WEB SUMMIT POPULARITY CONTINUES TO GROW - The organisers of the fifth Web Summit in Dublin say this year's event has attracted 10,000 attendees from 90 countries. 950 start-ups from Ireland and Europe have the opportunity to meet over 300 investment groups with billions of dollars in venture capital funds to invest at the event. There are also knock-on events outside the main summit. 15,000 hotel bed nights are sold in the city due to the summit which will also boost activity in restaurants, bars and other venues. It is estimated that last year the event generated €24m for the local economy.
Pat Phelan, of Trustev, chartered a train to go from Cork to Dublin for the summit yesterday and he says that the trip was great. 200 start-ups from Munster had the opportunity to meet up with five global venture companies on the trip. Mr Phelan says that Trustev, which was launched in May, aims to eliminate online fraud using real time, online identity verification. It was voted Europe's Top Technology Startup by EU Commission this year.
Ben Parr, the co-founder and managing partner of DominateFund and formerly of Mashable, says that the Web Summit has grown massively, adding that just about 600 attended the first year's event. He says that while he is "very selective" on where he spends his money, he says that a different type of company can be found at summits such as the Dublin event compared to the big US events. He adds that he is excited about finding "a few gems" here.
MORNING BRIEFS - Kristoffer Koch was writing a thesis on encryption in 2009 when he spent about $27 to buy 5,000 Bitcoins - the virtual currency that is not controlled by a central bank. Bitcoins are created through a process called mining, in which a computer tries to solve a cryptographic problem. The total supply of Bitcoins is capped, which has led to comparisons with assets like gold. Kristoffer forgot about his investment until the currency's wild price swings earlier this year resulted in loads of articles and reports about Bitcoin. His original $27 investment is now worth nearly $900,000 - that is a return of 3,281,500% in four years. He has used a-fifth of his Bitcoins to buy an apartment in Oslo, Norway.
*** Drinks group C&C has reported a near 28% increase in half yearly revenues, while its operating profits rose by almost 8%. Revenues for the six months to the end of August increased by 27.8% to €336.7m while operating profits grew by 7.9% to €71.1m
*** The Irish Trade Mission to the Middle East, being led by Agriculture and Food Minister Simon Coveney has not all been about food. The Minister met Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoom in Dubai yesterday. Gulf region investment in Irish racing is estimated at around €25m with the Maktooms employing 350 in Ireland.