We’re in The Irish Times today, (June11, 2010), thanks to Gordon Smith and the Irish Times team. Click here to view the article .
BILL STORAGE firm Getitkeepit. com has closed a seed investment round of €400,000 to fund its expansion into Britain this summer and to commercialise its technology as a separate service.
The Dublin-based company runs a free website that lets consumers store and manage their bills online from a single location.
The funding was raised through a combination of Enterprise Ireland and private investors.
Getitkeepit.com chief executive Alan Coleman says the company is also in the early stages of sourcing further investment, most likely from venture capital funds in Britain.
The company intends to have a preliminary launch into the British market later this month.
It is also planning to spin out its technology into a separate entity, called Britebill. This company will supply the underlying technology behind the Getitkeepit.com service to providers in other markets, potentially under different brands.
Coleman says the idea came about after discussions with utility providers and other companies, where it emerged that some had yet to adopt paperless billing systems within their own businesses.
“While Getitkeepit gave birth to it, Britebill ultimately might be the bigger of the two,” Coleman adds. “Getitkeepit.com will be a shop window for what the technology is capable of.”
The current funding round will support the company’s expansion into Britain, as well as investment in sales and marketing for Britebill.
Coleman says the technology has already been built. As a result, it didn’t need large amounts of further investment.
The paperless billing market is beginning to attract broader interest in Ireland and worldwide.
The Seattle-based start-up Doxo, which has yet to launch its service, has raised $5.25 million (€4.3 million) funding. Among its investors is Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos.
Coleman says this points up the gap between the availability of funding for early-stage technology firms here compared to the US.
“There is a marked commentary about us having to beg, borrow and steal €400,000 whereas a company like Doxo can get more than $5 million.
“This says Ireland is capable of producing good companies with innovative products but we need to have the backing of risk capital to execute on those opportunities or else they will be overtaken by other companies who come to the market later.”
Separately, Getitkeepit.com has launched a competition on its website whereby anyone who signs up for its service will enter a draw to have their bills paid for a year.