Case Study | Datahug

DatahugDatahug develops software that analyses a company’s electronic communications to discover existing social networks, answering the question: ‘who knows who’ within large organisations. Irish-born founders Connor Murphy and Ray Smith had been working internationally and returned to Ireland to form their startup in 2009.

Connor Murphy, Datahug
Connor Murphy, CEO, Datahug

The pitch

The idea came from the pair’s backgrounds working for international professional services firms “where who you knew was so important to generating business,” Murphy says. Whereas traditional CRM software relies on users manually inputting information, Datahug analyses the existing “digital trails” in a company through its emails to determine connections between people.

Why Ireland

The company’s formative months were spent in Kerry in Ireland’s South West while the software was in early development. Murphy and Smith attended the Endeavour fast-track start-up programme there, which includes mentoring and incubation space. Not only was the programme free but Datahug also received a grant from Enterprise Ireland to cover living expenses while attending. “It’s a good way to come back into Ireland. Costs are quite low and the support networks are good,” Murphy says.

Since then, the company relocated three hours up the road to Dublin, where it is growing and actively recruiting software developers. Murphy says Ireland’s attractiveness is as a place to live as well as work. “Talent looks to move here. Some of our team have moved from New York, Canada and London. Dublin has a good quality of life.” Another advantage is Ireland’s size: “It means you can easily tap into a network. You can be here a week, go to some events and have some high-level contacts very quickly. You can be on the doorstep of any multinational client you want. If I was in the US, I’d be spending so much just on travel costs.”

Murphy raves about the Internet Growth Acceleration Programme and the exclusive access that participants have with successful entrepreneurs. “For us, that was really game-changing, if we were in the Valley, we wouldn’t get access to that – it was amazing. I cannot say enough good things about it. There’s nothing like iGap in Europe. It’s bringing best practice from Silicon Valley, bringing the thought leaders, giving internet start-ups intimate access to them. If you come to Ireland and are on the Endeavour or iGap programmes, you’re straight into the loop – you’ve got a bridge into so many areas.”

“Talent looks to move here. Some of our team have moved from New York, Canada and London. Dublin has a good quality of life."Connor Murphy, CEO, Datahug

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