Belfast Telegraph

Angel investor set to spread wings with 'cloud' fund

By Margaret Canning

A Belfast-based angel investor has spread its wings into the Dublin start-up scene by investing in a communications platform.

Lough Shore Investments, led by chief executive Danny Moore, has joined a $1.2m (£0.8m) seed funding round in Converser.

The business, founded by Barry Nolan and Oisin Hurley, is a customer relationship management (CRM) and cloud communications platform which is embedded in apps to make it easier to communicate with customers.

Enterprise Equity and Enterprise Ireland have also joined the funding round. The platform has already been adopted by international banks, insurance firms and utility providers – and the company is also launching its cloud service to individual developers.

Lough Shore's investment is a rare example of seed funding coming from north of the border to a company in the Republic.

Mr Moore said he was "delighted" with its latest investment and said he had been "immediately struck" by the team and technology behind Converser.

"Converser turned out to be exactly the kind of start-up we look to back; a high potential management team with a history of building successful companies.

"We closed our first investment in Converser in late 2011 and are delighted to join with Enterprise Equity and Enterprise Ireland in this latest round."

He said Converser's technology had updated a traditional form of customer engagement. "Converser have taken a number of complex problems, combined them all within your mobile-app and most importantly, made it an inexpensive alternative to the other, more fragmented offerings."

Converser co-founder and chief executive Barry Nolan said: "Lough Shore is the best type of investor partner as the team have already built super-successful start-ups from scratch. They have a tremendous record both in their own right and in the start-ups they have invested in."

Lough Shore was founded three years ago and has invested in a range of companies, most recently online florist Yours Florally. It also helped fund Oscar-winning short film The Shore.

Venture capitalists in the Republic have previously invested in Northern Ireland companies, such as Delta Partners' investment in TextHelp, an Antrim firm which makes literacy software.

Antrim-made fake tan brand Vita Liberata received a cash injection from Irish fund Broadlake Capital.

Belfast Telegraph