Tech

Irish tech firm lists on Australian Stock Exchange

An Irish software company has taken out the title of Australia’s largest foreign stock market listing of the year.

FINEOS has raised $211 million in initial public offering, and was celebrated with Irish performers and the ringing of the opening bell at the Australian Securities Exchange.

The leading tech company provides software systems to the life, accident and health insurance industry for core process administration, digital engagement capabilities, and data analytics.

Speaking at the listing ceremony, FINEOS founder and CEO Michael Kelly said, “Being Irish in Australia is always a great thing…but you guys have made this very special.”

“We’ve bought our leadership team from Ireland down…this is really the start of the next chapter of our journey.”

FINEOS founder Michael Kelly rang the opening bell at the ASX.

FINEOS founder Michael Kelly rang the opening bell at the ASX.

The ASX approached FINEOS two years ago to propose the listing.

Six of Australia’s top life, accident and health insurance companies use FINEOS software, helping company executives make their decision.

“We thought, ‘we have a great team in Australia, maybe it’s not a bad idea that we investigate this’,” Mr Kelly said.

ASX Executive General Manager of Listings Max Cunningham said the fintech was an attractive global offering with a workforce across eight countries.

“FINEOS will make the largest ever foreign tech listing that we’ve received and compliment our technology sector,” he said.

Irish Consul General Owen Feeney, FINEOS chairperson Anne Driscoll, the ASX’s executive general manager of listings Max Cunningham, and CEO Michael Kelly celebrated the Irish company’s connection with Australia.

Irish Consul General Owen Feeney, FINEOS chairperson Anne Driscoll, the ASX’s executive general manager of listings Max Cunningham, and CEO Michael Kelly celebrated the Irish company’s connection with Australia.

FINEOS currently has a market capitalisation of over $500 million, 26 years after it was founded in 1993.

Sydney Irish Consul General Owen Feeney said Irish businesses were flourishing in Australia, and that he hoped Australian companies would follow suit in exploring Ireland for market opportunities and a ‘staging post’ into Europe.

“Irish companies…look abroad, it’s in their blood. There’s no better example than FINEOS.”

Dublin entrepreneur wins top start-up award

Annie Slattery, CEO of ConX, was awarded the Women in Tech Start-Ups award in early August.

Annie Slattery, CEO of ConX, was awarded the Women in Tech Start-Ups award in early August.

An entrepreneur from Clontarf surpassed more than 100 applicants to win Australia’s top gong for women-led tech start-ups.

Annie Slattery, 34, was awarded the prize for her start-up ConX after a pitch competition following the Grace Hopper Celebration, the world’s largest gathering of women technologists.

“ConX is a platform built for contractors in the construction industry to simplify how they find and win work,” she said.

“We have built a simple and affordable suit of tools to do takeoffs, manager tenders and hire a team.”

2019 marks the first time the Grace Hopper Celebration has come to Australia, transforming into ‘Hopper Down Under’.

2019 marks the first time the Grace Hopper Celebration has come to Australia, transforming into ‘Hopper Down Under’.

The award judges were impressed by Slattery’s new onscreen measuring tools that allow construction workers to measure and mark out pre-build plans without printing blueprints, saving time and increasing accuracy.

Ms Slattery said ConX users were using the technology to put themselves ahead of the pack during the construction industry downturn partly caused by a sharp reduction in residential building approvals.

“We’re seeing the rate of subcontractors measuring plans and submitting quotes is really increasing as guys get hungry for work again.

“This prize represents a fantastic opportunity for ConX to expand into global markets, with the United States top of our list,” Ms Slattery said.

Ms Slattery’s company is forecast to turn over $2.5 million in 2020.

Annie Slattery and Keith Moore, pictured with their daughter Romy, co-founded ConX in 2014.

Annie Slattery and Keith Moore, pictured with their daughter Romy, co-founded ConX in 2014.

The award contenders competed for a share in more than $100,000 worth of business support services from IBM and Alibaba Cloud, opportunities for venture capital investment, and mentoring from Main Sequence Ventures, manager of the CSIRO Innovation Fund.

Other finalists included Barb Hyman, whose start-up uses Artificial Intelligence technology for employee screening and hiring recommendations, and Elizabeth Zealand, who has developed a real-time map of parking restrictions to help drivers in busy CBDs.

Slattery and her husband, carpenter turned business co-founder Keith Moore, moved to Australia 10 years ago and have employed Irish-born staff for their core team since starting ConX in 2014, keeping Irish-Australian innovators in the foreground of the tech scene.