Stories

Siri and the Irish start-up: Why Apple made the move to acquire Irish AI start-up Voysis

Led by Dr Peter Cahill and Noel Ruane, Voysis has been working on improving digital assistants in apps. Spotting an opportunity, Apple has stepped in and acquired the business.

Tom Lyons
4th Apr, 2020 - 7 min read
Stories

After experiencing “material trading impacts”, Irish tech giant CarTrawler begins review of its strategic options

Sean Keyes
3rd Apr, 2020
Stories

Denis O’Brien’s empire in a time of global crisis: Part 2 – the Quinta do Lago resort

Tom Lyons
3rd Apr, 2020
Stories

Vetoing failure: Paul Campbell creates e-conference venture Vito as real life events dry up

Paul Campbell created ticketing platform Tito, an Irish tech success story which sells millions of tickets to events around the globe. Now, it has launched a new virtual business.

Cait Caden
3rd Apr, 2020 - 7 min read
Voices

Nursing homes: The weakest link in the fight against Covid-19?

While acute care capacity has been ramping up, Vanguard Health CEO and former NHS executive Audrey Mc Donnell turns her attention to the services caring for those most exposed to the pandemic.

Audrey Mc Donnell
3rd Apr, 2020 - 5 min read
Stories

From the “black widow” to Priory Hall: The strange history behind a soured Co Cavan land deal

In 2002, Cavan homebuilder Matthew Farrell agreed to buy an 11-acre site from developer Tom McFeely. The legal fallout continues to this day.

Francesca Comyn
2nd Apr, 2020 - 11 min read
Top stories

Back from the brink: A year after near collapse, an Irish online educator is growing globally and experiencing a surge in customers

Shaw Academy survived a brush with insolvency exactly one year ago. Since then, it has raised €7m, amassed a stellar board and, with people confined to their homes as a result of Covid-19, it is reporting significant growth internationally.

Tom Lyons
3rd Apr, 2020 - 5 min read

Denis O’Brien’s empire in a time of global crisis: Part 1 – Digicel, Communicorp and Actavo

He’s offering 49 per cent of his crown jewel telecoms business in exchange for a debt write-down, and his radio group has just implemented pay cuts. In this two part series, we assess the financial performance of the various divisions of Denis O’Brien’s portfolio. Today, we focus on the tycoon’s telecoms, media and utilities businesses.

Sean Keyes
2nd Apr, 2020 - 13 min read

“We need to reinvent ourselves.” A Ballymun food supplier starts a drive-through to battle the impact of Covid-19

Maurice Mathews, a Ballymun based vegetable and fruit wholesaler, is feeling the strain the coronavirus crisis is putting on Ireland’s food industry. But he has working on innovative ways to continue to keep his business going and his staff in a job.

Cait Caden
2nd Apr, 2020 - 2 min read

“Catastrophic impact”: anatomy of Usit’s lightning-fast insolvency

One month ago, directors of the historic student travel agency met to sign off on a promising set of accounts. Last week, they agreed to wind up the company. The downfall reveals the devastation being caused by Covid-19 in the travel sector.

Thomas Hubert
1st Apr, 2020 - 10 min read

A Waterford firm has landed the contract for a Covid-19 mobile tracing app. But just who is NearForm?

As the country battles to manage its Covid-19 crisis, the HSE has turned to a Tramore technology business called NearForm to create a life-saving mobile phone tracking and tracing app for Covid-19.

Tom Lyons
1st Apr, 2020 - 5 min read

With global aviation in utter crisis, attention in Ireland is focusing on Stobart Air and CityJet

Dublin-based Stobart Air is working with its advisers to try and cut a deal with its unwieldy shareholder roster and lenders. CityJet, meanwhile, is in heightened talks with creditors.

Ian Kehoe
1st Apr, 2020 - 5 min read

Irish charity turns investment manager with €44m EU agribusiness funds for Africa

Self Help Africa has secured a new multi-million EU contract to inject capital into private enterprises in the Zambian food value chain. Although most African agribusiness remains far from bankable, the organisation sees its role as “priming the pump”.

Thomas Hubert
31st Mar, 2020 - 4 min read

Caveat emptor: Inside the battle between industry and insurance over Covid-19 cover

As insurers battle with industry over business interruption cover, the state has been left to effectively subsidise both through emergency wage cover. However, concerns are growing about the capacity of some insurers to weather this crisis.

Ian Kehoe
31st Mar, 2020 - 14 min read
Podcast

The dash for cash: How much cash do Ireland’s biggest companies have at their disposal?

Sean Keyes
1st Apr, 2020

Companies aren't in the habit of keeping three months' worth of cash at hand. As the lockdown begins, many corporates are scrambling to get their hands on it. In this podcast, Ian Kehoe and Sean Keyes discuss the importance of cash flow and working capital and assess the balance sheets of some of Ireland’s biggest companies – including Ryanair, Glanbia, Kingspan, Flutter and Greencore.

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Top voices

FBD will be stressed but, if it can just cover its cash needs this year, it looks like it’ll ride it out

FBD has faced backlash from customers who feel they have been cast adrift over coronavirus cover. Meanwhile, its cash reserves are likely to get stressed this year and its financial assets are down between 5 and 10 per cent. What does the future hold for FBD?

Sean Keyes
2nd Apr, 2020 - 4 min read

Yes, we can avoid austerity. And here is how we can do it

As the pressure mounts on the state to bail out vast tranches of the domestic economy and households, are we facing another period of prolonged austerity? Or can we chart a new fiscal future?

Stephen Kinsella
2nd Apr, 2020 - 5 min read

Like tailgating in France, embracing the extremes is a needless risk

Regardless of whatever way the crisis plays out, embracing the extremist alternative is a needlessly risky road. The risky road towards Buenos Aires and rubble-strewn Gdansk.

John Looby
1st Apr, 2020 - 5 min read

As unemployment numbers surge, who says the state doesn’t work?

Over half a million Irish people are receiving either pandemic payments, unemployment benefit or wage subsidies. 300,000 of them were in work at the start of this month. It has forced the state into a hyperactive, adrenalised moment, at which anything could be done–but only in this moment.

Stephen Kinsella
31st Mar, 2020 - 5 min read

Pete Smyth: “We have a crisis. Here are 10 ways to help navigate it”

The scale of disruption arising from the Covid-19 pandemic can be overwhelming. Yet a number of common steps applicable across industries can help business leaders ground their response in fact, steer their teams through it – and make the most of opportunities arising at the other end.

Pete Smyth
31st Mar, 2020 - 12 min read

Employees of small companies are about to have an unfortunate lesson in just how challenging it is for their employers to keep the wolf from the door

At Intro Matchmaking, Fergal and I have taken drastic steps to keep the business Intro going during this crisis. Like many, we have made make tough decisions, negotiated deals and are searching for creative ways to find our way through.

Rena Maycock
30th Mar, 2020 - 6 min read

As it makes large gains against most currencies, why is the dollar going through the roof?

The US dollar is the only show in town because there is a dearth of accessible safe haven assets in the world. However, is likely to depreciate on a trade-weighted basis in the months ahead, once markets realise that the dollar funding squeeze is over.

Peter Kinsella
27th Mar, 2020 - 6 min read

What is the new normal for the Irish economy?

One of Karl Polanyi’s key insights is that “man’s economy, as a rule, is submerged in his social relationships”. The system we are in now is very different to the one we had in early February. What lessons will it teach us?

Stephen Kinsella
26th Mar, 2020 - 5 min read

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