink Guinness, so we are as happy as Larry”
Guinness have declined to comment on the size of their cheque with Chief Innovation Officer Seamus McDougal commenting “I know we could of done this deal by paying them in Guinness Draught, but these fellas are actually talented and after many years of them bootstrapping, tirelessly elevating and promoting the Irish ecosystem, they deserve the Euros that we put in”
Tayto Chief Commercial Officer Daniel McSweeney also was coy around the size of the cheque that they put into the deal and commented “Many people in Ireland think the biggest rivalry on the Island is Sinn Fein vs DUP, but it’s not at all, those in the know realise there is actually two separate Tayto Crisp companies, which are totally unconnected, with us in the South and one north of the border we want to ensure we innovate and excuse the pun but we want our Cheese and Onion crisps to stay ahead of the pack, so investing in the top tech news site in Ireland was a no brainer”
O’Neills Finance Director Patsy Haughey was much more open “We drive a hard bargain and didn’t pay any cash in this deal, off the record we were tipped off that Henry Joseph-Grant is from County Derry, so we offered him some Derry GAA half zip tops for him and his children and we thought we had him on the ropes, but that fella is a tough negotiator and we ended up agreeing to bring out a Limited Edition “Guinness Tech News” half zip which will be available on our site from May”
The VC’s who participated are Ceoltoir Capital, Gáire Partners, Leprechaun VC and Craic Venture Partners who also led the round.
Ronan Leonard who runs the Irish Tech News podcast (which is now Ireland’s number one tech podcast) was quite open with the approach in closing the VC money “We know there is a strong Irish diaspora in the US and in VC funds in Boston and NYC, so on St Patricks Day John, Henry, Simon and I jumped on a plane and went on the lash with a handful of the leading Irish American VC’s, after many, many jars and singing Irish songs such as “Oh Danny Boy” and Westlife’s “Flying without wings” we could tell they liked us, our new investor Guinness probably wont like me saying this, but it wasn’t till we pulled out the Jameson… that we proved beyond doubt that we are a team with tenacity, stamina and one that could go the distance. Most of the VC’s signed the term sheets on the spot, with the exception of Michael Maguire, Managing Partner at Craic Venture Partners, who signed his term sheet whilst being treated at A&E in Manhattan and also opting to lead the round, I guess some may say that it was unethical on our part to get his signature whilst he was having his stomach pumped, but it’s not our fault he was unable to handle the pace with the Jameson, this is the startup world, it’s dog eat dog and there are bound to be casualties, if the goal is open you have to shoot”
Congrats to all the Guinness Tech News team, onwards and upwards…. Techcrunch we are coming for you! 😉
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