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€600k AIB Seed Funding for Huggity

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DateThursday, May 23, 2013

€600k AIB Seed Funding for Huggity

Funding to Allow Digital Startup to Scale Internationally and Create New Jobs in Sales and Customer Management



130523_Huggity_Mike_Sikorski.jpgHuggity, the Irish digital start-up that produces giant 360º panoramic, multibillion pixel crowd images, has received a €600k equity investment from AIB Seed Capital Fund and Enterprise Ireland. The investment will allow Huggity to fast-track its international scaling strategy, and create 16 new positions in its Dublin HQ.



Established in 2011, Huggity allows fans to relive the joy and excitement of their favourite sporting and music events online with FanPic, a giant 360º panoramic, multibillion pixel crowd image. Once a FanPic is posted, users can zoom into the crowd photo to find themselves and their friends. They can then share a branded message with friends and family on Facebook, Twitter or email through the "tagging" feature, meaning brands and sponsors can extend brand exposure by engaging directly with their audience through social media platforms beyond the event.



Since the company's launch, it has worked at high profile events and with brands including Euro 2012 Fanzone and the Euro 2016 Qualifiers, as well as with brands such as Manchester United, Liverpool FC, the Football Association of Ireland, the Irish Rugby Football Union, Aviva, Chevrolet, Royal Bank of Scotland, MTV, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Swatch, and the Qatar Foundation.



Currently employing a staff of 6, which will grow to 22 by the end of 2013, the company has now started selling through partners in the US, Brazil, Australia, Norway, Poland, Turkey, and Belgium, and is also in discussions with a reseller in India.



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Mike Sikorski, CEO of Huggity, said: "The objective behind Huggity is to combine our photography, technology and marketing skills with our love of sport and music to create a positive experience for fans and a powerful engagement tool for brands, venues and artists. We are very pleased to close this round of investment and to have AIB Seed Capital Fund on board as our new commercially minded partner. This investment gives Huggity the opportunity to focus on increasing our international reach, build new engaging products with our clients and change the way brands build relationships with fans around the world."



Enterprise Equity Venture Capital manages the AIB Seed Capital Fund of €53 million on a nationwide basis and has been actively investing since 2008 and invests in start-up and early stage companies or those with high growth potential. Other web and software companies which Enterprise Equity Venture Capital has invested in include Swrve, Phorest, Polecat, and Converser.



Tom Shinkwin, a Partner in Enterprise Equity Venture Capital, said: "This technology is exciting, its applications are scalable internationally, and Huggity's clever approach to extending brand loyalty is breaking down the traditional way brands communicate with their customers."


Michael Moriarty, Manager, HPSU Enterprise Software and Consumer Products in Enterprise Ireland, added: "This is a very innovative and exciting company. This investment round will now position Huggity to extend their export market reach for their FanPics and ‘gamification' products that will help them grow their international sales."



The €600,000  will fast track Huggity's international scaling strategy and lead to 16 new sales support, business development and relationship management positions in the Dublin headquarters. 







Corporate Information


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