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DCU student start up company lists on LSE

02.11.2006
A mobile phone technology company started by DCU students with former DCU lecturers as its first chairman and chief executive has successfully listed on the AIM small companies division of the London Stock Exchange.

zamano, now a leading provider of mobile data services, has raised €6m for 25% of its shares placed on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange (AIM) valuing the company at €24m.

Established in 2000 by DCU Fiontar graduates Eoin O Ceallachain and Darren O Rodaigh to take advantage of a growing demand for mobile services, zamano says it is now a market leader in Ireland with a strong presence in the UK, and it commenced sales into Australia in early 2006. Former DCU Fiontar Professor, Finbarr Bradley was asked to be the first chairman while Enterprise lecturer Seán Mac Réamoinn became the first chief executive.

All of the founding members are still shareholders in the company. The business and the “ zamano “ name arose from a fourth year Fiontar project. After the founders graduation the company was established in the Guinness Enterprise Centre in the Liberties area of the city. It has now moved to the Digital Hub development off Thomas Street.

The company press release for the listing describes its progress in the marketplace: “Since its establishment, zamano has invested significantly in the development of a mobile messaging platform and suite of applications. Using this platform, zamano promotes and distributes its services directly to consumers (B2C) and also facilitates commerce between businesses, brands and their end-users (B2B). zamano believes that this ‘hybrid’ model is a significant advantage in its sector.

“The B2B business accounts for approximately 65% of overall Company revenues. Approximately 35% of revenues are generated by mobile content and interactive services in the B2C business. Interactive services include competitions, quizzes, horoscopes, chat and dating. zamano believes that strong future growth prospects exist for both the B2B and B2C businesses.

“Between 2003 and 2005, zamano experienced strong revenue and profit growth; in 2005 the company was placed second in the Deloitte Fast 50 Rising Star category. The Company has completed three strategic acquisitions which have contributed significantly to this profitable growth, and believes that the markets in which it operates offers further scope to continue on this trajectory. According to Juniper Research, the global market for mobile content is predicted to be worth $11bn in 2006, and is expected to grow to $50bn by 2011.”

The company says that as well as raising the profile of the company, it believes that admission to AIM will enable the delivery of three primary strategic objectives; further strategic acquisitions, increased investment in new technology, and expansion into new territories.

The press release gives details of zamano’s current management team. Chairman Rod Matthews is a former Chief Executive of ScottishTelecom, and was Chairman of AIM-listed Transcomm plc which was sold to BT in 2004. Managing Director John O’Shea’s career to date spans 11 years working with multinationals, and the last 10 years spent building up two technology innovators.

John O’Shea, Managing Director, said: "Admission to AIM marks an exciting next stage in the Group's development and gives us the opportunity to build further on our success to date. We expect to see continued growth in the mobile data services market, which combined with the proven strength of the team in zamano, gives me great confidence in our future as a public company."

Former Fiontar Professor Finbarr Bradley said: “zamano has grown substantially over the years and now employs about 30 people. This is a fantastic achievement for a company set up by former DCU Fiontar students. It shows that DCU business students have the potential to develop successful companies directly from their studies. "

Shane Kenny | alfa
Further information:
http://www.dcu.ie

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