“Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone for our team and stakeholders, and we’re excited to partner with SoftBank to pioneer the future of software-defined connectivity,” said Barry Napier, CEO at Cubic Telecom. “The focus on software rather than hardware means manufacturers can increase the value of a vehicle or device by adding new functionality, over-the-air, which will improve safety, comfort and performance. This, alongside the opportunity AI presents, will open up new collaborations and business models. The opportunities ahead of us are endless.”
The mission for Cubic is to be the global connectivity software platform that powers vital connectivity for leading IoT, automotive, and mobile device companies across the globe.
We first met Barry over a decade ago and were so impressed with his unbridled ambition and focused execution that we invested the largest seed investment we possibly could. When the opportunity arose to support Cubic again, we again invested the largest possible expansion investment we could.
They have come a long way, but we still believe they are only getting started. We welcome Softbank to the fold and believe the most exciting chapter for the company is still to come.
Cubic is a prime example of the indigenous innovation that Ireland needs over the next decade. Seeing the growth and the talent the company has attracted, has us more optimistic than ever about the future of Ireland’s innovation economy. This optimism drives our actions through our sixth and current fund, as we continue to focus on backing the next generation of breakthrough companies and ambitious founders. We want to find the best company builders at the earliest stages and continue to back them again and again.
Great companies are built by great founders and teams. We couldn’t be more delighted for Barry and the Cubic team as they welcome Softbank, and we look forward to seeing what new heights can be accomplished together.
“Our objective is to empower brand owners with a cost-effective, scalable, and user-friendly solution that ensures full control over online activity related to their brand“.
John Killian, CEO and Co-Founder of Greyscout.
We are pleased to welcome Greyscout to the portfolio.
GreyScout is a SaaS platform for online brand protection, dedicated to safeguarding brands against the digital threats of grey market activities and counterfeit selling. Trusted by industry leaders, GreyScout empowers brands to detect, verify, and enforce against grey market vendors and counterfeiters with unmatched precision.
Grey market trade is a growing concern that often overlaps with the trade of fake goods. According to the OECD, it accounts for 3.3% of global annual trade, equivalent to a staggering €825 billion per year. Grey market activity continues to thrive due to substantial price differentials for high-end, sought-after items and as well as everyday essentials. Furthermore, the rapid growth of the e-commerce sector, valued at approximately $6.3 trillion, has been further accelerated by the widespread adoption of online shopping and the impact of COVID-19. This inadvertently fueled the expansion of the grey market selling as consumers increasingly turned to online retail.
GreyScout’s focus lies in addressing the challenges posed by the surge in suspected bad actors and unverified sellers. Through reseller verification and product authentication, the platform automatically removes infringing product listings from the customers’ view. This reduces the manual efforts of e-commerce and legal teams in tracking and boasts an impressive 98% success rate on key customers’ enforcement and IP portals submissions.
Furthermore, GreyScout’s streamlined onboarding process significantly reduces setup time, transforming what used to take weeks or even months into a mere matter of hours.
We look forward to working with John, Chris, and the talented Greyscout team as they begin their new chapter of growth!
“Our core belief is that employees are happier and more productive when their unique skills – their superpowers – are aligned with roles that use and develop these talents”.
Ian Monk, CEO and Co-Founder of Spotted Zebra.
We are pleased to welcome Spotted Zebra to the portfolio.
Spotted Zebra provides a workforce management platform that allows large enterprises to identify skills gaps within their workforces and fill these gaps through hiring, succession planning or reskilling existing employees.
The skills crisis is one of the great challenges of our time, according to the World Economic Forum. The workplace is changing rapidly, with many skills and roles becoming obsolete while critical new ones are emerging at a rate too fast to fill. 77% of businesses report skills shortages and the WEF estimates that failing to address skills gaps could cost businesses in G20 countries alone some $11.5 trillion in lost growth in the next decade.
But while businesses struggle to fill the skills shortages, there are millions of talented individuals whose skills are being overlooked as they lack the credentials or experience traditionally used by recruiters to determine hiring success.
Spotted Zebra’s platform enables businesses to eschew outmoded job requirements and instead match individuals with opportunities based on the best indicator of role success – skills.
Spotted Zebra’s unique blend of AI, assessment science and human expertise allows organisations to determine the precise blend of skills required for individual roles and then identify people with those skills. This widens the available talent pool while ensuring that successful candidates deliver higher job performance than via traditional recruitment channels.
Spotted Zebra also helps organizations improve their reskilling programmes by matching vacant roles with employees whose jobs are being downsized. This improves talent retention, employee engagement, and dramatically cuts costs.
We look forward to working with Ian, Nick, and the Spotted Zebra team to scale. 🦓🚀
“Our goal is to make our platform accessible to vets across the globe, starting with penetration across the Irish and UK markets, which will combat the build up of medication resistance, while giving farmers
and vets tools to monitor animal health, improve the lives of their animals while increasing productivity.”
We are pleased to welcome Micron Agritech to the portfolio.
Micron’s core mission is to combat the increased resistance to anti-parasiticides and reduce the unnecessary reliance on worm treatments by the agriculture sector, as a whole.
The first product, the Micron Kit allows veterinarians to conduct on-site, rapid parasite testing on animals using their mobile phones, delivering results in minutes.
By leveraging AI and rapid diagnostics, the team is drastically reducing the time, cost and resources expended on dosing methodologies while amplifying farm efficiency and yield. Through this unique data capture, they are also building a rich and valuable data set that can be used to leverage unique insights into animal health trends.
We look forward to working with Daniel, Tara, Sean and the Micron team to scale.
“A feature of our maturing market has been the recycling of capital and talent from the increasing number of successful exits, and we are seeing very strong network effects from repeat entrepreneurs. This will see Ireland build larger and more impactful companies”. John Flynn
We are delighted to announce the first close of ACT VI.
Firstly, we would like to thank our investor base for continuing to trust us and our strategy – now over multiple funds. Having institutional investors such as the European Investment Fund, Enterprise Ireland, ISIF and AIB – together with a number of founders and entrepreneurial family offices, we are fortunate to have both valuable strategic support and strong co-investment capabilities.
We are glad to say that the majority of the new commitments come from our existing investors, while we welcome valuable new investors and partners to the firm.
We would also like to thank our founders, whom we have been fortunate enough to have worked with. While investors play a part, we know that we are the supporting actors and that great companies are built by great founders who sacrifice so much along the way to turn their vision into a reality.
What’s the plan?
Our strategy is not changing. We will continue to back exceptional and passionate founders tackling big problems, but with more capacity to support founders earlier.
In the Irish market, we have witnessed the market over double in size within 4 years and we are incredibly excited about the future of Irish tech companies and the talented and ambitious founders that will build them.
We will target 35 companies with the fund targeting 75% of companies to be seed stage through our continued partnership and support from Enterprise Ireland in our seed sidecar fund.
With a capacity to write cheques anywhere from €100k – €10m and the capacity to add significant additional co-investment through our LP base, we have a platform to support ambitious founders seeking to build the next generation of category leaders and exceptional companies.
Act is a people-driven business, and we will continue investing in outstanding founders, partnering with, and supporting them through the scaling journey.
Finally, we partner exclusively with companies that target long-term, sustainable growth, which seek to improve the world we live and work in.
We are in a privileged position to be agents of positive change and will continue backing founders that have a mission and values that go beyond financials. We know we all need to do more as diversity is still a big problem and climate change is the existential crisis of our time. We truly believe the companies that prioritise the ESG agenda have proven that, on top of making a positive change, they attract better talent, and provide a better financial return for investors.
“With the number of CCTV cameras set to grow by 100% globally, our platform is becoming ever-more critical to ensuring retailers and hospitality operators can leverage at scale all of their video data to improve the in-store customer experience, reduce theft and fraud, and deliver real operational cost savings. Having had a positive response from the market to date, particularly in the USA, we look forward to accelerating our sales, implementing our product roadmap, and growing our team over the coming months.” – David Owen
We are excited to announce our investment in EveryAngle.
EVERYANGLE’s platform uses computer vision to analyse CCTV footage for events of interest, without the need for human review. With the number of CCTV cameras deployed globally set to double from 1 billion to 2 billion in the next 3 years, enterprises are increasingly surrounded by oceans of video. However, less than 0.1% of CCTV video captured is ever reviewed by a human being, due to time and cost factors. EVERYANGLE’s unique platform analyses video footage rapidly and cost-effectively at-scale to help retailers and hospitality operators gain rich in-store customer insights, reduce loss and optimise their operations.
We look forward to working with David and the Everyangle team to transform in-store analytics.
“BNPL for business is a completely different concept to B2C BNPL. Right now, there are very few B2B purchases happening online. We’ve created a platform that gives total control for businesses to dictate what payment terms they want to have, helping them pay over 6-12 months, whilst their suppliers are still paid within 24 hours”. Jamie Beaumont – CEO
We are excited to announce our investment in Playter, a company with a vision to be the leading B2B financing platform for SMEs. In participation with Adit Ventures, Fasanara Capital, Fin Capital and 1818 Capital, we believe in the value proposition for B2B BNPL for the underserved SME market and Playter is well-positioned to unlock this value.
B2B commerce is vastly larger than B2C and for too long, B2B payments have been characterised by laborious paper-intensive payment processes that consumers have forgotten.
Consumer fintech has witnessed big winners in BNPL because of the digital checkout and seamless one-click nature of payments. Yet, most B2B transactions do not live online and there is no checkout.
With c.$120 trillion in B2B payments made globally every year, digital payments still considerably lag the B2C market. Before the pandemic, around 33% of B2B expenditure was electronic, compared to around 70% of B2C expenditure. In the US alone, cheques still account for half of the $25 trillion in B2B payments every year.
Over the next decade, B2B payments will see more transactions move onto digital payment rails, more tools to assist cash flow management and more friction removed. Companies have already been built to streamline collections and payments, but Playter is doing that and more.
For SMEs, Playter allows businesses to take control of payment terms. This means that they can spread the cost of software, agency fees, rent, marketing, and many more payments over 6 or 12 months.
“For SMEs, the ability to take advantage of annual discounts on software as well as smoothing out cashflow can be invaluable in tougher times. Playter doesn’t just help businesses with cashflow, it also helps redistribute liquidity, allowing businesses to invest in high growth areas such as marketing, hiring and development.” Jamie Beaumont.
By reducing friction, increasing speed and improving cash flow for SMEs, the team at Playter have a compelling value proposition within B2B payments financing, a category where they have the potential to become a leader.
“We are excited to continue our rapidly accelerating journey toward having sustainable lightweight materials as standard on vehicles, structures and devices. Right now these are limited by cost and complexity to high-tech applications, or premium price points, with limited real environmental impact. Pushing recyclable composites into mainstream mass-production will move the dial on all our efforts for a sustainable tomorrow..”
Alan Barry – CEO
PlasmaBound’s Controlled Polymer Ablation (CPA) technology empowers global industry to achieve their sustainability goals, particularly in carbon reduction & battery range extension.
Fundamentally, PlasmaBound’s CPA enables high-speed bonding of ultra-lightweight fibre-reinforced materials in a manner where it will effectively take on a role similar to welding in metals. This will collapse operational cycle times, extend shelf-life, and reduce manufacturing waste streams, all the while improving ultimate bond strengths.
Thus empowering industries from aerospace to transport and more, to achieve their sustainability goals, particularly in carbon reduction & battery range extensions.
“Some companies have tackled the space in a partial way, mainly because it’s easier and you can get there faster. With us, we came initially from a services background and we were keen to understand the full suite of problems. We definitely understood from working with our early customers that the current solutions were just still only solving part of the problem..”
Fran Quilty – CEO
Conjura offers an analytics and data science platform for e-commerce merchants. The company is pioneering the next generation of e-commerce data analytics by equipping businesses of all sizes with enhanced visibility over their entire operations on a single cloud-based platform, as opposed to multiple and disconnected tools. Traditionally, e-commerce data analysis has been confined to one section of operations, such as marketing or customer retention.
Conjura’s real-time analysis is overcoming this limitation by combining data from fulfilment, warehousing, and supply chain sources, with online/offline sales and marketplace transactions and customer metrics.
The new, integrated approach to data analysis pioneered by Conjura provides automated insights and recommendations across every aspect of e-commerce to accelerate overall business performance.
With companies like PayPal or other ways of paying someone, they only ever deal with the money. That relies on the buyer, etc, in a transaction saying they are happy and the company will release the money. We run all our transactions in a milestone-based way so it doesn’t give power to the buyer or seller to say they didn’t get something, or something didn’t happen, because we are managing the rest of the transaction.”
Consumers can find anything they can think of in P2P marketplaces – yet finding a place where you can truly trust the other party is still difficult.
The biggest problem in the P2P payment market is a lack of trust. Most transactions still happen offline, online wallets are quick but not safe, and traditional escrow is document-heavy and designed for large transactions.
– They manage the entire process of the transaction
– The resolution process is preventative, not reactive like many incumbents
– Their APIs are built to seamlessly integrate with existing marketplaces and other platforms
Buyers can track the transaction across each step of the journey with funds held securely and not released until the milestones are complete, with sellers getting transparency over where funds are being sent, verification of the buyer’s identity and options to collect and ship items.
We are delighted to be supporting Conor and the whole Trustap team on their mission to bring trust and peace of mind to online buyers.