Donseed plans global expansion

12th October 2008

Kerry firm Donseed has its sights set on far-flung markets, with plans to begin selling to the Middle East from next year. The company already has its web-based workplace management system up and running in more than 100 sites in Ireland and Britain.

Last year, it secured a €1.2 million funding package from a combination of sources, including Enterprise Ireland and AIB Seed Capital Fund. The resulting capital injection resulted in the creation of 26 new jobs at its headquarters in Kerry Technology Park in Tralee, fuelling plans to expand at home and abroad.

Donseed operations director John Gannon said that the credit crunch and ongoing turmoil in the banking sector would have less impact on the start-up sector in Ireland than many are predicting.

“My experience working with a number of start-up and early-stage companies is that bank funding was never really available to them”, Gannon said.

“Small amounts are often available with personal guarantees but not enough to drive a new business forward. I don’t believe the current liquidity problems with make a huge difference in that regard”.

The key to venture capital funding is an experienced management team

Established in 2005, Donseed’s first year in operation was taken up with the development of a new software-as-a service offering that enables firms to track employee attendance, with the aim of cutting costs and downtime. Early-stage funding for the company was provided internally-and with the help of a Business Enterprise Scheme (BES) funding round at the end of 2006.

For some start-ups, Gannon said the economic crisis could be a boon, as high net worth individuals looked further afield to find reliable investment vehicles.

“Try to present the current economic climate as an opportunity, as opposed to a threat”. He said.

“At Donseed, for example, we have found that prospective customers who may have been too busy or offered some other excuse for not buying 12 months ago are really keen on our cost saving benefits now that money is tighter”.

Key to success: “The key to venture capital funding is an experienced management team, an understandable product that addresses a real business need and a ‘recurring revenue’ business model. VC’s are often concerned that, what sounds like a good idea may not actually result in a successful commercial opportunity. Therefore, getting the product proven in the market is key” – John Gannon, Operations Director, Donseed

The Sunday Business Post