Ireland’s creative culture translates into a truly diverse advertising industry. That encompasses everything from small agencies doing big things (Zero-G, The Social House and Thinkhouse, to name but a few), to international names with a base in Ireland (Publicis and Rothco among them) and tech leaders like Quantcast, Hubspot and Marketo.
Access to international social media giants like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter has also helped foster adtech innovation in Ireland, resulting in a number of groundbreaking startups which are winning awards and prestigious clients on a global scale.
We’ve rounded up 13 Irish adtech startups you need to know about right now. These include everything from online video ad editors and ad blocker-blocker to an analytics company founded by an Irish rugby superstar.
An online platform which allows businesses to create low-cost video ads in minutes using their library of clips and editing software, ViddyAd was founded in 2013 by CEO Grainne Barron, and is currently based in Dublin and San Francisco.
Promising ‘awesome adtech for YouTube’, Vidiro delivers analytics on videos with precision using contextual video level targeting technology. Founded by Kevin Magee and Simon Factor, they launched in 2013 and in 2014 and built custom YouTube analytics software for The X Factor (they call it the “Justin Bieber algorithm”).
PageFair makes ad blocker-blockers, giving hope to websites dependent on their ad revenues and creating a sustainable advertising ecosystem. Founded by Sean Blanchfield, Neil O’Connor and Brian McDonnell in 2012 and backed by Tribal Ventures, Frontline Ventures and Enterprise Ireland, they won a further US$400,000 in funding last year. Another recent round brought their total funding to over €1 million.
Social rewards platform Popdeem lets brands amplify their campaigns by rewarding customers with instant coupons or sweepstakes, which are activated either in store or tied in with brand campaigns. Founded by Declan Egan, Kevin Glynn, Gavin Hayes and Richard Whelan, they graduated from startup accelerator Wayra in 2013, and in 2014 announced €500,000 in funding from Delta Partners.
Launched for Dublin on iOS, CityBcon (founded by Karin O’Brien and John Fleming) is the world’s first iBeacon application which covers an entire city. What this translates to is a new way for retailers to target their customers which puts the user in charge of their own data, without the need for SMEs to develop their own mobile apps.
Founded by Ronan Higgins and Pieter Oonk, this Irish startup (with offices in Dublin and the UK) lets advertisers run short bursts of mobile advertising synced with the airing times of regular TV ads. Addressing the gap left by declining TV viewership, they’re currently working with Omnicom and Publicis on campaigns for clients such as Pepsi Max, Vodafone and Ryanair.
Founded in 2012 by Garrett Reynolds and Peter Tanham, SparkPage aims to grow life-long customers with their email marketing platform. This creates detailed timelines of a brand’s relationship with the customer through email, allowing for A/B testing and optimisation. SparkPage is backed by Enterprise Ireland through the New Frontiers programme.
Pulsate creates customer journeys with messaging dependent on geo-location, their behaviour and CRM. Headed by founder Patrick Leddy, the service logs a customer’s purchase history, their location visits and how they respond to campaigns to deliver effective targetting and upselling.
Founded by Scott Kennedy and Cian Brassil, Birdleaf compiles customer intelligence by analysing the contents of emails. Using automated searching and segmenting of data, it turns a simple email into a mine of actionable, valuable information for brands.
Founded by Irish rugby star Donncha O’Callaghan in 2013, this digital out-of-home marketing company tracks audience data as well mobile analytics, merging them with publically available open data and social media insights to create an extensive customer profile.
Launched in 2009 and with offices in Dublin and New Jersey, Adforce is a division of the Digital Reach Group (DRG). It comprises a multi-platform advertising network, offering a single option for brands seeking advertising across mobile Internet, mobile apps, social media and video. In May this year, they also launched a digital radio advertising platform, partnering with the TuneIn streaming service across Europe.
A graduate of Dublin’s recently-closed Wayra accelerator, this award-winning mobile advertising app begins with a simple premise: that phone users will opt into using a brand’s jingle as their ringtone in return for rewards. Founded by CEO Christian Ryder (with Ding co-founder David Shackleton serving as investor and advisor) they already list the Irish Times, Enterprise Ireland and Microsoft among their key partners.
Under Founders Luca Boschin and Alessandro Prest, this startup has created software which enables phone users to scan the logo on any product and instantly receive information about the product, including special offers. Originally from Switzerland, LogoGrab relocated to Ireland for better access to VC funding and help from Enterprise Ireland’s Start in Ireland initiative. They recently signed a deal with McDonalds in Europe, alongside their work with clients Coca-Cola and Innocent Smoothies.