Pop­pulo boss plots global growth with new funds

Irish Independent - Business Week - - FRONT PAGE -

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CORK-BASED com­mu­ni­ca­tions soft­ware com­pany Pop­pulo has an­nounced a €30m fund­ing round from a US-based in­vest­ment firm.

Pop­pulo, for­merly known as Newsweaver, will still be ma­jor­ity-owned by its cur­rent share­hold­ers, in­clud­ing founder and CEO An­drew O’Shaugh­nessy.

Pop­pulo’s soft­ware spe­cialises in com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tems in­clud­ing email, ‘pulse sur­veys’ and an­a­lyt­ics within large com­pa­nies.

Its mar­ket is pri­mar­ily large en­ter­prises, in­clud­ing multi­na­tion­als such as Unilever, Tele­fon­ica, Bank of Amer­ica and Nestlé. A com­pany spokesman said that “al­most half the world’s top pharma com­pa­nies” are also cus­tomers, while Ir­ish com­pa­nies us­ing the prod­ucts in­clude CRH, Kerry, AIB and the Ardagh Group.

The com­pany em­ploys 163 staff in Cork and 37 at an of­fice in Bos­ton.

Mr O’Shaugh­nessy said the in­vest­ment is be­ing taken to ac­cel­er­ate the firm’s in­ter­na­tional ex­pan­sion.

The fund­ing is be­ing sup­plied by Susque­hanna Growth Eq­uity, a Penn­syl­va­nia based in­vest­ment firm which has pre­vi­ously bet more than $1bn in com­pa­nies such as Pay­oneer and Out­brain. The fund is fi­nanced by Susque­hanna In­ter­na­tional Group, one the world’s largest pri­vately-held fi­nan­cial ser­vices firms.

“In 2012 I clearly saw this was where we needed to be as a com­pany, so I bet our fu­ture on a sec­tor that was in early-stage de­vel­op­ment,” said Mr O’Shaugh­nessy. “We were acutely aware that peo­ple need to feel a sense of pur­pose in their work­place, of be­ing in­volved and be­ing val­ued and hav­ing their views heard and acted on.”

The com­pany’s spe­cial­ist soft­ware was orig­i­nally fo­cused on in­ter­nal email man­age­ment, per­for­mance mea­sure­ment and an­a­lyt­ics. Its stated aim, said Mr O’Shaugh­nessy, was al­low large or­gan­i­sa­tions to com­mu­ni­cate ef­fec­tively with

En­gage­ment:

CEO and Founder An­drew O’Shaugh­nessy says the firm’s aim is to de­liver a per­son­alised, rel­e­vant dia­logue their work­forces for greater lev­els of en­gage­ment and en­hanced em­ployee ex­pe­ri­ence. It re­cently launched a mo­bile app.

“We al­ready dom­i­nate cor­po­rate in­ter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tions email glob­ally and now with our mo­bile app or­gan­i­sa­tions can reach all their em­ploy­ees wher­ever they are, at their desks, at re­mote lo­ca­tions or on the road,” said Mr O’Shaugh­nessy.

“In­ter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tion has to be able to de­liver a dia­logue that is per­son­alised and rel­e­vant to peo­ple who are used to fil­ter­ing out ir­rel­e­vant con­tent in their lives out­side of work. That’s where Pop­pulo comes in.

“Tech­nol­ogy has com­pletely changed the way we con­sume in­for­ma­tion and or­gan­i­sa­tions have to en­sure the dig­i­tal ex­pe­ri­ence of their em­ploy­ees in the work­place matches what they have grown to ex­pect in their per­sonal lives.”

SGE man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Jonathan Klahr said that it was in­vest­ing in Pop­pulo to ac­cess a mar­ket “with enor­mous po­ten­tial”. “Em­ployee com­mu­ni­ca­tions and en­gage­ment is tremen­dously im­por­tant for busi­ness suc­cess,” said Mr Klahr.

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