Aphix Software co-founder Graham O’Rourke (left) and Breanndán Casey, Innovation and Enterprise Manager at The Mill.
Two businesses, both of them based at Drogheda’s Mill Enterprise Hub, Aphix Software and Fondy Payments, have been chosen as the only Irish-based participants to join ten other start-ups in PwC’s 2020 Global Scale-up Programme for Retail sector.
Based in London, the PwC programme is managed by GrowthBuilders and is open to high growth scale-up businesses expanding in the commerce sector; those who are improving the customer experience and looking to connect with some of the world’s biggest brands.
“It’s a great achievement by Aphix and Fondy to successfully apply for the Scale programme and highlights the quality of scaling tech companies that are starting and growing a business from Drogheda” said The Mill’s Innovation and Enterprise Manager, Breanndán Casey.
“We have been developing a cross-border regional Fintech Cluster, The M1 Payments Corridor, for the past few years, and the two companies are a fantastic example of an indigenous company, and an emergent FDI company, that have used our facilities and support network to grow their business.”
FONDY, with a London HQ, opened an office at The Mill in 2019, and are an international, universal payment platform, which specialises in processing online payments via websites, mobile applications and other devices connected to the internet.
Co-Founder of Fondy, Valeria Vahorovska, visited many Irish locations in 2019 and decided that Drogheda with its proximity to Dublin, skilled workforce, and supportive business infrastructure was the ideal location to expand the business.
“The Mill Enterprise Hub has been a fantastic support as we entered the Irish market, and we have been able to build our team from the extensive talent pool based in the M1 Corridor region” Ms Vahorovska said.
“We could see that Drogheda and the wider region was already creating a community of Fintech and e-Commerce companies from Dublin to Belfast as part of the M1 Payments Corridor, and view it as an ideal location to base our expanding company.”
The Mill Enterprise Hub is a not-for-profit organisation that encourages entrepreneurship in the North-East region of Ireland by supporting local start-ups and International scaling companies via flexible office solutions, networking and training supports, and by creating a supporting and collaborative startup ecosystem.
Drogheda is promoting itself as an ideal location for a European HQ or a ‘second-site solution’, where companies may still retain a smaller HQ in the financial heart of Dublin’s IFSC or Silicon Docks, but still avail of lower costs and the skilled talents of Drogheda, which is a mere thirty minute drive to Dublin airport.
Aphix Software have been based at The Mill since 2017 and have since acquired numerous awards such as “Regional winners of 2017 National Enterprise Awards” and “Best B2B eCommerce 2019. “It was great to also hear that Fondy were on the Scale programme in London” Aphix co-founder Graham O Rourke said.
“Our Development Advisor from Enterprise Ireland advised us to apply for the Scale programme as we have been actively expanding in the UK and across the globe.
“Aphix Software have developed an integrated suite of eCommerce and mobile ordering products, offering real-time integration to ERP and back-office systems plus connectivity to various digital marketplaces on one secure and robust platform.
“We view the Scale programme as a fantastic opportunity to further develop our platform, increase our network, and to learn from the other fantastic companies on Scale. It was a bonus to see our neighbours at The Mill had also successfully applied for it.”