Jun 15, 2020

Digital Hub companies excelling in spite of COVID-19 by Extra.ie

More than eight in 10 businesses were forced to close due to COVID-19, and consumers returning to shopping streets nationwide this week will sadly see that a shocking number of them won’t return.

It has been a brutal three months for Irish firms, but three companies based at the Digital Hub, a state-run space in central Dublin for digital companies that includes Stripe and Slack among its alumni, have found some benefit from the global pandemic.

 

Mobile marketing software company Pulsate, healthcare robotics firm Akara Robotics and campsite booking site Campsited all moved to the Thomas Street facility in the past year — a couple of them in the days and weeks before COVID-19.

All three have had to adapt to the challenges presented to their businesses by the global pandemic — remote working, the lockdown, lack of investment — but have also taken advantage of the opportunities it presented.

Pulsate CEO Sarah Martin explained that her company, which enables clients to deliver push and in-app notifications to consumers and provides services such as geofencing, chatbots and dynamic feeds, lost a couple of customers immediately after the virus hit the west.

Pulsate largely works with credit unions and retail banks, but it is also used by a number of retail outlets, restaurants, and coffee shops that were forced to cut the company loose when revenues collapsed during lockdown.

No assistance was available from investors and venture capitalists Pulsate had been wooing in the weeks before COVID-19 hit either, as they went into ‘hibernation’ or ‘doubled down’ on existing investments that needed additional support.

‘We did it like initially have a few wobbles, but at the same time at the beginning of the crisis we had just five staff to provide continuity of service to our customers,’ she said.

This article orignally appeared in Extra.ie see in full at: https://extra.ie/2020/06/14/business/irish/digital-hub-covid-19