MAdme Technologies founder Triona Mullane says the company may be looking to raise new capital towards the end of the year as it struggles to recover from a “horrible” experience during the pandemic.
The company, which sells software to mobile operators to enable them to communicate digitally with their subscribers, recorded losses of around 900,000 euros last year, taking its balance sheet deficit to around 8.4 million. euros, according to the financial statements for the year at the end of June 2021.
Ms Mullane, a former director of a newspaper publisher Independent News & Media (now Mediahuis Ireland), said the business was now recovering and hoped to regain ground lost during the pandemic by the end of 2023.
MAdme, whose investors include Denis O’Brien, was “on track” in 2019 before the pandemic hit, Ms Mullane said. His accounts suggest he made a profit of €300,000 that year.
“We were onto a good thing in 2019. We had many trials with potential customers. But then the pandemic hit and the rug was literally ripped from us,” she said.
Ms Mullane said many of the mobile operators the company is targeting as customers have reduced their spending on customer engagement during the pandemic, instead focusing on investing in their infrastructure and networks to ensure they could cope with demands during shutdowns.
“It was horrible, to be honest. The kind of things we do for mobile operators have been put on the back burner. We had to get out of Covid.
The company managed to retain its 21 employees, with the help of state wage subsidies. But Ms Mullane said that in June 2021, as the business began to hope for improvement, it was again hit by the impact on its customers of new waves of coronavirus.
She insisted, however, that mobile operators are re-emphasizing digital engagement with customers, boosting demand for her company’s services.
“We are in a positive position now. It became apparent during the pandemic that digital customer engagement would eventually become more important. Mobile operators were losing access to their contact centers in India, the Philippines and elsewhere.
She said it will take “a few more years” to get the company back on the trajectory it was on before the pandemic, although she hopes it will top its 2019 financial performance in its 2023 accounts.
“We have a lot of paid trials right now, which is great,” Ms Mullane said.
When asked if the company needed to raise more capital to strengthen its balance sheet, she said it would “look at the financing side of things at the end of the year to see if it was necessary” .
She said the company would seek funding first, but may need to raise funds to hire sales and marketing staff to help boost its business as part of its takeover.
Ms Mullane, a former NewBay Software executive, founded the group in 2013.