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Irish money messaging App, Plynk, secures €25 million Series A Raise and announces plan to expand in UK and Europe Back
Dublin, Ireland, June 7, 2017: Plynk, Europe’s first money messaging app, today announces a Series A raise of €25 million by private investment trust, Swiss Privée Ltd. The money messaging app, trialled since 2015 in the Irish market, is set to expand to the UK and Europe, and consolidates original seed investment funding of €750,000 backed by Enterprise Ireland, Bank of Ireland, Delta Partners, the NDRC and a number of angel investors.
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“Today marks a significant milestone for Plynk. From the beginning it has been our aim to remove the complexities and awkwardness of person-to-person payments. This funding brings us closer to fulfilling this goal; first within Ireland and across Europe before expanding worldwide,” said Charles Dowd, CEO and Co-Founder of Plynk.

Headquartered in Dublin, Plynk was co-founded in 2015 by Charles Dowd and Clive Foley in response to the need for an easy-to-use consumer application enabling the instant, effortless and transparent transfer of money among friends. Linked to users’ Facebook accounts, Plynk users can send money as a message to a single contact or in group chats instantly and with no fees. Once a Plynk account is created, users receive a dedicated IBAN and virtual Mastercard for online payments. In addition, the application plans to integrate with both Apple and Android Pay, enabling users to spend their money across multiple outlets.

Leading this round of funding is Swiss Privée Ltd, a private investment trust. The successful raise is one of the largest Series A investments to come out of Ireland.

Following a soft launch in January 2017, Plynk already have over 6,000 users across Android and iOS within the Irish market, however has plans to expand further into Europe with eyes on Spain and Portugal next.

Dowd said “our growth plan is simple: ‘become a verb, in every European language’. Over 2017, we will use this secured funding to expand into new markets as well as add GBP to our platform. Hiring will also be a priority, adding more team members to continue development on our core product and to build more features unique to the social payments industry.”

“We are currently a team of eight, however we will have over 20 roles in engineering and growth to fill in the next 18 months”, said Clive Foley, Plynk CTO and Co-Founder.

“Our headquarters here in Dublin will house all of our development team, then a number of business development and marketing staff hired in each location across Europe”, he continued.

The Plynk app launched in January 2017 initially targeting the 18-25 market: “Today sending a photo, video, or chat to a friend has become second nature to students, graduates and young adults. This cohort have become accustomed to the free and instant transfer of data using purely their mobile phone. This is also the generation that can see when their friend is typing. No wonder they find it hard to fathom that a bank transfer can take days,” added Dowd, formerly of Facebook.

Plynk, founded in the NDRC Launchpad in 2015, was developed at the Bank of Ireland WorkBench in Dublin’s Silicon Docks. In October 2016, Plynk raised €725,000 in seed investment with backing from Bank of Ireland’s Start-Up and Emerging Sectors Equity Fund, managed by venture capital firm Delta Partners, Enterprise Ireland, the NDRC and a number of angel investors.

Head of Innovation at Bank of Ireland David Tighe added: “Today’s announcement is a fantastic achievement for an Irish startup and Bank of Ireland are delighted to have supported Plynk from the first day that they walked in to our Workbench in Grand Canal Square through to their Series A raise today. The team from Plynk have availed of our full range of supports for Irish startups from co-working in our branches, mentorship and support with our Innovation and Enterprise team, incubation in our labs and funding through our Bank of Ireland Start-Up and Emerging Sectors Equity Fund. We look forward to continue working with Plynk who represent the innovative and thriving fintech and startup community today in Ireland.”

Welcoming the announcement, Giles O’Neill, Manager of Fintech, Enterprise Ireland said, “A key role of Enterprise Ireland is to support early stage companies to start, innovate and scale their business in international markets. The ecosystem of Irish Fintech start-ups has grown exponentially in recent years. Plynk represents a coming together of key strengths from that ecosystem – strong social media and fintech capabilities, supported by indigenous banks and investors and the international finance community. Creating a funding landscape for start-ups to thrive is of critical importance to the success of our client companies. We value the contribution of international investors in supporting high potential Irish start-ups. We are delighted to support Plynk to drive the growth of this key sector in international markets.”

NDRC CEO, Ben Hurley said, “I want to congratulate Charles, Clive and all the team at Plynk on securing this highly significant investment. It provides them with a major springboard for future growth. What they’ve achieved in the short time since set up in 2015 is important, not just for them as digital entrepreneurs but because it highlights the potential of the FinTech sector for Ireland Inc. NDRC saw something special in what Charles and Clive were doing when we gave them their first significant investment and worked with them to help build out that early concept. Their hard work and determination has taken them to this next level, it is inspirational for the other startups that we work with”.

“The intersection between social and payments is an exciting area because there is still a customer need. There is an awkwardness around sharing expenses among peers, whether it is splitting a lunch bill, sending rent to a roommate or sharing costs of a holiday like a hotel or flights. With Plynk, users send money to a name, not an account number. This turns a normally formal and uncomfortable task into a transparent, instant, social interaction. This is the change we are looking to make,” said Dowd.

Company's profile:

Founded in 2015, Plynk is a European money messaging app offering instant person-to-person payments. Headquartered in Dublin, Plynk was co-founded by Charles Dowd and Clive Foley to remove the complexities of money transfers amongst family and friends, making it fun, fast and free. Linked to users’ social networks, Plynk users can send money as a message to a single contact or in group chats instantly and with no fees. Once an account is created, users receive a payment account with a dedicated IBAN and virtual Mastercard for online payments.

In October 2016, Plynk raised €725,000 in seed investment with backing from Bank of Ireland, venture capital firm Delta Partners, Enterprise Ireland, the NDRC and a number of angel investors.

In a statement,. NDRC welcomed the announcement:

"NDRC Welcomes $25m Series A Investment in Plynk

"Wednesday, June 7th, 2017 - NDRC, the investor in early stage digital companies, has strongly welcomed the €25m Series A investment round announced today by Plynk which took part in NDRC’s Launchpad accelerator programme in 2015 and received both initial and follow-on funding from NDRC.

"The Series A round was led by private investment trust, Swiss Privée Ltd. In addition to an initial investment by NDRC of €30,000 in Plynk, NDRC also participated in a follow on round of financing which helped Plynk unlock further funding.

"To date, NDRC has sourced, built and invested in over 200 companies which collectively have a combined market value of over €400 million and employ over 600 people.

"NDRC CEO, Ben Hurley said, “Plynk has positioned itself at the forefront of social payments and has created a service which eliminates the complexities when sharing expenses amongst family, friends and colleagues. Today’s investment will help them achieve continued growth both here in Ireland and into new international markets in the future.”

“Plynk is also a great example of NDRC’s proven approach where our investment programmes work with startups to bridge the gap between having a great concept and building a business that has the capacity to secure further investment and scale. Our expertise in fintech allowed us to focus on the validation of their idea along with supporting the formation of their core team.”

“On behalf on everyone in NDRC, I want to congratulate Charles Dowd, Clive Foley and all the team in Plynk on today’s announcement and I wish them the very best for their future endeavours.”

Founded in 2015, Plynk is a European money messaging app offering instant person-to-person payments.

Headquartered in Dublin, Plynk was co-founded by Charles Dowd and Clive Foley to remove the complexities of money transfers among family and friends, making it fun, fast and free. Linked to users’ social networks, Plynk users can send money as a message to a single contact or in group chats instantly and with no fees. Once an account is created, users receive a payment account with a dedicated IBAN and virtual Mastercard for online payments.

"!NDRC sources and builds digital startups to invest in and work with. NDRC provides them with an integrated offering of knowledge, experience and expertise. Enabling them to become market ready faster, more successfully and more efficiently than otherwise.

"With a mandate from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment to make these investments, NDRC aims to ensure digital entrepreneurship is a growing and vibrant part of the economy."
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